Heritage Highway 136 Newsroom

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 08 July, 2016

Celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service with the
Toasted Ponies in Concert at Homestead National Monument of America!

Beatrice, Nebraska - Enjoy music drifting across the tallgrass prairie as Homestead National Monument of America celebrates its 80th birthday and the Centennial of the National Park Service with the evening Centennial Concert Series. The program Saturday, July 16, 2016 starts at 7 p.m. at the Homestead Education Center and will feature the Toasted Ponies.

This group is also known for great harmony singing and hot instrumentals. Visitors can expect to hear Bluegrass, Cajun, Western Swing, Gospel and Celtic tunes, just to keep things interesting, from the Toasted Ponies.

“We wanted to make our 80th Birthday and the National Park Service’s 100th birthday extra special and thought the best way to do that was with music. We hope the visitors enjoy this multi-talented group,” said Superintendent Mark Engler.

Centennial Concert Series:
7:00 p.m.         July 16                                     Toasted Ponies
7:00 p.m.         July 23                                    Paul Siebert
7:00 p.m.         July 30                                     String Beans
7:00 p.m.         August 6                                  Gulizia Brothers
7:00 p.m.         August 13                                Lightning Bugs

The Centennial Concert Series will take place outside.  In the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved indoors.  You might want to consider bringing a lawn chair, although chairs will be provided, and insect repellant.

Many thanks to the Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and the National Endowment for the Arts, for making this concert series possible.   

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska, and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Labor Day. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 22 June, 2016

Celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service with
4th of July Campfire Program at Homestead National Monument of America

Celebrate Independence Day and the Centennial of the National Park Service at Homestead National Monument of America on July 4, 2016, 7 p.m. at the Education Center.  Join National Park Service Park Guide Nick Manes for a campfire program on the connection between the Declaration of Independence, the American Dream and homesteading. It has been said the American Dream was first manifested in the Declaration of Independence, which describes an attitude of hope, stating that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed…with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

This campfire program will also include music by Daniel Christian.  Known for his original pop, rock and country songs, Daniel will also share songs inspired by the celebration of the 4th of July.  Join us in song and story for an outstanding evening of music and history as we celebrate Independence Day.

“We hope you will come out and enjoy the campfire program at Homestead National Monument of America before kicking off your own 4th of July celebration.  As always, this program is free of charge,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.  

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Labor Day weekend. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 20 June, 2016

Celebrate the Centennial with Artist-In-Residence Heather Myers
at Homestead National Monument of America

Heather Myers, a botanical artist, is the fifth artist of Homestead National Monument of America’s Artist-in-Residence program. She will be at the Monument from June 27 – July 10, 2016. A special program given by Myers will take place at the Homestead Education Center on Sunday, July 3, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. Myers will show her drawings and talk about botanical art.

Myers is delighted to be coming to Homestead National Monument of America to study and draw plants in the tallgrass prairie. She will be working primarily in graphite and colored pencil with the final plant portraits in colored pencil. Her time at Homestead will include fieldwork to gather details about plants and inside time on plant portraits.

Myers has always been fascinated with the natural world and especially with native plants. Her plant studies and portraits strive to encourage everyone to notice and marvel at the uniqueness of every plant and especially the beauty of native plants. Please stop by for demos and hands on drawing time so you can learn about botanical art and create your own plant portrait.

 “The restored Tallgrass Prairie at Homestead is a perfect place for a botanical artist since we have such a diversity of native plant species“, Stated Superintendent, Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Labor Day weekend. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 16 June, 2016

Homestead Harmonizers Kick Off Homestead Days
at Homestead National Monument of America

The Homestead Harmonizers will start off a weekend of special programs and musical performances during Homestead Days at Homestead National Monument of America.  The Harmonizers will be on stage Saturday, June 18 at noon.

Other musical groups performing over the weekend include Danish Fiddlers, River Boys Polka Band (come and dance on Saturday!), Die Singen Wanderers, and the Mighty Magic Pants Band!

“We are excited about the diversity of programs, music and demonstrators at this year’s Homestead Days Celebration. Check out the entire line up for Homestead Days at Homestead National Monument of America below,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Friday, June 17
10 a.m.-5 p.m.     Traditional craft demonstrations at Education Center   
1-4 p.m.                Freeman School open
2 p.m.                    Special Speaker – Audrey Kalivoda “Kansas-The Center of it All” 
                                (Video & talk) at Heritage Center
3 p.m.                     Special Speaker – Ellen Kuhl, Artist in Residence, at Heritage Center

Saturday, June 18
10 a.m.–5 p.m.     Traditional craft demonstrations at Education Center
                                Antique Farming Demonstration on the Prairie
12-4 p.m.              Homestead Children’s Festival at the Heritage Center         
                               (1 & 3 p.m. Mighty Magic Pants Band performs at Children’s Festival)
12-5 p.m.              Freeman School open
12 p.m.                  Homestead Harmonizers at Education Center
1-3 p.m.                 Picnic in the Park - National Park Service Centennial Event
1 p.m.                     Kilcher Family, Alaska Homesteaders Discuss Homesteading Life
                               (Featured on Discovery’s “Alaska: the Last Frontier”)
1 p.m.                     Plowing and Check-row planting at Heritage Center
3 p.m.                     Danish Fiddlers at Education Center
4-6 p.m.                  River Boys Polka Band and Dance at Education Center

Sunday, June 19
10 a.m.–5 p.m.      Traditional craft demonstrations at Education Center
                                 Antique Farming Demonstration on the Prairie
12-4 p.m.                Homestead Children’s Festival at the Heritage Center         
                                 (1 & 3 p.m. Mighty Magic Pants Band performs at Children’s Festival)
12 p.m.                    Die Singen Wanderers at Education Center
1-4 p.m.                   Freeman School open
1 p.m.                       Kilcher Family, Alaska Homesteaders Discuss Homesteading Life
                                  (Featured on Discovery’s “Alaska: the Last Frontier”)
1 p.m.                       Plowing and Check-row planting at Heritage Center
3 p.m.                       Danish Fiddlers at Education Center
4 p.m.                       River Boys Polka Band at Education Center

All activities are free of cost and no park permit is required to visit Homestead National Monument of America. The Homestead Days program is partially funded by the Nebraska Folklife Network, National Endowment for the Arts, Hevelone Foundation and Humanities Nebraska, a non-profit organization cultivating an understanding of our history and culture with additional funding from the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Homestead Bookstores and Friends of Homestead.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Labor Day. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 15 June, 2016

Demonstrations From Early Farm Life on the Prairie for Homestead Days
At Homestead National Monument of America

Experience the life of a homesteader during the Homestead Days Celebration at Homestead National Monument of America on Saturday June 18th and Sunday June 19th.  Demonstrations on the prairie and Heritage Center Farm Field will allow visitors to experience plowing behind a team of mules, the magic of herd dogs, stacking hay with a Jay Hawker stacker, a daily sheep herding demonstration, sitting on a saddle, playing in a pile of corn, grinding wheat into flour and much more.
Try your hand at plowing with a mule team and see a check-row planter in action on Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19, from noon – 2 pm at the Heritage Center Farm Field, just north of the Heritage Center.  Other activities take place at the Education Center Demonstration Prairie and include horse drawn equipment demonstrations, displays of farm implements and a special activity area for the young and young at heart.  Demonstrations on the prairie will occur throughout the day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with the sheep herding demonstration at 3:30 p.m. each day. 

On Sunday June 19th celebrate the Centennial year of the National Park Service (NPS) by witnessing a 1916 Avery Steam tractor in action.  Sharing the anniversary year with the NPS, this 100 year old tractor will be hooked up to a threshing machine enabling visitors to witness the labor saving technology of 100 century ago.

“We are delighted to have such a dedicated group of farm implement collectors bringing their machinery and knowledge to share with the public. Without these dedicated volunteers Homestead Days would not be the same”, stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Homestead Days activities at Homestead National Monument of America begin on Friday, June 17, 10 a.m. at the Homestead Education Center with a variety of demonstrations of traditional arts, crafts, and skills necessary for homesteaders, as well as special speakers at the Heritage Center at 2 and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18, demonstrations will continue beginning at 10 a.m. and special presentation will occur on the main stage at the Education Center from noon – 4 p.m. Visit https://www.nps.gov/home/HOMEdays16.htm for a complete list of Homestead Days events.
Homestead Days events at Homestead National Monument of America are partially funded by the Nebraska Folklife Network, National Endowment for the Arts, Hevelone Foundation and Humanities Nebraska, a non-profit organization cultivating an understanding of our history and culture with additional funding from the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016, the Centennial year of the National Park Service. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Labor Day. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit  http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 08 June, 2016

Alaska: The Last Frontier - The Rest of the Story
During Homestead Days at
Homestead National Monument of America

Come and meet members of the Kilcher family during Homestead Days 2016 at Homestead National Monument of America on June 18 and 19 from 1-3 p.m. at the Homestead Education Center. The Kilcher family is featured on the Discovery Channel’s show “Alaska: The Last Frontier”. The show focuses on the two Kilcher brothers experiences as homesteaders – come to Homestead to hear from 5 of the 6 sisters and learn “the rest of the story”.   Family members visiting Homestead for Homestead Days 2016 include: Catkin Burton, Fay Graham, Anna Graham, Mossy Kilcher, Sunrise Sjoeberg, Stellavera Kilcher, Charlotte Adamson, Otto Kilcher, Eivin Kilcher, and Shane Kilcher.

This year marks the Centennial of the National Park Service and as part of this National celebration, we welcome the Kilcher Family to this fun family event.  The Kilchers will discuss life on an Alaska homestead and take questions from the public on June 18-19, 2016 at 1 p.m. both days at the Education Center.  Come hear stories from them and other members of the family.

The Kilcher parents moved to Alaska in 1940 in search of the perfect place to raise a family and create a community.  Yule Kilcher documented their homesteading experience with color film footage and the whole family traveled around Europe showing the film and promoting homesteading in Alaska. An interesting note is that while the family was traveling and promoting their film, the children were taking correspondence courses from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln!  Yule also was one of the writers of the Alaska Constitution. 

“This is a family with a lot of history and full of stories and fun. We are excited to have them join Homestead Days as part of the National Park Service Centennial celebration.” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

There is an exciting line up of music and dance during Homestead Days at Homestead National Monument of America. This program is partially funded by the Hevelone Foundation and Humanities Nebraska, a non-profit organization cultivating an understanding of our history and culture with additional funding from the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Labor Day weekend. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 06 June, 2016

Witness People Take their First Oath of Allegiance to the United States
at a Naturalization Ceremony at Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America is honored to host a United States Citizenship and Naturalization Ceremony on Tuesday, June 14, 2016.  New citizens will take their Oath of Allegiance to the United States at the ceremony.  The ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. in the Education Center’s Courtyard.  The public is encouraged to attend. 

Naturalization is the process by which U.S. Citizenship is conferred upon foreign citizens or nationals after fulfilling the requirements established by Congress. After naturalization, foreign-born citizens enjoy nearly all the same benefits, rights and responsibilities that the Constitution gives to native-born U.S. Citizens, including the right to vote.

This year Homestead is honored to have the United States Army Field Band Brass Quintet in concert prior to the naturalization ceremony, at 1 pm. The Army Field Band is playing in a number of national parks this year to help celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service.  It is also fitting that they share their music with these individuals as they become new citizens.

“The Homestead Act encouraged both immigration to the United States and migration within the country. The Naturalization ceremonies we hold today reflect the basic homesteading principle of welcoming new citizens to help build our country,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

This is the first of two naturalization ceremonies to take place at Homestead National Monument of America.  Last year over 100 people from more than 60 countries became new citizens at Homestead. 

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Labor Day. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

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Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 03 June, 2016

United States Army Field Band Brass Quintet in Concert
at Homestead National Monument of America
In Celebration of the Centennial of the National Park Service

In celebration of the Centennial of the National Park Service and the 80th anniversary of Homestead National Monument of America, the United States Army Field Band Brass Quintet will perform at the Homestead Education Center on June 14, 2016 at 1 p.m. Following the concert, at 2 p.m., is a United States Citizenship and Naturalization Ceremony.  

As the “musical ambassadors of the Army”, the Army Field Band contacted the National Park Service Centennial Office recently to offer their services during the next year and a half.  In support of the National Park Service Centennial, the band is interested in playing in parks and getaway communities for special events and other occasions.  The band leadership expressed a true love for parks, and they’d like to help us, and the country, celebrate.

Since 1998, the United States Army Field Band Brass Quintet has showcased the finest and most challenging literature in the brass quintet repertoire. This ensemble is an active participant in the Army Field Band’s educational outreach program and has performed in colleges, universities, and public and private schools across the United States. Recognized for their versatility as well as their technical skill, the Army Field Band Brass Quintet combines standard quintet works, band and orchestral transcriptions, commissions, and original compositions to present one of the most diverse and entertaining chamber ensemble programs heard today.

“We are delighted to host such a prestigious music group at Homestead National Monument of America, especially on the day of a naturalization ceremony. It is fitting to have the United States Army Field Band play as these people become new United States citizens,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.
  
Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska or 45 miles south of Lincoln, Nebraska.  The monument will be open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. through Labor Day Weekend.  Along with the extended summer hours, the monument will offer a wide variety of special programs and the Freeman School will be open daily 1-4 p.m. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 03 June, 2016

Media Advisory - Photo Opportunity - Media Advisory
See the Start of the Monument to Monument Tractor Relay Across Nebraska!!

What:  Help send off 80-100 tractors at they conduct the Monument to Monument Tractor Relay Across Nebraska

Where:  Homestead National Monument of America, Heritage Center
               8523 West State Highway 4
               Beatrice, NE  68310 
               Phone: 402-223-3514

When:  Saturday, June 4 @ 9 a.m.

Who:  This annual tractor relay across Nebraska is conducted by The Nebraska Antique Farming  Association.

Why:  This year’s annual event is called the Monument to Monument Tractor Relay.  The Monument to Monument Tractor Relay will start at Homestead National Monument of America (near Beatrice), pass through Scotts Bluff National Monument and end at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument.  The Monument to Monument route for the 2016 Tractor Relay is in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial. 

Tractors will be on display at the Homestead Heritage Center June 3 from noon - 8 pm.

Share your tractor sightings at #NPSTractorWatch.

For additional information call 402-223-3514.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 02 June, 2016

Posse Makes Way to Nebraska - History Riding With Them
At Homestead National Monument of America

Take a literary ride with the Most Intrepid Western Author’s Posse as they travel through the Great Plains of Nebraska and visit Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center on Saturday, June 11, 2016, from 11 am – 1 pm. The Most Intrepid Western Author’s Posse is comprised of five published, award-winning western authors who love to tell exciting tales of the Old West – some true, some with a twist.  They include:

Monty McCord author of Mundy’s Law: The Legend of Joe Mundy and Hastings: The Queen of the Plains;
Sherry Monahan author of Mrs. Earp: The Wives and Lovers of the Earp Brothers, The Cowboy Cookbook, and Frontier Fare;
Bill Markley, author of Deadwood Dead Men and Dakota Epic: Experiences of a Reenactor During the Filming of Dances with Wolves;
Kellen Cutsforth, author of Buffalo Bill, Boozers, Brothels, and Bare-Knuckle Brawlers:  An Englishman's Journal of Adventure in America;
Chris Enss, author of Frontier Teachers:  Stories of Heroic Women of the Old West, Hearts West: Mail Order Brides of the Old West, and Object Matrimony:  The Risky Business of Mail-Order Matchmaking on the Western Frontier. 

Stories told by the Posse promise to transport readers back to the days of the wild frontier when times were rowdy and justice was swift.  The Posse will be discussing their books and the taming of the Wild West. Their books will be for sale through the Homestead Bookstores and the authors will be available to sign them.  For more Posse information, visit www.chrisenss.com.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Labor Day. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 01 June, 2016

Celebrate the Centennial with Writer Katie McGinnis
at Homestead National Monument of America

Katie McGinnis, a writer from Kearney, Nebraska, is the third artist of Homestead National Monument of America’s 2016 Artist-in-Residence program.   A special program given by McGinnis will take place at the Homestead Education Center on June 5, 2016 starting at 3 p.m.  During this program McGinnis will present readings of her work.

McGinnis obtained her bachelor’s in English from Tulane University in 2012, her Masters of Fine Arts in fiction from Washington University in 2014, and recently finished her first year at the University of Missouri where she is studying for a PhD in fiction. McGinnis’ ongoing projects include a collection of short stories about rural Nebraska, as well as a novel about a 1960s organized crime syndicate out of Youngstown, Ohio. She currently researches modern day vigilantism along the Mexico-United States border, with hopes that this research will lead to a collection of stories, too.

McGinnis’ fiction tends to interrogate the intersection between the confusion of self-identity and social alienation. Her characters oftentimes find themselves in situations that they cannot, or should not be made to negotiate, and are forced to assume roles that are unnatural to them, and the conflict then is primarily psychological and character driven. McGinnis finds the most interesting characters to be characters that highlight the ambiguity of morality.

“We are excited to have artists that have Nebraska roots. We look forward to seeing the work that comes from McGinnis’ residency,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Labor Day. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 31 May, 2016

Birds and Bagels this Weekend at Homestead National Monument of America

Enjoy an early morning birding hike with Park Guide Nicholas Manes at Homestead National Monument of America on Friday, June 3 or Saturday June 4 at 8 a.m. This program will begin at the Homestead Education Center with a light breakfast of bagels followed by a short walk to investigate the birds of Homestead’s prairie and woodland. Limited numbers of binoculars will be available; you are encouraged to bring your own. One all-terrain wheel chair is available to check-out, as well.   

Homestead is offering these hikes to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) 2016.  IMBD is the only international education program that highlights and celebrates the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.  Each year IMBD explores a different aspect of migratory birds and their conservation. To learn more about IMBD go to www.migratorybirdday.org.  

Over 100 avian (bird) species inhabit the monument’s tallgrass prairie and bur oak forest, including grassland species such as the dickcissel, common yellow throat and grasshopper sparrow, raptors like the barred owl and red-tailed hawk, and forest species such as the eastern towhee, Baltimore oriole, downy woodpecker and warbling vireo. 

“With its range of habitats, Homestead National Monument of America provides a great location for birders of all experience levels to encounter a wide variety of birds and come together to learn and share. A special thanks to Eastern National, who operates the Homestead Bookstores, for the bagels!” stated Mark Engler, the monument’s Superintendent. 

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016, the Centennial year of the National Park Service. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Labor Day. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit  http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 25 May, 2016

Celebrate the National Park Service Centennial with Artist-In-Residence
Casey Whittier at Homestead National Monument of America

The second artist of the 2016 Artist-in-Residence program at Homestead National Monument of America, Casey Whittier, will be presenting a program based on her work at the monument on Sunday, June 5, 2016, 2 p.m. at the Education Center. Whittier is a ceramicist and installation artist. Her practice explores the visceral qualities of clay, elements from nature, the evocative potential of objects, and the power of shared experience. She will be at the monument May 23- June 6, 2016.

While in residence, Whittier will be working with the museum collection to create sets of small objects and explore the relationship between past and present at Homestead National Monument of America. Working from the understanding that objects tell stories and offer insights into shared cultural history, she hopes to engage park staff and visitors in conversations about local history, lore, and the stories embedded within Homestead’s museum collection.

Additionally, Whittier will be bringing and displaying common disposables found in campsites and along trailheads she has visited that she has recreated in cast sugar. These biodegradable sculptures serve as a reminder of the importance of protecting our National Parks and the principals of Leave No Trace. 

“We are intrigued by Ms. Whittier’s project and hope you will consider visiting and interacting with her,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (HomesteadNM).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Current hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 23 May, 2016

Extended Hours at Homestead National Monument of America

Operating hours for the summer will be extended at Homestead National Monument of America starting Saturday May 28, 2016.  The monument will be open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. through Labor Day Weekend.  Along with the extended summer hours, the monument will offer a wide variety of special programs.  Beginning Sunday, May 29, 2016 the Freeman School will be open daily 1-4 p.m.

“Summer is an exciting time of year to visit Homestead National Monument of America.  stated Superintendent Mark Engler.  “In this year of celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service, Homestead will host a number of special offerings.  On June 4 Tractors Across Nebraska will start their 2016 trek at Homestead; Homestead Days 2016 will feature the Kilcher family from the Discovery show “Alaska:  The Last Frontier” on June 18 & 19; there will be a summer concert series offered on Saturday evenings June 9 – August 13; the Land Records and Genealogy Symposium will take place July 15 and 16; and the American Solar Car Challenge and Environmental Expo happens on August 3 & 4. There will also be two U.S. Immigration Naturalization ceremonies, June 14 and September 16.  Homestead will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service on Founders Day, August 25; stay tuned for details!”

Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America). Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Current hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

 

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 18 May, 2016

Tractor Relay to Start At Homestead National Monument of America
In Celebration of the Centennial of the National Park Service

In celebration of the Centennial of the National Park Service and the 80th anniversary of Homestead National Monument of America, the 2016 5TH Annual Tractor Relay Across Nebraska, sponsored by the Nebraska Antique Farming Association (NAFA), will travel from Monument to Monument, June 3 -12, 2016.  The relay will start in eastern Nebraska, at Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice, and end in western Nebraska, at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument near Harrison.  

Wanting to watch the start of the relay? Come to Homestead National Monument of America’s Heritage Center Saturday, June 4 by 9 a.m. If you cannot make it Saturday morning, tractors participating in the relay will be on display Friday evening at the Homestead Heritage Center, which will be open until 8 p.m. Tractors will begin arriving mid-day on June 3, 2016.  You are invited to view these antique tractors and talk with the owners. Between 50 and 80 tractors are expected to be a part of the relay and will make their way across Nebraska at 12 miles per hour over nine days!

The schedule for the 2016 5TH Annual Tractor Relay Across Nebraska includes the following overnight stops:

June 4 Beatrice to Geneva
June 5 Geneva to Hastings
June 6 Hastings to St Paul
June 7 St Paul to Broken Bow
June 8 Broken Bow to Thedford
June 9 Thedford to Hyannis
June 10 Hyannis to Alliance
June 11 Alliance to Scottsbluff National Monument
June 12 Scottsbluff National Monument to Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

The NAFA decided in 2014 that they should be driving for a cause. They chose Operation Comfort Warriors, an American Legion program that aids wounded warriors and their families.  Last year the group raised $10,700 with 100% of the proceeds raised going directly to the veterans in need.  If you would like to give to OCW, go to a link on NAFA's website antiquefarming.org or come visit with the antique tractor enthusiast at Homestead National Monument of America.  For more information you may contact Donelle Moormeier at 402-429-2480 or Ron Moormeier at 402-432-2958.

Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska or 45 miles south of Lincoln, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 17 May, 2016

Centennial BioBlitzs Happening across the Country to Celebrate
100 years of the National Park Service

Curious about the plants and animals of Homestead National of America, then be here on Saturday, May 21, 2016 for the Centennial Bioblitz! To celebrate 100 years of stewardship, the National Park Service is planning a shared nation-wide quest to discover and document biodiversity – the variety of living organisms in a place. You are invited to be part of the celebration as parks across the country host bioblitzes on May 21, 2016.

At the Homestead National Monument of America Education Center experts will be leading groups of volunteers (that’s you!) to look for and record: birds from 7am-3pm; plants from 10am –3pm; and insects from 12:30-3pm. Help with as many sessions as you like and for as long as you like. Data will be collected using the iNaturalist app, but you do not need a device to participate, everyone is welcome!

You are also invited to discover something new at a Biodiversity Fair that will be happening at the Education Center from 10 am – 3 pm.  Stations will be set up where you can learn about bugs, dig through mud and find water bugs, see the animals that live in soil, learn about the scat and tracks of mammals and do a fun craft or activity book.

Bring the whole family!  There is something for everyone at Homestead National Monument of America. This summer you are invited to celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service, by becoming a Centennial Junior Ranger.  Complete 5 – 10 activities in the Centennial Junior Ranger Activity Book and earn a special, wooden Centennial Junior Ranger badge!

“Great events like the Centennial BioBlitz and Biodiversity Fair make this a great year to explore your National Park Service Sites and enjoy the special events and opportunities while celebrating the Centennial of the National Park Service,” said Mark Engler, the monument’s Superintendent.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016, the Centennial year of the National Park Service. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit  http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 06 May, 2016

Homestead Critter Count – A Centennial Celebration of Biodiversity in the National Park Service

Help discover the species that inhabit Homestead National Monument of America by joining the Homestead Critter Count and Biodiversity Festival on Saturday, May 21, 2016.

To celebrate 100 years of stewardship, the National Park Service is planning a shared nation-wide quest to discover and document biodiversity – the variety of living organisms in a place. You are invited to be part of the celebration as parks across the country host bioblitzes on May 21, 2016.

Bioblitzes are intense periods of biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area. Groups of scientists, naturalists and volunteers (that’s you!) will be conducting intensive field studies over a continuous time period. Homestead will be offering three bioblitzes on May 21 – come for one or come for all!   After a short orientation, you will go out onto the monument with the specialist and record what you observe.

Schedule of Events

  • 7 a.m. Orientation for Bird BioBlitz - Education Center Multi-Purpose Room
  • 10 a.m. Orientation for Plant BioBlitz – Education Center Multi-Purpose Room
  • 12:30 a.m. Orientation for Insect BioBlitz - Education Center Multi-Purpose Room
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Biodiversity Festival – Education Center Courtyard
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch available for purchase - Back Alley Eatery – Education Center Picnic area

To record observations on May 21, Homestead National Monument of America is utilizing a smart phone app called iNaturalist.  You can download this free application to your device before coming to the monument.  The iNaturalist application allows you to upload images of the species that you discover.  Once uploaded you record the information that you know about your species and other iNaturalist users will collaborate to identify and confirm the identification of the species that you capture.

The Biodiversity Festival from 10a.m.-3p.m. at the Education Center will have stations that feature hands on activities for all ages where you can discover macroinvertebrates, nematodes and learn about the variety of living things at Homestead National Monument of America.

The goal of the Homestead Critter Count (bioblitz) is to bring people of all ages together to assist the park in identifying the birds, plants and animals of the monument.  It will be a great opportunity to share your knowledge with other citizen scientists while learning about the incredible biodiversity at the monument. 

“In 1916, the act that created the National Park Service stated the purpose of the parks is to conserve the natural and historic objects and the wildlife in a manner that will leave them unimpaired for future generations.  This event is appropriate for all ages to come out and share knowledge and experiences of biodiversity and resources here at our national park service site in southeast Nebraska,” said Mark Engler, the monument’s Superintendent.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016, the Centennial year of the National Park Service. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit  http://www.nps.gov/home/

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 04 May, 2016

Luthier to Participate in Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival!

Does your fiddle need a tune up? Need some advice about your banjos broken bridge? If so, you need a luthier! A luthier is a person who makes and repairs stringed instruments. You are invited to bring your string instrument issues to the Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival at Homestead National Monument of America on Saturday, May 28, 2016 and visit with luthier Marilyn Wallin. While at the monument, Wallin will provide free tune-up services for string instruments and discuss repair options. She will be at Homestead starting at 10 a.m. and will continue to work with string instruments through the afternoon. 

When asked to be a part of the music festival, she said “Yes!” She was excited  at the idea of helping musicians clean and polish their string instruments, advise about repairs, and to be there  "just in case..." for things that come up. Marilyn has been the past president of the Violin Society of America and has been a part of some of the biggest music stages in America, working with such groups as the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra and many other groups. “She is a well known, well respected and personable instrument maker and we are fortunate to have her join us for the Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival.” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.  

The Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival, formerly known as the Monumental Fiddling Championship, has been celebrating music from the homesteading period for over a decade. Music was a common thread among pioneers of all ages. The Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival is free for competitors and spectators alike. 

Music fans wanting to spend the day at the Monument can do so. You may participate in a fiddling workshop at 10 a.m. and a harmonica workshop at 11 a.m. Back Alley Eatery will be on hand to serve lunch and drinks.  Thanks to the Coffin Family Foundation, Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and violin maker Nancy Rohn, for providing prizes and making this event possible. 

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (HomesteadNM).Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 27 April, 2016

Homestead National Monument of America to Attend Lincoln
Airshow And Distribute America the Beautiful Interagency Passes

Homestead National Monument of America will be distributing the America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes on Saturday and Sunday, May 7 and 8, 2016 at the Guardians of Freedom Airshow in Lincoln, Nebraska. These passes are your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Each pass covers entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges as well as standard amenity fees (day use fees) at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A pass covers entrance, standard amenity fees and day use fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas, or up to four adults at sites that charge per person. Children age 15 or under are admitted free.

The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series contains 5 different passes:
Annual Pass

  • $80 annual pass
  • Available to everyone

Annual Pass for U.S. Military

  • FREE annual pass!
  • Available to current U.S. military members and dependents in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard and also, Reserve and National Guard members by showing a Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID (Form 1173).

Annual 4th Grade Pass

  • FREE annual pass!
  • Available to U.S. 4th graders (including home-schooled and free-choice learners 10 years of age) with a valid Every Kid in a Park paper pass.
  • The pass is valid for the duration of the 4th grade school year through the following summer (September-August).

Senior Pass

  • $10 Lifetime pass
  • For U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over.
  • May provide a 50 percent discount on some amenity fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services.

Access Pass

  • FREE lifetime pass
  • For U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities.
  • May provide a 50 percent discount on some amenity fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and specialized interpretive services.

All of these passes can also be obtained from Homestead National Monument of America and other federal recreation sites at any time.  The six agencies that participate in the Interagency Pass Program are:

Visit the Homestead booth at the Guardians of Freedom Airshow and pick up your Interagency Pass while you enjoy amazing airplanes. The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Nebraska National Guard, and Lincoln Airport Authority are hosting Guardians of Freedom at the Lincoln Airport on May 7 and 8, 2016, from 9:30 – 5:00 p.m. each day.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016, the Centennial year of the National Park Service. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monuement of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 21 April, 2016

"Who Were the Women Who Settled Nebraska" Presented by Dr. Rebecca Wingo at Homestead National Monument of America

Who Were the Women Who Settled Nebraska will be presented at Homestead National Monument of America,Thursday April 28, 2016 at 7 p.m. Dr. Rebecca Wingo, from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, will be sharing new research on women homesteaders during this special presentation at the Homestead Education Center.  Her new, cutting-edge research used recently digitized Homestead Casefiles to find women homesteaders in Nebraska. Dr. Wingo will explain how her new scholarship challenges prevailing understandings of homesteading women and gives us a better understanding of their historic role in settling the West.

Dr. Wingo’s research is part of an on-going project under the direction of Dr. Richard Edwards at the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. The larger project seeks to reassess both the scholarly consensus and popular perceptions of the Homestead Act of 1862. The Center for Great Plains Studies has been involved in a partnership with Homestead National Monument of America, the National Archives and Records Administration, Family Search and Ancestry to digitize Homestead Casefiles since 2000.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Wingo is presenting her original research on Homesteading women at the Monument. Her work is a case-in-point example of the value of making Homestead Casefiles publicly available online and the ways that it is contributing to remaking our understanding of the Homestead Act of 1862,” stated Superintendent, Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 18 April, 2016

Mark Your Calendar for the 2016 Land Records and Genealogy Symposium at
Southeast Community College and Homestead National Monument of America

Are you interested in researching your family history, land records, or learning about the latest technologies being applied by genealogists?  If so then you should plan to be at the 2016 Land Records and Genealogy Symposium on July 15 & 16, 2016, in Beatrice, Nebraska.  The event will take place Friday and Saturday, July 15 & 16, 2016, and is a partnership presentation made possible through Southeast Community College of Beatrice with assistance from Homestead National Monument of America.  This event will be held at the Truman Center building on Southeast Community College’s Beatrice campus. 

The conference will feature renowned speakers from all over the world, excellent food, entertainment, vendors, and onsite help for all of your genealogy needs.  Southeast Community College and Homestead National Monument of America have partnered once again to bring in professional genealogists and historians to present a variety of topics and techniques that will enhance your genealogical research and enrich your understanding of the past and present.

This year’s program is headlined by key note speaker Dr. Christine Kenneally as well as Land Records guru Dr. Robert King. Dr. Kenneally’s keynote address will be based on her celebrated 2014 book The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures. Merging biology, psychology, and history in her work, Dr. Kenneally’s address will shed 21st century light on the old nature-versus-nurture debate and what it means for us all in the present and into the future. 

“We are thrilled to work with Southeast Community College to talk about Homestead Records. If you’re a genealogist, a history buff, or anyone interested in larger questions of cultural identity this is going to be an event that you will be interested in,” said Superintendent Mark Engler.

Please contact Homestead National Monument of America for more information at 402-223-3514.  Those wanting to register for the event should contact Southeast Community College Continuing Education Center, at 402-437-2700. Registration for the Genealogy and Land Records Symposium will be limited and is on a first come first served basis.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 15 April, 2016

Snap, Shoot, and Share During an InstaMeet at
Homestead National Monument of America to Celebrate National Park Week!

Insta-What? InstaMeet is a word for inviting people to a certain place at a certain time to take photos and short videos and upload them to social media using designated hashtags. Homestead will have an InstaMeet Saturday, April 23, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. This National Park Week social media event is supported by the hashtags #FindYourParkInstaMeet as well as #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque, and #NPS100. Park users at National Parks across the country will also be uploading photos during this same time!

Stop by either the Homestead Heritage or Homestead Education Center to pick up a checklist for a Photo Scavenger Hunt. Explore the park, checking off photo destinations as you capture them!
At both buildings you will also find fun photo props and photo booth opportunities!

Bring your cameras and cell phones, get some fresh air, take some fun photos and share them – let’s get Homestead trending!  Don’t know what that means?  Don’t worry, active Instagram community member, Robin Matty, can explain and will be available at the Heritage Center to share cell phone and digital camera photo tips and tricks with park visitors throughout the two hour event. This marks the first InstaMeet at Homestead National Monument of America.  Help us make it a good one!

Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska or 45 miles south of Lincoln, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 15 April, 2016

Catherland the Musical; Presented at Homestead National Monument of America

Celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service at Homestead National Monument of America with Catherland, the Musical!  There are two program times for this special program; Sunday, April 24, 2016 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, and Monday April 25, 2016 from 10 a.m. – noon.  Both programs will be presented at the Homestead Education Center. 

Catherland is billed as “a new Nebraska ghost musical.” The production takes a minimalist approach to staging, focusing on storytelling through song. Cast members include Eric Moyer, Sasha Dobson, Natalie McClue, Tyler Hale, Robin McKercher, and Melissa Epp. Writers Becky Boesen and David von Kampen are two incredible artistic talents. Boesen is a working playwright, actor, director and producer. As a two-time winner of the Mayor’s Arts Award, she serves both administrative and artistic roles at the Lied Center and is an adjunct faculty member at Doane College. David von Kampen is a composer whose creative work spans a wide variety of genres and styles. He has over forty choral and instrumental composition and arrangements published and is currently an adjunct professor of composition at Concordia University.

This Arts Across Nebraska program, sponsored by the Lied Center for Performing Arts, strives to provide quality art programs to greater Nebraska residents, especially youth.  One goal is to introduce youth to the arts to instill an appreciation of the arts. Catherland is supported by the Nebraska Arts Council and Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Friends of Lied, the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska, and Friends of Homestead.

A preview of the musical is available at https://vimeo.com/123315760.  For questions call Homestead National Monument of America at 402-223-3514, or email ramon_mangual@nps.gov.

Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska or 45 miles south of Lincoln, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 24 March, 2016

Application Period for Community Garden Plots Extended at Homestead National Monument of America!

Applications for a 10’ x 15’ plot in the Homestead Community Garden will now be accepted through the April 15, 2016! If you are anxious to get those potatoes in the ground, this could be the place for you!

Applications are available at the Homestead Heritage Center or Education Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Applications, along with rules, regulations, and a map, can also be downloaded from http://www.nps.gov/home/getinvolved/sustainability.htm.  Applications must be dropped off at the Monument or emailed to Home_information@nps.gov by Friday, April 15, 2016. 

The Community Garden at Homestead is located south of the Heritage Center.  The monument provides a free 10’ x 15’ plot and water. You may apply for one plot per application, with a limit of two plots per address. No pesticides are allowed.  Plots will be selected by lottery on Saturday April 16, 2016. For more information and questions call 402-223-3514.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (HomesteadNM).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 18 March, 2016

Special Showing of “Nature Cat” and a Jr. Ranger Hike
At Homestead National Monument of America!

Calling all Jr. Rangers and their families to Homestead National Monument of America on Saturday, March 26, 2016!  Join us at the Homestead Education Center at 1 p.m. for some Jr. Ranger fun! Start the afternoon with a special screening of the PBS Kids series “Nature Cat”, about a curious cat who loves to explore nature in his own backyard. Then meet Master Naturalists for a nature themed activity and a guided family birding hike.

“Nature Cat” is a new series by PBS, designed to inspire children to go outside and explore.  This screening was made possible with the generous support of Nebraska Educational Telecommunications. With spring right around the corner, birds are migrating and singing. Some are resting at Homestead while on their journey north; others are arriving to make their nests.  Learn some tips and tricks from Master Naturalists to identify birds in your own backyard, and get your very own Nature Cat binoculars!

These programs are FREE of charge, great for all ages, and reservations are not necessary.  Part of the program will be sleuthing outdoors so please dress appropriately for the weather.  Program length is subject to weather conditions.

2016 is a special year for the National Park Service as we celebrate our 100th anniversary!  Kids of all ages attending the winter Junior Ranger programs at Homestead will earn a special, wooden Centennial Jr. Ranger badge!  Come on out for a fun hike and earn a cool badge!

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska or 45 miles south of Lincoln, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The trails are open from dawn to dusk.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 17 March, 2016

You’re Invited to a Fun for All Ages Birthday Bash
At Homestead National Monument of America!

Homestead National Monument of America is turning 80 - and you are invited to the party!   Saturday, March 19, 2016 this 80 year old is celebrating with cakes constructed like the monument’s historic structures! Take a bite out of the Freeman School or enjoy a sliver of Palmer-Epard Cabin!  And what party is complete without fun activities? LEGOs anyone?! Come one, come all to be inspired by master Lego builder creations and lend your own imagination to create Lego constructions, too!

Or “ham” it up with the Aksarben Amateur Radio Operator group and broadcast across the nation about Homestead’s special day! And why not have the fun and melodious acapella group Bathtub Dogs sing Happy Birthday and other fun tunes?  There will also be the debut of the Barn Quilt Quest webpage and an unveiling of an amazing oil painting being donated to the park’s collection.  And as all events at Homestead, this birthday party is FREE of charge!!

Event at Homestead’s Heritage Center:
10 a.m.-3 p.m. – Lincoln-Omaha Adult Lego Builders

Events at Homestead’s Education Center:
10 a.m.- 4 p.m. – Aksarben Amateur Radio Operators
1:00 p.m. – Debut of Barn Quilt Quest and Unveiling of Homestead painting created for Nebraska’s 150th
1:30 p.m. – Eat 3-D Birthday Cakes
2:00 p.m. – Bathtub Dogs men’s choir from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska or 45 miles south of Lincoln, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The trails are open from dawn to dusk.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 11 March, 2016

Youth Conservation Corps Applications
for Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America is now accepting applications for the summer 2016 Youth Conservation Corps (YCC).  The YCC is a summer employment program for young men and women, ages 15-18, who work and learn together on projects that further the development and conservation of the natural and cultural resources of the United States.

YCC enrollees will work together and individually to accomplish conservation and maintenance work at Homestead National Monument of America.  This eight-week program will begin on Tuesday, May 31, 2016.  Enrollees must have a desire to work in the outdoors.  Proposed projects for the 2016 summer include trail work, work in native prairie, general maintenance and assist with painting.  YCC enrollees must be at least 15 years of age and cannot reach 19 years of age during the term of employment; be a permanent resident of the United States or its territories or possessions; have a social security number or have applied to obtain one; and have a banking account.  Enrollees must provide the proper type of work clothing, which will include long pants and work shoes.

Enrollees will be paid the Federal minimum wage of $9.00 per hour and work 40 hours each week.  Interested persons may pick up an application at Homestead National Monument of America between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or have an application mailed by calling 402-223-3514.  Completed applications must be returned (or postmarked) by April 8 to Homestead National Monument of America, 8523 West State Highway 4, Beatrice, NE  68310.  Selections will be made by April 18.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 04 March, 2016

Women’s History Month Program by Laureen Riedesel
at Homestead National Monument of America

Join us Sunday, March 13, 2016, at 2 p.m. at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center to learn about a notable Beatrice woman to celebrate Women’s History Month. While researching Clara Colby, the founder of the Beatrice Public Library, current librarian Laureen Riedesel discovered that Colby was an active and versatile participant in the women’s suffrage movement in the United States! Riedesel will introduce us to this remarkable woman as well as show how state, regional and national resources can be used to rediscover local history.

“The success of the Women’s suffrage movement was built on the courageous and concerted actions of progressive women in communities across the United States. We are honored that Laureen Reidesel will share this monumental story,” stated Superintendent, Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).
 

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 03 March, 2016

Celebrate the Centennial of the Naitonal Park Service at the
Heartland Storytelling Festival at Homestead National Monument of America!

The Heartland Storytelling Festival kicks off at Homestead National Monument of America on March 17 and 18, 2016.  Three professional storytellers perform each day in a round-robin set-up.  Programs are held at the Monument’s Education and the Heritage Centers at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. both days.  This fun event is free! Storytellers this year include: 

Darrin Crow - Hailing from across the mighty Missouri in Iowa, Darrin’s yarns will take you back to a time when immigrants were settling the Midwest.
 
Rosie Cutrer – Visiting from Kansas, Rosie will take you back to the pioneer times and delight all with her collection of everyday tools and toys from yesteryear.

Joyzelle Gingway Godfrey will share stories the Dakota people. The adventures of the first set of twins born in the world give a glimpse of family structure, food gathering and beliefs of these tribal people.

“For homesteaders telling stories was not only a form of entertainment but often the stories passed on vital information and life lessons. These professional storytellers carry on that tradition”, stated Superintendent, Mark Engler.

Elementary schools, daycares, home school groups, senior centers and the general public are encouraged to attend.  Groups of 10 or more interested in attending should call Jesse Bolli at (402) 223-3514 as soon as possible to make reservations. 

This program is possible through the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.   

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 22 February, 2016

Reminder – Public Meeting to Help Homestead National Monument of America Plan for the Future

You are invited to a public meeting on Thursday evening, February 25, 2016 from 5-7 p.m. at Homestead’s Education Center.  Homestead is developing a vision for how to continue telling the homestead story in ways that will capture the attention of young and old alike.  We are asking for your input as we consider what we do well, what we could improve, what roles technology could play, and ways to engage the next generation of park supporters. 

“The National Park Service wants to connect with our Nation's future generations.  The planning process taking place at Homestead will explore and identify program strategies and cutting edge museum elements that will set the course for the monument's future.  We invite all to join us at this public meeting” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 20 February, 2016

Junior Ranger Walk at Homestead National Monument of America
What is Lurking on the Winter Prairie?

Children of all ages and their families are invited to investigate nature during a guided walk at Homestead National Monument of America on Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 1 p.m.  Come to Homestead’s Education Center to meet graduates of the Nebraska Master Naturalist program who will help you investigate the skins, skulls, and signs of the critters that call Homestead home!

These programs are FREE of charge, great for all ages, and reservations are not necessary.  Part of the program will be sleuthing outdoors so please dress appropriately for the weather.  Program length is subject to weather conditions.

2016 is a special year for the National Park Service as we celebrate our 100th anniversary!  Kids of all ages attending the winter Junior Ranger programs at Homestead will earn a special, wooden Centennial Jr. Ranger badge!  Come on out for a fun hike and earn a cool badge!
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 19 February, 2016

Winter Deer Survey Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America will conduct its annual winter deer survey on February 27, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. You are invited to come and help the monument staff count deer! No experience necessary; all age and ability groups will be able to help. Walkers and spotters are needed.  Walkers will hike about ¾ of a mile through the tallgrass prairie (wear long pants, long sleeved shirt, good walking shoes, and appropriate coat for the weather).  Spotters will be stationed at various points along the west, north and south boundaries to count deer as they leave the monument (wear appropriate clothes for the weather).

Orientation will begin at the Homestead Education Center at 9:30 a.m. The survey will be completed by noon. Motorists on State Highway 4 need to be alert for deer crossing the highway as they drive through the monument on the morning of February 27, 2016.

“Volunteering at a National Park Site is a great way to celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service. By volunteering at Homestead on February 27 you can enjoy the diversity of the resources and get off the trail,” stated Park Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 19 February, 2016

Centennial Film Festival Concludes with "Shane" at Homestead National Monument of America!

Join us Saturday and Sunday, February 27 and 28, 2016 at 2 p.m., for the final presentation of the Homestead Centennial Film Festival at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center.  In this Centennial year the festival featured popular movies filmed at National Park Service sites across America.

February 27 and 28 the festival will showcase Shane, a wonderful tale filmed in Grand Teton National Park. This movie chronicles the journey of a weary gunfighter attempting to settle down with a homestead family, but must first deal with rancher conflicts before doing so.
“We felt it appropriate to end the Centennial Film Festival with a homestead themed movie. We hope you have had as much fun with the films this year as we have,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Final Film Festival showing:
2:00 p.m. February 27& 28  Shane
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 16 February, 2016

Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival Prize Money Raised to $3,350!

Musicians will be competing for a record $3,350 at this year’s Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival.  Music fans will be able to listen to and watch musicians; fiddlers and acoustic bands, as they compete at this year’s music festival, held at Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice, Nebraska, Saturday, May 28, 2016.   The money will be spread over four categories; The Legends Division for the previous winners, Senior and Junior Divisions and the Acoustic Band Category. 

Contestants, fans and family are all invited to spend the day at Homestead National Monument of America for this free event.  While at this National Monument you can explore interactive museum areas, hike trails, spend time in historic buildings or do many other fun activities; all free.  Food will be sold during this music festival.  

Mark Engler, Homestead Superintendent states “The music performances at this event are unbelievable!  When you have musicians competing for this kind of prize money you should anticipate a great and fun day at Homestead. The music is coupled with early American traditions that will be shared.  Mark your calendars now and plan to be here May 28th.”

Providing financial support for this music festival is the Coffin Family Foundation, Nebraska Arts Council and Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska or 45 miles south of Lincoln, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

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Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 05 February, 2016

Homestead National Monument of America Asks for YOUR Ideas

Help Homestead National Monument of America plan for the future!  Homestead is embarking on the development of a new Long Range Interpretive Plan during the fourth week of February.  This plan will establish a vision for interpretation (ranger programs, events, exhibits) and education programs for the next 5-10 years.  What does Homestead do well?  What could they change? How do we engage new audiences and build the next generation of park supporters?  What role will technology play and how can we take advantage of it?

You are invited to a public meeting on Thursday evening, February 25, 2016 from 5-7 p.m. at the Education Center.  Bring your family, friends and neighbors to hear about the plan and share your ideas.

“We would like to hear from you about what Homestead does well, what you think we should change, and how we can remain relevant to future generations,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 28 January, 2016

Centennial Film Festival Continues with "Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid" at Homestead National Monument of America!

Join us Saturday and Sunday, February 6 and 7, 2016, at 2 p.m. for the next installment of the Centennial Film Festival at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center. This centennial year the festival is featuring popular movies filmed at National Park Service sites across America.

February 6 and 7 the festival will showcase Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, “a 1969 western that tells the story of Wild West outlaws who are on the run from a U.S. posse after several train robberies.” The American Film Institute ranked Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as the 49th-greatest American film on its AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) list.

“The Homestead Centennial Celebration continues with this exciting movie, complete with spectacular scenery of the American Southwest, including Zion National Park,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Film Festival Schedule (weekends through February):
2:00 p.m. February 6 & 7     Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid
2:00 p.m. February 13 & 14    Escape from Alcatraz
2:00 p.m. February 20 & 21    Taps
2:00 p.m. February 27& 28     Shane
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 15 January, 2016

Join Master Naturalists Exploring the Winter Outdoors and
Earn a Special Centennial Junior Ranger Badge
at Homestead National Monument of America

Join Nebraska Master Naturalists in an outdoor adventure at Homestead National Monument of America on Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 1 p.m. Meet at the Education Center and dress to for the weather.  Activities will take place both indoors and outdoors.  Children attending this event can earn a special wooden Centennial Junior Ranger badge! 

This hike will give participants the opportunity to learn about mammals of the tallgrass prairie with hands-on activities that are both educational and fun.  The Master Naturalists are state certified and will lead youth in an investigation of mammal habits and tracks.

“The Centennial of the National Park Service is here and during this year there will be opportunities to engage in unique activities.  This Junior Ranger event is one of those.  There are a limited number of wooden Centennial Junior Ranger badges so be sure to come to get yours,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 12 January, 2016

Now Accepting Applications for 2016 Centennial Artists-in-Residence
Program at Homestead National Monument of America

Through the end of January the Artist-in-Residence program at Homestead National Monument of America is accepting applications for the 2016 season.  Professional artists (fine art painters, sculptors, fine art photographers, performers, writers, video/filmmakers, composers, etc.) are invited to spend a period of time working on their artwork and living in park housing. These artists channel their individual talent into one-of-a-kind pieces inspired by the homestead story and park environment. The opportunity to live and work at Homestead National Monument of America benefits the selected artist as well as those who will experience their artwork today and in the future.

This will be the eighth year for the program at Homestead.  Artists over the last few years have ranged from classic painters and origami paper artists, to video gamers and playwrights.  “In this Centennial year of the National Park Service we are seeking applicants to partner with us in exploring our homesteading themes, but also NPS Centennial themes of connecting the next generation to national parks,” state Superintendent Mark Engler.

We welcome artists of any medium, such as visual and performing artists, composers, and writers. Residency periods are about 2 weeks long, and take place during the months of March through October. Housing will be provided at or near the park; we can most easily accommodate artists seeking spring and fall residencies. Visit http://www.nps.gov/home/getinvolved/supportyourpark/artist-in-residence-program.htm for specific information on residency requirements and application details, or call the monument at 402-223-3514.  The 2016 line up of artists will be selected by mid-February.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 11 January, 2016

Homestead National Monument of America to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In recognition of the upcoming Martin Luther King Day holiday, Monday January 18, 2016, Homestead National Monument of America will show Sisters of Selma, a film about allies in the civil rights cause, at 2 p.m. at Homestead’s Education Center.  

During the civil rights marches of 1965 in Selma, Alabama, a startling new group of leaders joined the battle for civil rights: Catholic nuns of all races. Nine nuns look back at the events that changed their lives and helped make Selma a turning point for Martin Luther King's movement and for all Americans.

“Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time when we can reflect upon our nation’s journey with civil rights.  This film inspires that reflection,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 08 January, 2016

The Velma Armstrong Homestead Collection at Homestead National Monument of America!

Experience the spirit of frontier Nebraska by visiting the Velma Armstrong Homestead Collection on display January through April 2016, at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center. Velma Armstrong’s Homestead Collection includes 10 paintings of Nebraska frontier life that were inspired by her parent’s experiences and recollections as homesteaders in the late nineteenth century. Her paintings depict pastoral imagery, agricultural scenes, and the interior lives of early settlers. 

Velma Armstrong was a Nebraska native from near Diller, Nebraska, living from 1913 to 2006. She grew up on a successful homestead before moving to Beatrice, Nebraska to teach, raise a family, and practice her art. She gained regional notoriety in the 1950s for her paintings of frontier life. Homestead National Monument of America acquired the collection in 1961 in preparation for the Homestead Act Centennial and grand opening of a new park visitor center in 1962. From 1962 to 2007, the works by the Nebraskan artist were enjoyed by hundreds of thousands visiting the park. This is the first time the works have been on public display since 2010.

“We hope, for some of you, these paintings will bring back pleasant memories of previous visits to Homestead National Monument of America” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 30 November, 2015

Winter Film Festival Features Popular Movies Filmed
At National Park Across America!

And now, for the feature presentation! Join us for the Centennial Film Festival each weekend in January and February of 2016, at 2:00 p.m., in the Homestead National Monument of America Education Center. This year will feature popular movies filmed at National Park Service sites across America.

The premiere of the film festival will showcase Grand Canyon Adventures, “a documentary about a 15-day river-rafting trip on the Colorado River aimed at highlighting water conservation issues.” This film will screen Saturday January 2 and Sunday January 3, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. in the Education Center at Homestead National Monument of America.

“This fun series of films is part of Homestead’s Centennial Celebration. We look forward to sharing these films with all of you,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Film Festival Schedule:
2:00 p.m. January 2 & 3          Grand Canyon Adventures
2:00 p.m. January 9 & 10        Dances With Wolves
2:00 p.m. January 16 & 17      Far and Away
2:00 p.m. January 23 & 24      Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
2:00 p.m. January 30 & 31      Grapes of Wrath
2:00 p.m. February 6 & 7        Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid
2:00 p.m. February 13 & 14    Escape from Alcatraz
2:00 p.m. February 20 & 21    Taps
2:00 p.m. February 27& 28     Shane
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The park buildings will be closed on November 26, December 24 at 1 p.m. through December 25 (reopen on December 26 at 9 a.m.) and January 1, but the trails will be open from dawn to dusk. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 29 November, 2015

2016 Programs Scheduled to Celebrate the National Park Service Centennial
at Homestead National Monument of America

For 100 years, the National Park Service has been “preserving unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.” As we enter the 2016 Centennial, Homestead National Monument of America invites you to partake in a wide variety of exceptional and diverse events throughout the year.

Featured events for the 2016 season include:                                                                                    
·“Lift Every Voice: Black Experience in the Heartland,” a play that connects visitors to powerful stories of African American struggle and achievement, and introduces them to the National Parks that help preserve those stories will visit the park in March.
·Kids will gather around for the Heartland Storytelling Festival where renowned storytellers will tell their tales of history and adventure in March.
·“Catherland” a musical production, in conjunction with the Lied Center for Performing Arts “Arts Across Nebraska” program will be making a stop in April.
·The Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival will return in May for individuals of all ages to watch and compete for thousands of dollars in prizes.
·Homestead Days continues the 3 day traditions of homesteading demonstrations, music, special guest presenters and more in June.   
·The Centennial Campfire Concert series will bring beloved musical talent to the monument on Saturdays in July and August.
·Have a howling good time in October at Howling Homestead as it takes you through entertaining and intriguing activities, like learning about bats, snakes, raptors and predators.
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (HomesteadNM).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 25 November, 2015

Bell Choir to Perform at Old Fashioned Tree Decorating During
the Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures Homestead National Monument of America

Learn about the decorations of different cultures and participate in an old-fashioned tree decorating at Homestead National Monument of America’s Heritage Center on Sunday, December 6, 2015 at 2 p.m. A special performance by the United Centenary Adult Bell Choir opens the event. Visitors will make ornaments from several different cultures and then decorate the tree, plus take a few decorations home for their own trees.  The Friends of Homestead will provide refreshments.

The holiday tree being decorated is a 12 foot artificial Vermont White Spruce. It will sit in the Heritage Center lobby towering toward the peak of the Heritage Center overlooking the exhibits.

“We are excited to have the bell choir open this event. The decorating theme of this day is back at the request of visitors who missed this type of activity.” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

There will be another Winter Festival program presented at 2 p.m. on December 13, 2015 at the Heritage Center.  This program will feature Lora Black, from Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, who will do a reading from Besse Streeter Aldrich’s story about the winter barrel’s arrival and Christmas on the open plains.  Following her story, make a ragdoll to take home.

The Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures is available for viewing November 27, 2015 through January 4, 2016.  It features the winter traditions of people who lived on the Great Plains during the homesteading era.  See sparkling decorations from many countries showcasing ethnic traditions at both the Education Center and Heritage Center at Homestead National Monument of America.  Decorated trees and tabletop displays feature ornaments and hand-made crafts that reflect the spirit of hope, humor, traditions, and generosity which characterized settlers of the West. Cultures represented include Czech, French, German, Hispanic, Irish, Polish, Scottish, Swedish, and Welsh.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska or 45 miles south of Lincoln, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The park buildings will be closed on November 26, December 24 at 1 p.m. through December 25 (reopen on December 26 at 9 a.m.) and January 1, but the trails will be open from dawn to dusk. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 24 November, 2015

Traveling “Centennial” Quilt Exhibit to Visit
Homestead National Monument of America

Beatrice, NE – December is the month to visit Homestead National Monument of America and view National Parks in Quilts! Thirteen art quilts, created to celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service, will be on display from December 1 – 27, 2015 at the Homestead Education Center. Join the textile artists who created these masterpieces for a reception on December 6, from 1 – 4 p.m.

The artists belong to Fiber Works, a group of textile artists from the Lincoln-Omaha, Nebraska area. When they heard about the Centennial of the National Park Service, they wanted to be involved.  Each artist created an art quilt inspired by a different National Park Service site.  The December exhibition at Homestead National Monument of America is the first in a year long, centennial journey, of the 13 chosen parks. 

Parks on the tour include, in order of exhibition, Homestead National Monument of America in Nebraska, Joshua Tree National Park in California, Saguaro National Park in Arizona, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii, Statue of Liberty National Monument in New York, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Virginia, Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, Glacier National Park in Montana, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, Shenandoah National  Park in Virginia, Everglades National Park in Florida, and Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in Missouri.

The schedule for this exhibition can be found on the http://www.nps.gov/home/centennialquilts.htm.  Quilt enthusiasts and all visitors will be able to Find Your Park through this unique exhibit.

“Homestead is honored to have inspired one of these creations. We hope many of you will make a trip to Homestead to view National Parks in Quilts part of your holiday celebrations this year. Keep an eye out for other exciting opportunities at Homestead and in all national park areas during this centennial year.” said Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. . The park buildings will be closed on November 26, December 24 at 1 p.m. through December 25 (reopen on December 26 at 9 a.m.) and January 1, but the trails will be open from dawn to dusk.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 23 November, 2015

Lora Black From NETRadio shares a Pioneer Christmas
Story During the Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures at
Homestead National Monument of America

Lora Black from NETRadio will be reading from Bess Streeter Aldrich’s Book, A Lantern In Her Hand ,on December 13, 2015, at 2 p.m. at Homestead National Monument of America’s Heritage Center.  The stories describe the winter barrel’s arrival and Christmas on the open plains.  Following the readings, volunteers will assist children of all ages in making a ragdoll like the one in the story.

Lora Black has worked at Nebraska Educational Telecommunications for 24 years. She started out on weekend mornings and now is the host of Afternoon Concert and Classics by Request.  Black recorded stories from Bess Streeter Aldrich’s Journey Into Christmas several years ago.  “We are excited for Lora Black’s return to this event. Sharing Christmas stories is a wonderful way to spend time together over the holidays.” stated Superintendent Mark Engler. 

See sparkling decorations from many countries showcasing ethnic traditions at both the Education Center and Heritage Centers at Homestead National Monument of America, from November 27, 2015 through January 4, 2016. The Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures features the winter traditions of people who lived on the Great Plains during the homesteading era.  Decorated trees and tabletop displays feature ornaments and hand-made crafts that reflect the spirit of hope, humor, traditions, and generosity which characterized settlers of the West. Cultures represented include Czech, French, German, Hispanic, Irish, Polish, Scottish, Swedish, and Welsh.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska or 45 miles south of Lincoln, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The park buildings will be closed on November 26, December 24 at 1 p.m. through December 25 (reopen on December 26 at 9 a.m.) and January 1, but the trails will be open from dawn to dusk.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 16 November, 2015

“die singenden wanderers” German Singer
perform for Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures
at Homestead National Monument of America

Enjoy the melodies and high energy musical antics of “die singenden wanderers” German-American men’s choir from the German-American Society in Omaha on November 29, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Homestead’s Education Center. The group will sing in both German and English.  They have a lively repertoire of music and will get the audience involved.

This group of men performs at the German-American Society in Omaha events and tour groups that come through the Omaha area.  They also compete in contests in Germany.  They are very talented and make their concerts a lot of fun, with antics that involve the audience. “We are very excited to have this group back for the Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures. We often get requests for them and know the public will have a great time” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

See sparkling decorations from many countries showcasing ethnic traditions at both the Education Center and Heritage Center at Homestead National Monument of America, from November 27, 2015 through January 4, 2016. The Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures features the winter traditions of people who lived on the Great Plains during the homesteading era.  Decorated trees and tabletop displays feature ornaments and hand-made crafts that reflect the spirit of hope, humor, traditions, and generosity which characterized settlers of the West. Cultures represented include Czech, French, German, Hispanic, Irish, Polish, Scottish, Swedish, and Welsh.

In addition to the displays, there will be more special programs presented on December 6 and 13, 2015.  These include:

December 6           “Old Fashioned Holiday” with a special performance by the United Centenary Adult Bell Choir at 2 p.m. (Heritage Center) Come make holiday ornaments featuring several different cultures and help decorate the large tree in the Heritage Center, plus take a few home for your own tree. 

December 13         “A Lantern in Her Hand” by Lora Black 2 p.m. (Heritage Center) Lora Black, from Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, will do a reading from the Bess Streeter Aldrich’s book “A Lantern in Her Hand”, featuring the story of the winter barrel homesteaders received with vital items to survive the winter and make the holidays better.  After the reading, make a rag doll similar to the one in the story with the Homestead volunteers.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska or 45 miles south of Lincoln, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The park buildings will be closed on November 26, December 25 and January 1, but the trails will be open from dawn to dusk. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 13 November, 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend Exploring – Junior Ranger Style
at Homestead National Monument of America

Hey kids!  Get out of the house Thanksgiving weekend and bring your whole family to Homestead National Monument of America, November 27 – 29, 2015, for some Junior Ranger exploring! The Homestead Junior Ranger Activity Booklet includes a scavenger hunt, kid’s bingo and more – pick one up at the Homestead Heritage Center or Education Center.  Although it is designed for children ages five to twelve, anyone is welcome to try. The more you explore the monument, the more pages you can finish! It’s a great way to involve the whole family, see some cool stuff, and hike off that Thanksgiving turkey.  Finish the activities and become a Junior Park Ranger for Homestead National Monument of America! You will get a certificate, “Junior Park Ranger” badge, and wristband.   Come on Saturday, November 28, 2015, and go on a special Junior Ranger hike with a ranger.  Meet at the Education Center at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. to learn more about Homestead, the tallgrass prairie and do a fun art activity. 

There are all kinds of things to see and do at Homestead National Monument of America. Stop by the Homestead Education Center to see the Homestead in Origami exhibit.  Artist Linda Stephen “paints” landscapes with paper folded into amazing shapes. If you’re into birds, check out a free Nature Pack from the Heritage Center and go find some feathered visitors at Homestead. Take a look at the Palmer-Epard Cabin near the Heritage Center.  It is an authentic homesteader cabin, built in 1867.  Can you imagine living in there with your whole family?

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015 and the National Park Service Centennial in 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 12 November, 2015

Honoring 100 Years of the National Park Service-Textile Style
Traveling Quilt Exhibit to Visit Homestead National Monument of America

Beatrice, NE – Homestead National Monument of America will be displaying 13 art quilts, created to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service, during December, 2015 at the Homestead Education Center. The exhibition, National Parks in Quilts,  will open, December 1, 2015, with a reception on December 6, at 2:00 p.m.  The quilts will remain on exhibition through Sunday, December 27, 2015.  The quilts were created by Fiber Works, a group of textile artists from the Lincoln-Omaha, Nebraska area.  The artists were inspired by their favorite national park site. The quilts are on a year-long tour of the 13 chosen parks.  From Homestead the quilts will travel to Joshua Tree National Park, California.

“The National Park system is a gift to all Americans.  For one hundred years places of historical significance, structures of great merit and many of the natural wonders of our country have been preserved and protected.  The National Park system is a symbol of what it means to be an American.  We each felt moved by our chosen park or monument to design a piece of fiber art to represent it.  We hope others will enjoy viewing the pieces we have created from our hearts” stated Cynthia Levis of Fiber Works.

Parks on the tour include, in order of exhibition, Homestead National Monument of America in Nebraska, Joshua Tree National Park in California, Saguaro National Park in Arizona, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii, Statue of Liberty National Monument in New York, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Virginia, Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, Glacier National Park in Montana, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, Shenandoah National  Park in Virginia, Everglades National Park in Florida, and Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in Missouri.

The schedule for this exhibition can be found on the www.nps.gov/home/centennialquilts.  Quilt enthusiasts and all visitors will be able to Find Your Park through this unique exhibit.

“Quilting has long been a mainstay of self-sufficiency; homesteaders had to take advantage of all of their resources. Yet they found ways to make recycled products beautiful.  Today quilting isn’t as much about recycling, but has grown into an amazing art form, incorporating modern and traditional techniques. Homestead is honored to have inspired one of these creations,” said Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015 and the Centennial of the National Park Service in 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 10 November, 2015

Holiday Hours Announced at Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America’s visitor centers will be closed on the following fall/winter holidays: Thursday November 26, 2015; Friday  December 25, 2015; and Friday  January 1, 2016.  Homestead National Monument of America will remain open all other days during the holiday season for those who wish to explore the Homestead Heritage and Education Centers, view Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures and National Parks in Quilts displays, or shop for unique gifts. 

The grounds and parking lots are open from dawn to dusk every day, including holidays when facilities are closed. All are welcome to park at either building and enjoy walking or skiing the trails. 

Junior Ranger fun can be had at Homestead over Thanksgiving weekend, November 27 – 29, 2015!  Kids and their families are encouraged to visit and become Junior Rangers for Homestead National Monument of America.  The Junior Ranger program is a fun, self-guided way to learn about natural and cultural history of this unique place.  Ask for a Junior Ranger booklet at either visitor center, fill out the pages as you visit the monument, and earn a Junior Park Ranger badge!  In addition, special Junior Ranger hikes will be offered on Saturday, November 26, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. – meet the ranger at the Education Center.

Visit the Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures, featured through Wednesday, December 31.  Exhibits on the winter and holiday traditions of various Great Plains ethnic and cultural groups are on display at both the Heritage Center and Education Center. “We invite everyone to visit before the New Year to see the festive Winter Festival displays. They’re sure to share some world traditions and get you into the holiday spirit!” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Help Homestead celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service by visiting National Parks in Quilts, a quilt exhibition at Homestead’s Education Center December 1 through December 27, 2015.  Created by fiber artists from the Lincoln/Omaha area, 13 quilts, each inspired by a different National Park Service site, will be on display. 

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

 

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 30 October, 2015

Homestead National Monument of America to Host Stop on the
American Solar Challenge during 2016 National Park Service Centennial
1,800-mile solar car rally to visit 9 National Park Service sites

Beatrice, NE – Homestead National Monument of America is proud to support science innovation and celebrate the National Park Service Centennial by hosting a stop on the American Solar Challenge on August 4, 2016.  University teams from around the world will design and build solar-powered cars, and drive them 1,800 miles on the open road during an 8-day rally. 

This entire National Park Service Centennial event will take place from July 30 to August 6, 2016.  Over the course of the rally, the cars will stop at nine different National Park Service sites in seven states, including Homestead National Monument of America.  Homestead will be a rally stop on August 4, 2016.  The cars will be traveling from Topeka, Kansas on their way to Scottsbluff, Nebraska; they will stop at Homestead to recharge. Visitors are invited to see the cars and talk to the drivers while at Homestead and enjoy other activities offered the day of the rally stop, including a traveling exhibit and various booths at an Environmental Expo. 

As part of the 2016 Centennial, the National Park Service has challenged itself to provide more research and education around the effects of climate change on national park resources.  Among other things, the Green Parks Program encourages walking, biking, ride-sharing, and use of fuel-efficient or alternative-fuel vehicles.  The American Solar Challenge highlights these efforts by bringing solar-powered cars to parks.

“We are glad to welcome this unique event to Homestead National Monument of America.  The American Solar Challenge staff, volunteers, teams, and visitors will get a chance to explore spectacular park resources, see cool cars that use innovative solar technology, and learn more about National Park Service efforts to reduce impacts on the environment.”  stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Every two years, the Innovators Educational Foundation organizes the American Solar Challenge, which is a collegiate student design competition to design, build, and drive solar-powered vehicles in a cross-country time/distance rally event.  “We’re looking forward to the American Solar Challenge 2016 being part of the National Park Service Centennial and bringing the solar cars to 9 national park locations across the Midwest. We hope visitors will take this opportunity to see the solar cars, meet the teams, and find their park,” says Event Organizer, Gail Lueck.

The American Solar Challenge will begin at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio on July 30, 2016 and end in Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota on August 6, 2016.  Midway stops include Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, Homestead National Monument of America (August 4, 2016), and Scotts Bluff National Monument.  More information is available on the American Solar Challenge website.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015 and 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America). You can find more special experiences offered at national parks during this centennial year at FindYourPark.com.

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 30 October, 2015

Wanted: Volunteers to Harvest Native Seed at
Homestead National Monument of America

You can help Homestead National Monument of America reach two goals – increase the number of volunteers by 1,000 between now and September 2016, and collect native seed from the prairie!  On two Saturdays in November, 7th and 14th, at 1:00 p.m. you are invited to volunteer at Homestead National Monument of America to help collect native seed while discovering the amazing diversity of the tallgrass prairie.  Meet at the Education Center for a short orientation to learn about the species that will be collected, then move out onto the prairie to help harvest seed.  Some of the prairie grasses were over 10 feet tall this year! The locally collected native prairie seed will be used in maintenance and restoration projects. The seed collection will last until about 3 p.m.  All ages are welcome; please wear long pants and long sleeve shirts along with sturdy shoes as you will be walking through the prairie.

“One of the ways the National Park Service is celebrating 100 years of Service to the public is by encouraging more of the public to volunteer. Volunteering is a great way for you to Find Your Park and get connected to a National Park Service site, so please join us for this exciting event and learn more about the wonderful diversity of the tallgrass prairie and what you can do to protect this vanishing resource,” stated Homestead Superintendent Mark Engler.

Please call the monument at 402-223-3514 the day of the event if it is rainy or snowing to see if the event has been cancelled.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015 and 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 30 October, 2015

“Standing Bear’s Footsteps” Film Screening and
Speakers Celebrate American Indian Heritage Month at
Homestead National Monument of America

In celebration of National American Indian Heritage Month, Homestead National Monument of America is honored to screen the film “Standing Bear’s Footsteps” on Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 2 p.m at Homestead’s Education Center. Following the film, the film’s producer Christine Lesiak, and the principal consultant for the film, Judi gaiashkibos, will provide commentary. 

“Standing Bear’s Footsteps” highlights the Ponca Chief Standing Bear’s struggle to honor his dying son’s last wish to be buried in his homeland (Nebraska) in 1877. This honorable act ended with Standing Bear successfully arguing before the Nebraska Supreme Court that Native Americans are "persons within the meaning of the law". This documentary interweaves storytellers, re-creations and present-day scenes to explore a little-known chapter in American history.

The featured speakers include Christine Lesiak and Judy gaiashkibos.  Lesiak, the film’s producer, is an Emmy®-nominated, Peabody award-winning producer with NET Television. Over the past 30 years, Lesiak’s documentaries have been broadcast on PBS and featured in the American Experience and American Masters series. Judy gaiashkibos, the principal consultant for the film, is the Executive Director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs and adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

“Homestead National Monument of America is honored to showcase this important Native American story and excited to host Ms. Lesiak and Ms gaiashkibos to learn more about Standing Bear and the struggle for Native American civil rights” said Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit www.nps.gov/home.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 16 October, 2015

200 visitors from 20 states and Linda Stephen Create Art
at Homestead National Monument of America

Origami artist Linda Stephen will unveil the result of her artist residency at Homestead National Monument of America on Sunday, November 1, 2015 with an opening reception and artist talk from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Education Center. She will introduce her Homestead series of origami collages including collaborative art she created with 200 visitors from 20 states. It shows the tallgrass prairie wildflowers and historic landscapes all made from folded paper.

Stephen is a self-taught paper artist who grew up in Michigan, studied at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities, and was once honored as one of the top 10 graduates in the state by Michigan Woman magazine.

Her origami landscapes are part of more than 100 collections across the U.S. and Japan including the Mayor’s Collection for the City of Omihachiman, Japan to the JW Marriott Hotel’s “Sister City” Collection in Grand Rapids, Mich. Recent projects include TV commercials for Tobacco Free Nebraska (origami dollar bills), and a solo exhibit at the Nebraska Arts Council’s Fred Simon Gallery.

Linda Stephen has more than 25 years of experience in origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. Fluent in Japanese and passionate about Japanese paper, Linda lived in castle towns in rural Japan for seven years studying Japanese art and language and working as a teacher and translator. After 9/11, while living in New York, Linda started making custom origami and kirigami art. In 2004, she began making larger commissioned landscape art first for private collectors and then for hotels, public buildings, and corporations.

“We are excited Linda is coming back to share and explain the work she did while at Homestead. She is a talented artist and we are anxious to have her work on display after being at the Nebraska Governor’s Mansion,” said Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), and Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 15 October, 2015

Homestead National Monument Honors Volunteers and
Catherine Berger Named Volunteer of the Year

Homestead National Monument of America recognized its volunteers on Sunday, October 11, 2015.  Around 650 volunteers provided 23,000 plus hours of service in the last year.  Ten people provided over 250 hours; 100 provided over 100 hours; 46 provided over 50 hours; and 74 provided over 25 hours.  Each year one person is recognized as the Volunteer of the Year based on having the most impact to the park as a whole.  The 2015 Volunteer of the Year was Catherine Berger.

Catherine Berger has shown great organizational and leadership skills from a past career as a manager of a newspaper to organize a promotional plan for a 200 miles radius of Homestead National Monument of America for the Homestead Quarter Launch. She is a tireless ambassador promoting Homestead National Monument of America.  She led volunteers in teaching a cornhusk doll activity to participants on bus tours that visited Homestead National Monument of America.  She is active in many events and activities throughout the year.

“Volunteers are a vital part of the operation at Homestead National Monument of America.  The programs we offer and the projects completed are dependent on assistance from our volunteers. Their hours are equivalent to 11 full time employees.  Homestead National Monument of America has 13 full time employees so this shows the magnitude of their service and how valuable they are to the operation at Homestead National Monument of America.” stated monument Superintendent Mark Engler. 

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has many exciting events planned. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 14 October, 2015

Daughters of the American Revolution Continue Preserving
the History of Homestead National Monument of America

The Nebraska Daughters of the America Revolution (DAR) recently donated a conservation quality dress form to Homestead National Monument of America.  This dress form will allow Homestead National Monument of America to properly display women’s clothing for the public to see. There is a sizable collection of women’s clothing in the museum collection at Homestead. Thanks to the efforts of the DAR these items can be displayed for all visitors to see. This project was headed by Jackie Ohlmann, Honorary State Regent.

On October 1st members of DAR were at Homestead to celebrate this new dress form that is currently on display, with a Victorian dress.  This dress exhibit can be found in the monument’s open curatorial exhibit area at the Homestead Heritage Center.  Six DAR members were able to attend from all across the state: State Vice Regent Connie Plettner, Honorary State Regent Beth Haring, Honorary State Regent Jackie Ohlmann, Reavis Ashley Chapter regent Leota Uhri, Ann Mosere, and Sandy Mittelsteadt.

Even before there was a Homestead National Monument of America the Daughters of the American Revolution had a hand in preserving the story of homesteading. In 1925 after the first attempt at creating a national monument failed the DAR placed a stone monument on Daniel Freeman’s plot of land commemorating it as the first homestead filed under the Homestead Act of 1862. Over the last ten years the DAR has provided funding for a variety of projects, including digitizing and transcribing oral histories that Homestead National Monument of America collected over the years.

“The Daughters of the American Revolution are dedicated to historic preservation. As the granddaughter of Nebraska homesteaders it was easy for me to select support of the Homestead National Monument of America for my state regent's project. Soon after becoming Nebraska State Regent in August 2012 I communicated with Blake Bell, historian at the monument. He expressed the need for digitizing oral histories. The Nebraska Daughters gave overwhelming support to the project to the extent that we had sufficient funds to also donate the dress form. It has been a pleasure to work with Mr. Engler, Blake Bell, Andrea Bornemeier and Amy Neumann on these projects as together we work toward education and the preservation of homesteading history.”  stated Jacqueline Ohlmann. 

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015 and 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Possible Capition:  Homestead National Monument of America staff and members of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) admire the dress form donated to Homestead by the DAR.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 13 October, 2015

Prepare for Fun at Howling Homestead With Bats, Bugs and Astronomy Club at Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America has the countdown rolling for Howling Homestead 2015! This annual event will kick off at 6:00 p.m. on October 24, 2015 at the Homestead Heritage Center. Register for the evening’s events upon arrival and if you are one of the first 100 kids, you can receive a FREE pumpkin!

Joining us for this evening of activities, cookies and hot cider: our very own Midwest Archaeological Center from Lincoln; members of the Beatrice Public Schools acting and singing; University of Nebraska students with bat and insect activities and demonstrations; the Prairie Astronomy Club bring stars to Earth; Master Naturalists with animal furs and skulls as well as the Raptor Recovery Center with feathered friends!

Many of the evening activities will be outdoors, so please dress for cool weather. We won’t try to be scary. The event is appropriate for all ages. Please leave your costumes at home.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 09 October, 2015

Homestead National Monument of America Reschedules Prescribed Burn

Homestead National Monument of America will conduct a prescribed burn on approximately 30 acres of restored tallgrass prairie. This one day event will occur the first day in which favorable and safe conditions exist between October 13 and November 6, 2015.  A fall burn is being attempted due to wet weather conditions which caused the cancelation of the burn originally planned for the spring of 2015.   Representatives from the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service and local firefighters and departments will assist in setting, monitoring and controlling the prescribed fire. 

“Historically, fire has been a tool in the management of the prairie at Homestead National Monument of America.” said Mark Engler, Superintendent of Homestead National Monument of America.  “Today, the National Park Service conducts carefully planned prescribed fires to control woody plants, invasive species, as well as reduce thatch. Though fire is often considered to be inherently dangerous, it is a natural occurrence that holds many benefits for the native prairie grasses.  We are grateful for the assistance from local firefighters, fire departments and other federal agencies on our prescribed burn.”

The 3.0 miles of trails within the monument will be temporarily closed during the prescribed burn and will reopen as soon as it is deemed safe. Travelers on State Hwy 4 should use extra caution if traveling through the monument while the burn is occurring. The public is invited to view the burn from the Heritage Center patio.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015.  Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (Homestead NM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS). You can also stop into the park and get a schedule of events. For information on the Monument’s programs or activities, please call (402) 223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska.  Current hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the weekends. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 06 October, 2015

Save the Date!
Howling Homestead at Homestead National Monument of America

Mark on your calendar for October 24, 2015, at 6 p.m.for Howling Homestead at Homestead National Monument of America's Heritage Center! This fun, annual event is great for the whole family.  Come learn about the real critters that sometimes make Halloween scary, like bugs, bats, coyotes, and owls.  Look through telescopes at amazing stars and planets, learn about archeology, and hear some wonderful homesteading stories.   Register for this free event upon arrival.  Designated groups will rotate through stations over the course two hours. The final group ends at 9 pm.

If you can be one of the first 100 kids, you can pick out your very own pumpkin, thanks to a generous donation from Friends of Homestead. There will be hot apple cider and yummy cookies for everyone. Many of the evening activities will be outdoors, so please dress for cool weather. We won’t try to be scary. The event is appropriate for all ages. Please leave your costumes at home.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2014. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 01 October, 2015

Let the Hedge Apple Games Begin
at Homestead National Monument of America!

Let the hedge apple games begin! Join park rangers and volunteers at Homestead National Monument of America on Sunday, October 4, 2015 from 2-4 p.m. to have fun with hedge apples at the Hedge Apple Festival! This fun event will begin with hedge apple crafts and contest at 2 p.m. at the Heritage Center. See who creates the most exciting and unique creation using the provided hedge apples and craft supplies! After that, kids and visitors of all ages can join in on the Homestead Hedge Apple “Olympics,” a series of fun activities outside near the Palmer-Epard Cabin. Games will include a hedge apple on a spoon race, hedge apple bucket toss, and more! This event is free and offers exciting fun for the whole family!

“This event highlights the monument’s Osage orange hedgerow which is a key piece of the historic landscape. It also gives us all a chance to be creative and have some fun!” said Superintendent Mark Engler.  

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Instagram (HomesteadNPS), and Facebook (Homestead NM).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, or 45 miles south of Lincoln, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 29 September, 2015

Heritage Highway "Trail of Treasures" Event This Weekend

Tourism promoters along Nebraska’s Heritage Highway 136 in southeastern Nebraska are planning a fourth flea market event along the byway, scheduled for this weekend, October 2-4. Several communities are planning garage sales including Brownville, Auburn, Tecumseh, Pawnee City, Beatrice, Harbine, Fairbury, Deshler, Red Cloud, Holbrook, Riverton, Franklin and Republican City.

For shopper guides, maps and information call Bobbie Meints, coordinator, at (402) 239-2409. Information about the “Trail of Treasures” flea market event can also be found at www.HeritageHighwayFleaMarket.com.

Nebraska’s Heritage Highway is a 238-mile stretch of Nebraska Highway 136 extending from historic Brownville along the banks of the Missouri River westward to Edison.  The Heritage Highway was designated a state scenic byway by Governor Mike Johanns in 1999, one of nine scenic byways in the state of Nebraska.

For more information about Nebraska’s Heritage Highway and its programs and activities, log on to www.HeritageHighway.com.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 29 September, 2015

2015 Architectural Elements Contest Winner Announced
Congratulations to Sharon Kettelhut of Fairbury, Nebraska

September 2015 - "Architectural Elements" - the beautiful and unique details that can be found on Fairbury’s oldest buildings were the subject of the fifth annual Architectural Elements Contest. To celebrate Fairbury’s beautiful architecture and to raise awareness of the unique elements present in various buildings around the square and in the downtown historic district, Fairbury.com sponsored a contest in which citizens could view photographs of architectural details and match them to the buildings to which they belong.

Twenty-four photos were included in the contest and a drawing was held. Sharon Kettelhut was the winner of a prize package worth over $300, including one night’s stay at Fairbury Executive Suites, two tickets to the Fairbury First Friday Art Walk & Wine Tasting event, lunch for two at Main Street Coffee House, a gift basket from Sims Florist & Gifts, a gift certificate to Stagecoach Mall Antiques & Tasting Room, a pictorial history book courtesy of the Fairbury Chamber of Commerce, and a spa treatment from Pure Sérénité Spa.

“People really enjoyed playing the game. It really caused them to look more closely at the buildings we see every day, and we are excited to plan another contest for the summer of 2016,” according to Julie Katz, president of Fairbury.com.

Even though the contest is over, you can still play the game here: www.fairbury.com/pages/history/architectural-elements-fairbury-nebraska.html.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 28 September, 2015

Volunteers Wanted for Prairie Work Day –
Help Harvest Native Prairie Seed
at Homestead National Monument of America

If you haven’t noticed, it’s harvest time!  Volunteers are needed to help harvest native prairie seeds at Homestead National Monument of America on Saturday, October 3, 2015 from 9:30 am – noon.  Fall is an amazing time to visit the tallgrass prairie at Homestead National Monument of America. The grasses are at their peak height – up to 11 feet in some places this year!  It’s also the time to collect native grass and flower seeds that will be used in maintenance and restoration projects at the monument.  Meet at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center for a short orientation to learn about the species that will be collected, then move out onto the prairie to help harvest seed. All ages are welcome; please bring gloves and wear long pants and long sleeve shirts along with sturdy shoes as you will be walking through the prairie.

“Volunteering is a great way for you to get connected to your National Park Service site, so please join us for this exciting event and learn more about the wonderful diversity of the tallgrass prairie and what you can do to help protect this vanishing resource,” stated Homestead Superintendent Mark Engler.

Please call the monument at 402-223-3514 the day of the event if it is rainy to see if the event has been cancelled.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015 and 2016. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m on weekends. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 24 September, 2015

Laura Ingalls Wilder Book Signing and Discussion
at Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America is the place to be for Laura Ingalls Wilder fans on October 4, 2015 at 2 p.m.  Award winning author Pamela Smith Hill will discuss her latest book, “Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder” at Homestead’s Education Center.

Smith re-introduces readers to Laura Ingalls Wilder, the woman who defined the pioneer experience for millions of people around the world. In “Pioneer Girl”, Hill offers new insights into Wilder’s life and times. Some of Wilder’s experiences will be familiar but others will be a surprise. The book spent several weeks on the New York Times best-seller list after its release on Nov. 17, 2014.

“We are pleased to be able to have this Wilder scholar with us to share her insights into this beloved author. Her family’s homesteading experiences, both real and imagined, have helped millions of readers begin to understand the importance of homesteading to this nation,” said Superintendent Mark Engler.

Smith’s books:  Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writers Life can be purchased at the Homestead National Monument of America Bookstores. 

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 23 September, 2015

Performance Artist Program, Photography Workshop,
and Star/Lunar Eclipse Party
at Homestead National Monument of America

Sunday September 27, 2015 will be a fun and busy day at Homestead National Monument of America!  Come and join us for performance art, photography and a star party.

Events will start at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 27, at the Education Center, with artist-in-residence Michael Cansfield presenting a program on his residency at Homestead National Monument of America. Michael is researching the stories of early homesteaders and writing a play based on homesteader's experiences. Michael will discuss his research and writing processes and share passages from homesteading stories uncovered during his research.

From 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., also at the Education Center, you are welcome to join Eric Fowler, regional editor for NEBRASKAland magazine, for a photography workshop.  Loaner cameras will be available for use following Fowler’s presentation, courtesy Lincoln Camera Club.  Pictures will be downloaded for visitors to take home with them.

The day will wrap up with a Star/Lunar Eclipse party from 8 – 11 p.m. at the parking lot of the Heritage Center.  The Lincoln Prairie Astronomy Club will be there with telescopes to help view stars and a very special total eclipse of the moon!  Bring your own chair, binoculars, and telescopes.

“We are excited about having Michael, Eric and the Prairie Astronomy Club share their art, knowledge and passions with us,” said Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), and Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 22 September, 2015

Fall Deer Survey = Public Lands Day Volunteer Opportunity
at Homestead National Monument of America

On Saturday, September 26, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. – noon, Homestead National Monument of America will participate in National Public Lands Day by offering the public the opportunity to help conduct a fall deer survey.  Meet at Homestead’s Education Center and help the monument staff count deer!  No experience is needed; just show up for a 9:30 a.m. orientation; wear long pants, long sleeved shirt, good walking shoes, and a coat appropriate for the weather.  You can be a walker or a counter - the walkers will hike approximately 3/4 of a mile through the prairie – which has grasses over 10 feet tall this year!  For those who can't or don't want to walk that far, people are needed to watch monument boundaries and count deer as they exit.  The survey will be completed by noon.  Motorists on State Highway 4 need to be alert for deer crossing the highway as they drive through the monument on the morning of Saturday, September 26, 2015.

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) - the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands – is a celebration of the work, play and learning that takes place on public lands every day. One third of America's land is in public hands, and NPLD offers everyone an opportunity to help maintain them. NPLD began in 1994 with three federal agencies and 700 volunteers. Last year, 175,000 volunteers worked in more than 2,100 locations and in every state. This year, seven federal agencies and many state and local lands participated in this annual day of caring for shared lands.

This year the National Park Service has been encouraging visitors to Find Your Park as they explore national, state and local public places.  Volunteer opportunities provided through National Public Lands Day, such as the deer survey at Homestead, provide ways for the public to have a real, hands-on “Find Your Park” experience,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015.  Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 17 September, 2015

“Blood Moon” Total Lunar Eclipse Comes to
Homestead National Monument of America!

You are invited to view a total lunar eclipse from Homestead National Monument of America on September 27, 2015 starting at 8 p.m, at the Homestead Heritage Center parking lot.  The Prairie Astronomy Club, from Lincoln, Nebraska, will be here with two telescopes to offer close ups of the moon and stars.  Bring your own chair, binoculars and dress warm. The eclipse will start at 8:07, the total eclipse occurs at 9:47, and will end by 11:27 p.m.

Some fun facts: Total lunar eclipses occur when the Sun, Earth and Moon form a straight line. The technical term for this is syzygy, which comes from the Greek word for being paired together. The Earth blocks direct sunlight from reaching the Moon and the Sun is behind the Earth, so the Sun's light casts the Earth's shadow on the Moon. This shadow covers the entire Moon and causes a total lunar eclipse.

Why a "blood moon?”  The Earth's atmosphere removes or blocks parts of the sunlight's spectrum leaving only the longer wavelengths visible, the red ones.  The amount of dust particles, water droplets, clouds and mist in the atmosphere can all have an effect on the shade of red, orange or even gold.

If you were on the moon during a total lunar eclipse, you would see a red ring around the Earth. In effect, you'll be seeing all the sunrises and sunsets taking place at that specific moment on Earth!
                                 
This particular eclipse is that it is the last of a lunar tetrad. While total lunar eclipses are usually rare, usually about four to five can be seen over a decade, every once in a while four total lunar eclipses happen in a row. This is called a lunar tetrad. The total lunar eclipses happen 6 months apart and there are at least six full Moons between two total lunar eclipses in a tetrad.

“The parking lot at the Heritage Center is a great place for moon and star viewing.  This unique phenomenon doesn’t happen often, so we hope you will join us on September 27, 2015,” said Superintendent Mark Engler.
  
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 16 September, 2015

Eric Fowler and Lincoln Camera Club to Present
at Prairie Inspirations Photography Workshop at Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America is pleased to have renowned photographer Eric Fowler talk about photography on September 27, 2015 at 2 p.m at the Homestead Education Center.  Fowler, regional editor for NEBRASKAland magazine, will talk about his work as a nature, wildlife and sports photographer to wrap up Prairie Appreciation Week at the monument. The Lincoln Camera Club will also be helping with the workshop.  They will loan cameras for participants to use out on the prairie following Fowler’s presentation.  Pictures will be downloaded for visitors to take home with them.

“We are excited about having Eric Fowler at Homestead to share his photographic knowledge and hope participants will share their photographs of the park with others,” said Superintendent Mark Engler, “The prairie is particularly beautiful this year.”

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), and Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 04 September, 2015

Find Your Park with Artist-in-Residence Carol Hartman at
Homestead National Monument of America

Carol Hartman will be the eighth artist of the 2015 Artist- in-Residence program at Homestead National Monument of America.  She will be presenting a program based on her work at the monument on September 13, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Education Center. Carol will also be demonstrating her painting all three days of the Labor Day Weekend, September 5 - 7, from 10 a.m - 4 p.m. at the Heritage Center. This is the seventh year of the monument's Artist-in-Residence program.

A native Montana and a descendant of early Montana settlers, Hartman became aware of the significance of her ties to these hardy peoples at a very early age.  After studying art at Montana State University Bozeman and California State University Fresno, she taught and directed the campus art galleries for 17 years at California State University Sacramento and California State University Fresno while exhibiting her artwork both nationally and internationally.  Six years ago she left university life to return to Montana to research homesteads and to paint full time.

“We are but passing pages in the history of this land. Pockets of memories made while growing up in rural Montana provide a critical connection to the past.”

For her residency at Homestead National Monument of America, Hartman plans to research documentation of early Montana homesteads while painting images reflecting visuals of those homesites and homesteads of the past, connecting the viewer to the hardships and the strengths of the early pioneers of those days. These oil paintings will contribute to the continuing story of the homesteads of the West.

Carol will be working throughout the area of Homestead National Monument of America, September 1 - 14, 2015.  She enjoys talking with people and welcomes sharing her art and creative abilities with all visitors. For more information about her artwork, please visit her website at www.carolhartman.biz or contact her directly at myartinstructor@aol.com

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation after Labor Day Weekend are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 02 September, 2015

Fourth Graders Can Get Their Every Kid in a Park Pass Free at Homestead National Monument of AmericaFourth Graders Can Get Their Every Kid in a Park Pass Free at Homestead National Monument of America

Every Kid in a Park is an exciting component of the National Park Service’s centennial celebration! As of September 1, 2015, fourth grade students can go to www.everykidinapark.gov to complete an activity and obtain a voucher for a FREE annual entry pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks. Homestead National Monument of America will be participating in this exciting program by issuing these free passes.

Fourth grade was selected because research shows that children ages 9 to 11 are at a unique developmental stage in their learning where they begin to understand how the world around them works in more concrete ways. They are also likely to have positive attitudes towards nature and the environment and grow into the next generation of stewards, ready to support and advocate on behalf of these natural wonders.

Once a fourth grader completes the web based activity on the Every Kid in a Park website they will need to print a voucher and bring it to a participating federal recreation site, including Homestead National Monument of America.  The student can then exchange the voucher for the FREE Annual 4th Grade Pass. The pass is good from September through August. All fourth graders including home schooled and free choice students are eligible.

“Last year we welcomed hundreds of fourth graders and their families.” said Superintendent Mark Engler.  Homestead National Monument of America offers many programs that target families and groups.  If it is visiting the Homestead Heritage Center, one of the National Park Service’s newest interactive museums, examining historic buildings, walking trails, picnicking or participating in one the many special programs or events, the entire family is sure to have a great time and it is all free to visit!  

“During the National Park Service’s centennial celebration, we want everyone to get to know their national parks, and we’re offering a special invitation to fourth graders and their families to discover everything that national parks offer,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We hope these free passes for fourth graders will introduce fourth graders, their classes, and families to our national treasures, places where they can run and play, explore and learn.”

Homestead National Monument of America has curriculum based education programs for schools that can be scheduled throughout the year.  “We are always look forward to engaging students and helping them develop their reading and writing skills while learning about the Homestead Act of 1862,” said Engler.

Teachers are encouraged to visit the Every Kid in a Park website, www.everykidinapark.gov,  for classroom activities and additional information on how they can obtain free passes for their entire classroom.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; after Labor Day hours will be 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

 

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 28 August, 2015

Car Show Sunday of Labor Day Weekend
At Homestead National Monument of America

Labor Day Weekend activities at Homestead National Monument of America will include a “Homesteading Era” original car show on Sunday September 6, 2015 from 10 am – 4 pm at the Heritage Center. Cars from the 1920s through the 1980s will be on display.  There will be people’s choice prizes by the decade. 

You are invited to come and view these vehicles, and if you have one you would like to show off, bring it along!  While registration is not necessary, please call the park at 402-223-3514 to let us know what you will be bringing. Bring a picnic lunch – there will be a snow cone vendor on site. 

“We are excited to showcase this new way to share how the Homestead Act of 1862 changed many lives.  It hastened the Industrial Revolution and started advancements in machinery, including the development of all kinds of vehicles. And it’s FREE!” said Superintendent Mark Engler.

Every day of the Labor Day weekend you can participate in living history activities such as churning butter, making corn husk dolls, candle dipping and more. Other special events include a performance by Otto Rosfeld at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center  on Saturday September 5 (2 p.m.) and a good old-fashioned spelling bee at Freeman School (10 a.m.) on Monday September 7.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 27 August, 2015

Otto Rosfeld Performance Saturday of Labor Day Weekend
At Homestead National Monument of America

Labor Day Weekend activities at Homestead National Monument of America will include a performance by Otto Rosfeld on Saturday September 5, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Education Center. Through song, stories and poems, Mr. Rosfeld will share “Treading Lightly or Stomping”, an overview of mankind’s impact on the earth. 

Otto Rosfeld was born and raised in Rushville, NE, in what is known by literary people as Sandoz country. He has a bachelor of music degree from Chadron State College. After more than 30 years as a public school teacher, Otto took early retirement to pursue full time his love for the performing arts. An independent scholar and musician, he has been performing his programs since the early 1990s.  This program is provided with support from Humanities Nebraska.

“Remember, all activities over Labor Day Weekend, and every day at Homestead National Monument of America are FREE!” said Superintendent Mark Engler.

Every day of the Labor Day weekend you can participate in living history activities such as churning butter, making corn husk dolls, candle dipping and more. Other special events include a vintage car show at Homestead National Monument of America’s Heritage Center on Sunday September 6 and a good old-fashioned spelling bee at Freeman School (10 a.m.) on Monday September 7.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 18 August, 2015

Book About Laura Ingalls Wilder Discussed by Author
at Homestead National Monument of America

Pamela Smith Hill will discuss her latest book, “Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder” on Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. at the Education Center. Wilder is one of America’s most beloved authors. Her stories of the homesteading experience have been popular since the first one was written in 1932. Prior to the Little House series she wrote “Pioneer Girl.” Hidden away since the 1930s, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s never-before-published autobiography reveals the true stories of her pioneering life.

Pamela Smith Hill’s recently released “Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder” re-introduces readers to the woman who defined the pioneer experience for millions of people around the world. Hill offers new insights into Wilder’s life and times. Some of Wilder’s experiences will be familiar but some will be a surprise. The book spent several weeks on the New York Times best-seller list after its release on Nov. 17, 2014.

“We are pleased to be able to have this Wilder scholar with us to offer insights into the similarities and differences between Wilder’s real homesteading experiences and the ones we all remember from the Little House books,” said Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 14 August, 2015

Find Your Park and Celebrate the 99th Birthday of the
National Park Service At Homestead National Monument of America

Beatrice, NE – The National Park Service is turning 99 years old on August 25 and Homestead National Monument of America wants you to join the party! Come to the park and join us for birthday cake from 1-3 pm at the Homestead Heritage Center. Visit the National Homesteading Museum and enjoy the award winning film “Land of Dreams”. 

In preparation for next year’s big centennial celebration, the National Park Service is inviting everyone to Find Your Park. To encourage people to discover everything a park experience can be, there is a fun list of 99 ways to Find Your Park.  Homestead is a great place to try # 14 – Earn a Junior Ranger badge, # 61 – Discover history around you, # 50 – Immerse yourself in a living history program over Labor Day Living History Weekend,  and # 91 – Visit for FREE on our 99th birthday and every day at Homestead.  Visitors can share their park experiences with others by posting on social media with the hashtag #FindYourPark. 

“Birthdays are a time to celebrate and we want everyone to join the party,” said Superintendent Mark Engler. “Homestead National Monument of America offers something for everyone, so I invite you to visit and Find Your Park.”

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation to create the National Park Service. Today, there are 408 national parks throughout the country and each one tells an important part of the American story. Some commemorate notable people and achievements, others conserve magnificent landscapes and natural wonders, and all provide a place to have fun and learn. And, on August 25, all national parks will offer free entrance for everyone. 

Homestead National Monument of America was established in 1936 to commemorate the Homestead Act of 1862 and its influence on the country and the world. Last year, more than 69,000 visitors enjoyed the site and added $2.4 million to the local economy and supported 33 area jobs.  

The mission of the National Park Service also extends beyond park boundaries. Community partnerships help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. To see what is happening in Nebraska go to www.nps.gov/NE.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 11 August, 2015

Main Street Beatrice, 3rd Thursdays Event in August

(Beatrice, NE) – 3rd Thursdays – August Event Community Possibilities will be hosting the next 3rd Thursday, taking place on Thursday, August 20 on 5th Street, between Court and Ella. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m.

3rd Thursdays is geared towards families and adults, provides live music, street vendors, and other activities at each event.

The band this month will be Corn Cob Band & Friends.  They play a variety of music including Blue Grass, Folk Art, Blues and Classic Rock.

Food available on 5th street will be Traubel’s Popcorn, The Dog Sled and Back Alley Eatery.

Select businesses will be open later, and some local restaurants will be offering specials. Several local vendors will also be present including 1Point21 Photo booth.

The Cornhole Tournament starts at 6:00 p.m. and will end this month.  The winners will be announced this evening, with the winning team walking away with $400.00.

This event is a great way to enjoy a social evening downtown.  3rd Thursdays is Beatrice lead and community driven.  It is designed to bring people together in historic downtown Beatrice.

This event is brought to you by the following partners: Community Possibilities, Beatrice Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Beatrice.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 07 August, 2015

Freeman School Rehabilitation Project Complete at Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America has completed a rehabilitation project on the Freeman School that included removal and replacement of the floor boards. The brick, one-room schoolhouse, one of the oldest in Nebraska, is now again open to visitors. 
 
The historic Freeman School sits on its original site in Section 22, Township 4, Range 5.  Built in 1871, the school became part of Homestead National Monument of America in 1970.  The school was then restored to the 1880-1890s period.  This involved replacement of worn and damaged bricks and extensive structural stabilization.  Authentic materials were used when possible and work was modeled after the craftsmanship of the original pioneer builders.

“The restoration of the flooring improves visitor safety and experience” said Superintendent Mark Engler. 

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 31 July, 2015

Summer Campfire Program Continues with
"Exodusters and Early African America Traditions"
at Homestead National Monument of America

The sixth program of the summer campfire series at Homestead National Monument of America features Christy Hyman discussing “Exodusters and Early African American Traditions”, Saturday August 8, 2015 at 7 pm at the Education Center. 

Lured by stories of a "Promised Land" out west, the Exodusters journeyed from a hostile South to the Midwest in search of land, opportunity and prosperity. But what would cause such an "exodus" of people to leave the South, that place they had once called home? Join Christy to discover the people who set this migration in motion and the events that shaped how many African Americans would come to the "land that is blessed".

“Kansas was the main destination for Exodusters.  We hope you will join us to discover why over 30,000 African Americans migrated to our neighbor to the south” said Superintendent Mark Engler.

You are invited to bring a favorite lawn chair and insect repellent.  In case of inclement weather the program will move into the Education Center.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 30 July, 2015

Textile Artist Kris Khan is Artist-in-Residence
at Homestead National Monument of America

Kris Khan will be the sixth artist of the 2015 Artist- in-Residence program at Homestead National Monument of America.  She will be presenting a program based on her work at the monument on August 9, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Education Center. This is the seventh year of the monument's Artist-in-Residence program.

Kris Khan is an award-winning quilter and textile artist who works from her studio at Hot Shops in Omaha, Nebraska.  She moved to Omaha from Atlanta, Georgia in 2014, where she taught free quilting classes as a monthly outreach activity for the Friends of the Embry Hills Library. Her work has been shown at a number of juried shows throughout the Southeast, and is currently on display in her Omaha studio. She is a member of the Omaha Modern Quilt Guild and the Studio Art Quilt Association, and teaches numerous classes at her studio and through the Omaha Creative Institute. 

For her residency at Homestead National Monument of America, Kris plans to create – with the help of monument visitors – a quilt made from scraps of fabric, which will demonstrate an important survival skill practiced by pioneer women.  She will bring her spare sewing machine so visitors can join in the sewing.  “Scrap quilts were a way of utilizing meager resources at hand to create blankets that would keep homesteading families warm during harsh winters” said Superintendent Mark Engler. 

Kris will draw inspiration from the monument’s natural environment and its wealth of historical documents to interpret the experiences of homesteaders and Native Americans in Nebraska during the late 19th century in a series of art quilts. She will be working throughout the area of Homestead National Monument of America August 3-15.  She enjoys talking with visitors, and welcomes sharing her creative abilities with all visitors.  

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

 

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 20 July, 2015

Red Carpet Premier of "The Gallows" at Cinema Centre/Holly Theatre, Beatrice

Cinema Centre/Holly Theatre, Beatrice Main Street and the Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce a Red Carpet Premier of “The Gallows” a horror film from New Line Cinema.  This event will be Friday July 24th at the Holly theatre 618 Court in Beatrice Nebraska beginning at 5:15 pm.  Chris Lofing a Beatrice native along with his partner Travis Cluff will be on hand to sign autographs and visit with people attending the event.  In addition Pfeifer Brown and Ryan Shoos, both staring in the movie will be attending the event.

There will be free memorabilia for the first 300 people in attendance and limited tickets for the 6:30 show.  Chris, Travis, Pfeifer and Ryan will be in attendance at the 6:30 show.  There will be an after party beginning at 8 pm at 4one8 located at 418 Court.  The after party will have a $5 cover charge with a cash bar and hors d’oeuvers provided.

Also included is an official press kit for the movie.

For more information:  Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce 402 223-2338.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 20 July, 2015

Tales of True Homesteaders at
Homestead National Monument of America

Come and enjoy Tales of True Homesteaders around a campfire at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center, Saturday, July 25, 2015, at 7 pm.  Laureen Riedesel, storyteller extraordinaire, will share tales of her families homesteading experiences.

"In Sweden we walked, in America we ride" is a quote in the Homestead Heritage Center exhibit about immigrants. The true story of Karolina Mattson who said those words will be recounted by her great-granddaughter as she tells about the tragedies and joys of homesteading in 1880's Nebraska. Laureen Riedesel is the Director of the Beatrice Public Library.  She is also a presenter for the Humanities Nebraska Speakers Bureau. Her library career began with a job that involved presenting 11 storytelling programs each week!

"Laureen's storytelling talent, combined with her personal connection to homesteaders, make her programs particularly compelling and engaging" said Superintendent Mark Engler.
You are invited to bring a favorite lawn chair and insect repellent.  In case of inclement weather (including heat) the program will move into the Education Center.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 (temporary phone number 402-239-9562) or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 16 July, 2015

July 25th Kids in Parks Creek Critters Program
FREE Summer Fun at Homestead National Monument

Children of all ages and their families are invited to investigate nature with Park Rangers at Homestead National Monument of America on Saturday, July 25, 2015.  Meet the ranger at Homestead’s Education Center at 10 a.m. to dig up some muddy fun and discover the macroinvertebrates that call Cub Creek home! Learn how these creatures indicate the health of our waterways. There will be a fun craft activity, too!

These programs are FREE of charge, great for all ages, and reservations are not necessary.  Nature Detectives will be sleuthing outdoors so please dress appropriately for the weather.  Sunscreen, bug spray, and closed toe shoes are encouraged.  Program length is subject to weather conditions.
For a full listing of all the summer Kids in Parks programs please visit Homestead National Monument of America’s website at www.nps.gov/home.

Schedule a FREE Kids in Parks Nature Detective program for your special group today!
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 15 July, 2015

Explore Nebraska Through Music and Tales at Summer Campfire
Program at Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America’s third campfire program of the summer will allow you to explore Nebraska through songs and stories with David Seay. The program titled Nebraska Territory Stories will take place on the evening of Saturday July 18, 2015 at the Education Center and start at 7:00 p.m. Through music, David Seay’s Nebraska Territory Stories will take you through the everyday life of pioneers and the important events that occurred during the 13 years before Nebraska became a state.

David combines his passions for music, history, and storytelling. He is a master artist with the Nebraska Arts Council’s Artist-in-the-Schools Communities Residency Program and performs with his wife, Deborah Greenblatt, in the popular musical duo Greenblatt & Seay. David plays over a dozen instruments, teaches private music lessons, and conducts workshops in harmonica, songwriting, beginning folk dance, and hands-on-the instruments.

You are invited to bring a favorite lawn chair and insect repellent.  In case of inclement weather the program will move into the Education Center.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 14 July, 2015

Art for All Ages with Artist-in-Residence Chris Mona
at Homestead National Monument of America

Chris Mona will be the fifth artist of the 2015 Artist- in-Residence program at Homestead National Monument of America.  He will be presenting an interactive art program on July 19 and again on July 26, 2015 at 2 p.m. at Homestead’s Education Center. This is the seventh year of the monument's Artist-in-Residence program.

Chris Mona is a painter/printmaker living in Maryland, where he is Visual Arts Department Chair at Anne Arundel Community College, and runs its printmaking studio. He received a grant from Artists Space in New York, NY and two artist’s awards from the Maryland State Arts Council. His work is in public collections at The Rooms Art Gallery of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Canada; and College of Notre Dame, Baltimore, Maryland.  In 2014 he completed a printmaking project featuring the natural and social histories of Clermont Plantation in Berryville, Virginia.

Chris likes to physically engage people in art.  During his programs, “Hike Impressions”, he will first do a short walk with visitors (everyone is invited, children, parents, all others) to gather impressions of the particular environment of this place, with sensitivity to weather conditions, feelings of warmth, colors, textures, sights, and sounds.  With these impressions in mind, each participant will be asked to focus on one particular aspect of their short hike experience, whether it was the sound of leaves rustling, or the look of rocks in a stream, the color of a bird’s feathers, or the smell of lunch.  Upon returning to the Education Center there will be a brief talk about how an experience from one of your senses can be translated to another sense through synesthesia, and then create a work on paper artwork based on the impression.  All materials will be provided, no experience necessary!

For his residency at Homestead National Monument of America, Chris plans to research homesteads from the 1800’s and use them as the first layer in a print project that will have a ghostly overstrike of contemporary homes from the Beatrice area as the upper print layer.  During the residency, he will paint, draw, and write poetry.

Chris will be working throughout the area of Homestead National Monument of America from July 17-31, 2015.  He enjoys talking and welcomes sharing his creative abilities with all visitors.
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 09 July, 2015

July 18th Kids in Parks Insect Inspector Program
FREE Summer Fun at Homestead National Monument

Children of all ages and their families are invited to investigate nature with Park Rangers at Homestead National Monument of America on Saturday July 18, 2015. Meet the ranger at the Education Center at 10 a.m. and discover a world of creepy crawlies that fulfill important roles in prairie habitats.  You won’t want to miss the FUN bug hunt!  There will be a cool craft activity, too!
These programs are FREE of charge, great for all ages, and reservations are not necessary.  Nature Detectives will be sleuthing outdoors so please dress appropriately for the weather.  Sunscreen, bug spray, and closed toe shoes are encouraged.  Program length is subject to weather conditions.
For a full listing of all the summer Kids in Parks programs please visit Homestead National Monument of America’s website at www.nps.gov/home.

Schedule a FREE Kids in Parks Nature Detective program for your special group today!
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 26 June, 2015

July 4 Campfire Program at
Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America is excited to announce the return of the Summer Campfire Program, July through mid-August 2015.  Programs take place at the Education Center and start at 7 p.m.  The first program of the series will celebrate Independence Day on Saturday, July 4, 2015.  Join National Park Service Park Guide Nick Manes as he discusses the book Undaunted Courage and the exploration of the American West.

This campfire program will also include music by Judy Anderson.  Judy will be leading songs inspired by the celebration of the 4th of July.  Join us in song and story for an outstanding evening of music and history as we celebrate Independence Day. We hope you will come out and enjoy the campfire program at Homestead National Monument of America before kicking off your own 4th of July celebration.  

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 (temporary phone number 402-239-9562) or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 25 June, 2015

Freeman School to be Closed for Repairs at
Homestead National Monument of America

Beginning Monday, June 29, 2015, the Freeman School at Homestead National Monument of America will be closed to complete repairs for approximately a month.  The floor boards in the school have warped, creating a tripping hazard.  Repair work will include a complete removal and replacement of the flooring. 

The brick, one-room schoolhouse known as the Freeman School sits on its original site in Section 22, Township 4, Range 5.  Built in 1871, it is one of the oldest one-room schoolhouses in Nebraska.  School was one of the key institutions of the homesteader’s frontier.  Not only were schools used for teaching children, they were often the hub of social and political activity in the community.  Freeman School served as a church in its early years and a polling place throughout its history.

While access will not be permitted to the interior of the Freeman School during this time, you are free to visit the grounds, look in the windows and watch historic preservation in progress. Part of the mission of the National Park Service is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.  In preserving cultural resources, including historic structures like the Freeman School, the National Park Service follows the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.  The Standards are a series of concepts about maintaining, repairing, and replacing historic materials. Each Standard has Guidelines that offer general design and technical recommendations to assist in applying the Standards to a specific property. Federal agencies use the Standards and Guidelines in carrying out their historic preservation responsibilities.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 24 June, 2015

2015 Heritage Campfire Series at
Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America is excited to announce the return of the Summer Campfire Series, July through mid-August 2015.  Programs take place on Saturday evenings at the Education Center (*unless otherwise noted) and start at 7 p.m. We have a great schedule of speakers and programs for this year with which include:

July 4:             Park Guide Nick Manes: Undaunted Courage, the Birth of the American West
                         Music: Judy Anderson, Celebrating Independence with Song
July 11:           *Night hike on the prairie and star gazing party with rangers at the Homestead                                                             Heritage Center beginning at 8:30
July 19:           Music and performance by David Seay: Nebraska Territory Stories
July 25:           Music and performance by Kathryn Benzel: Woodie Guthrie: Re-envisioning 
                          1930’s America
August 1:        Latino Heritage Intern Paola Pérez: La Tierra Prometida (The Promised Land) 
                          Musical assistance: Ursus Guzman
August 8:        Park Guide Christy Hymen: Exodusters and Early African American Traditions
                          Music: John Bstandig

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 (temporary phone number 402-239-9562) or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 22 June, 2015

Kids in Parks Nature Detective Series FREE Summer Fun at
Homestead National Monument of America

Children of all ages and their families are invited to investigate nature with Park Rangers at Homestead National Monument of America each Saturday in July and Saturday, August 1, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.  All programs begin at the park’s Education Center.  These programs are FREE of charge, great for all ages, and reservations are not necessary.  Nature Detectives will be sleuthing outdoors so please dress appropriately for the weather.  Sunscreen, bug spray, and closed toe shoes are encouraged.  Program length is subject to weather conditions.
 
July 4th         Birdie Basics              
Observe along the trails our feathered friends of all shapes, sizes and behaviors.  Learn to use these clues to figure out what families these birds belong to.

July 11th       Prairie Plant Prowl 
Prowl the tall grass prairie with the Park Rangers.  Look very closely at the plant life and learn tips along the way about identification.

July 18th      Insect Inspector             
Calling all bug hunters!  Your help is needed to discover the smallest of inhabitants in the tallgrass prairie. Plan on catch-releasing all kinds of insects in this fun insect study.

July 25th      Creek Critters               
Ever wonder what’s living in the mud in Cub Creek?  Park Rangers will bring the creek to you so you can find out! Learn how these creek critters can indicate the health of creeks and ponds.

August 1st    Scats and Tracks        
Investigate clues left by the hidden wildlife that surrounds us. Nature Detectives’ keen eyes are needed to locate tracks, trails, animal homes and much more.

Schedule FREE Kids in Parks Nature Detective program for your special group!
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 17 June, 2015

Century of Fashion Show Kicks off Homestead Days 2015 at
Homestead National Monument of America

Sue McClain of Yesterday’s Lady fame will present “Century of Fashion Show” as the kick off performance for Homestead Days 2015 at Homestead National Monument’s Education Center on Friday, June 19 at 2 p.m. 

Century of Fashion Show will feature live models of various ages in vintage clothing, from the 1860s to the early 1960s.  McClain will delight the audience with her knowledge of the history of clothing and fashion.  The show is for all ages – McClain said even men will like it!

Sue has been collecting clothing and related items for 30 years. “I just love it! These items are pieces of history; there is a reason why they were saved, if only they could talk.” said McClain of her collection.  She has a museum in Beatrice, Yesterday’s Lady, filled with clothing from various time periods, where she does tours by appointment only.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 10 June, 2015

Arts and Craft Demonstrations Galore
Homestead National Monument of America for Homestead Days 2015

See artisans creating beautiful and unique traditional crafts at Homestead National Monument of America during Homestead Days on June 19-21, 2015.  Traditional craft demonstrators will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Most of these demonstrations will take place at the Education Center, but activities will be offered throughout the park. 

See demonstrations such as bucket and butter churn making, dutch oven cooking, mechanized spinning, wood carving, blacksmithing, and rope making. View an extensive collection of barbed wire and learn how it changed the West.  Watch and learn quilting, knitting, spinning wool, and tatting, and see a treadle sewing machine in action. These activities were a necessity of life for the homesteaders, but today we consider them arts and crafts. In addition, take part in classes on woodcarving and the English Paper Piecing quilting technique. No registration is required for these classes. 

Many activities are taking place on the demonstration prairie near the Education Center on June 19-21, 2015. New this year to Homestead Days, see dogs herd sheep and geese on Saturday, June 20 at 1:30 p.m. and learn about what goes into training a herd dog. See all kinds of antique farm equipment displayed on the prairie. Come ready to ask questions--the volunteers who own this equipment love to share information about these items.  Also on the prairie, children will enjoy running cornshellers and playing with toys homesteading children would have used. 

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), and Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 03 June, 2015

Join in the Family Fun for Homestead Days At
Homestead National Monument of America

Join in the fun June 19-21 at Homestead Days 2015 at Homestead National Monument of America. See performances and demonstrations of traditional arts and crafts, antique farming equipment, and even sheep herding! For details and the full schedule of Homestead Days events, visit nps.gov/home.

Hear concerts by Kusi Taki, the String Beans, Homestead Harmonizers, Paddywhack, the Ponies, and Brad Husak Polka Band. The lineup also features the Wilber Senior Czech Dancers and a “Century of Fashion Show” from Yesterday’s Lady. Performances will take place at 2 p.m. on Friday and 12-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Bring the kids to the Children’s Festival with old time games, prizes, and music, Saturday and Sunday from 12-4 p.m. at the Heritage Center. It’s all fun and games!

Craft demonstrators will share their skills each day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. These activities were a necessity of life for the homesteaders, but today we consider them arts and crafts. See demonstrations such as bucket-making, dutch oven cooking, wood carving, blacksmithing, and rope making. Watch and learn quilting, knitting, tatting, sewing, and wool spinning. See antique farming equipment in action on the prairie. Most of these demonstrations will take place at the Education Center, but activities will be offered throughout the park.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 02 June, 2015

Find Your Park with Jack Gladstone in Concert at
Homestead National Monument of America

You are invited to a FREE concert by Jack Gladstone at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center on Sunday, June 14, 2015 at 2 p.m. Gladstone’s music illustrates Western Americana through a fusion of lyric poetry, music, and spoken word narrative.  He claims both Native American and European immigrant ancestry and his music honors both traditions.  

Gladstone describes himself this way, “I am a Storysmith, forging ancient, historical, and contemporary narratives into accessible lyrical art.  My work promotes the collaborative revitalization of ‘kinship centered’ traditions.  The Spirit of our American heritage, both native and immigrant, compels me to compose and perform my original work.   As the child of a Blackfeet Indian father and German-American mother, my work recognizes a shared responsibility towards our natural and historical landscapes.  I am convinced that my most important work is to inspire the deepest possible connection to the reciprocal web of relationships within creation. The realization of this connection and formation of our response to it, will determine the essence of our future.”

We hope you will glimpse this connection for yourself and enjoy his unique performance. Homestead is honored to welcome Gladstone to share his powerful ideas and musical talent.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 01 June, 2015

Witness People Take their First Oath of Allegiance to the United States at a Naturalization Ceremony at Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America is honored to host a United States Citizenship and Naturalization Ceremony on Friday, June 12, 2015.  New citizens will take their Oath of Allegiance to the United States at the ceremony.  The ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. in the Education Center’s Courtyard.  The public is encouraged to attend. 

Naturalization is the process by which U.S. Citizenship is conferred upon foreign citizens or nationals after fulfilling the requirements established by Congress. After naturalization, foreign-born citizens enjoy nearly all the same benefits, rights and responsibilities that the Constitution gives to native-born U.S. Citizens, including the right to vote.

“The Homestead Act encouraged both immigration to the United States and migration within the country. The Naturalization ceremonies we hold today reflect the basic homesteading principle of welcoming new citizens to build our country,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

This is the first of two naturalization ceremonies to take place at Homestead National Monument of America.  Last year over 100 people from more than 60 countries became new citizens at Homestead. 

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

 

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 30 May, 2015

Video Games as Art with Artist-in-Residence Dave Beck at
Homestead National Monument of America

Dave Beck will be the fourth artist of the 2015 Artist- in-Residence program at Homestead National Monument of America.  He will be presenting a program based on his work at the monument on Sunday, June 7, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Education Center. This is the seventh year of the monument's Artist-in-Residence program.

Dave Beck is a practicing 3D digital and new media artist, living in Wisconsin.  He is the recipient of the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge Award, given by the National Science Foundation.  Beck's artwork has been featured in publications such as the New York TimesSculpture Magazine, National Geographic, the journal Science, and the book GameScenes: Art in the Age of Videogames.  Beck currently is the chair of the Department of Design at the University of Wisconsin - Stout, where he teaches 3D art and game design.  

For his residency at Homestead National Monument of America, Dave plans to study and photograph the historical landscape of the area. These photos and observations will appear in and influence an art video game he is currently creating. The game incorporates the historical convergence of nature and society in America through narrative that bridges multiple time periods over history.  His public program will talk about the research and development of this project, and how games can be thought of as a new type of art form.

Dave will be working throughout the area of Homestead National Monument of America May 22 through June 11.  He enjoys talking and welcomes sharing his creative abilities with all visitors.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

  

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 29 May, 2015

Birds and Bagels at Homestead National Monument of America

Join natural resource specialist Jesse Bolli at Homestead National Monument of America for an early morning birding program on Friday, June 5th and again on Saturday June 6th at 8 a.m.  These programs will begin at the Homestead Education Center with a light breakfast of bagels followed by a short walk to investigate the birds of Homestead’s prairie and woodland.  Limited numbers of binoculars will be available; you are encouraged to bring your own.  One all-terrain wheel chair is available to check-out, as well.   

Over 100 avian species inhabit the monument’s tallgrass prairie and bur oak forest, including grassland species such as the dickcissel, common yellow throat and grasshopper sparrow, raptors such as the barred owl and red-tailed hawk, and forest species such as the eastern towhee, Baltimore oriole, downy woodpecker and warbling vireo.  During our May hikes 37 different species were identified!

“The Bird and Bagel events is a great way to meet people with similar interests while learning and sharing about the intricacies of identifying our avian friends,” stated Mark Engler, the monument’s Superintendent. 

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (HomesteadNM).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit 
http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 26 May, 2015

Jack Gladstone Concert at Homestead National Monument of America

Troubadour and storysmith Jack Gladstone will be presenting a free concert at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center on Sunday, June 14, 2015 at 2 pm. 

From the Blackfeet Nation of Montana, Jack Gladstone is regarded as a cultural bridge builder. His performances showcase the American Indian experience through a rich mosaic of music, lyric poetry, and spoken narrative.  A former college instructor, Jack co-founded Glacier National Park’s nationally renowned lecture series, “Native America Speaks”. After 29 seasons, this program is the longest running indigenous speaker series in the history of the National Park Service.

Gladstone has recorded 15 critically acclaimed albums and presented thousands of concerts, workshops, and school programs. In 2011, Gladstone garnered the prestigious “Best Historical Recording” award from the Native American Music Association for his masterpiece, Native Anthropology; Challenge, Choice, and Promise in the 21st Century. In 2013, Jack was honored with the C.M. Russell Heritage Award that recognizes his contribution to “the legacy, culture, life, and country of Russell’s West.” Jack became the first Montanan and only Native American to be so honored.

“His public performances weave Blackfeet history and tradition with contemporary life.” said Superintendent Mark Engler.  Gladstone recently gave a TED talk in which he surveyed the culture and biology of indigenous North America and examined the path of both conflict and confluence with Euro-American cultures.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 18 May, 2015

Thousands of Dollars Up for Grabs Along with Grand Ole Opry
Tickets and a Fiddle at Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival at
Homestead National Monument of America!

The Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival (previously the Monumental Fiddling and Acoustic Band Championships) will be held on Saturday, May 23, 2015, at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center.  The event features a festive environment for people to watch, but what’s exciting are all the prizes that can be won by the participants!  $3,000 in prize money, sponsored by the Coffin Family Foundation, will be shared between four categories.  One lucky fiddler will receive a violin, donated by violin maker Nancy Rohn from Corvalis, Oregon. New this year is a partnership with the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN.  The winner of the Senior and Legend Divisions will each win a pair of tickets to the Grand Ole Opry.

The battle for the prizes will start at 12 noon.  The competing divisions are:  Junior Division (less than five years’ experience), Senior Division (five years of experience or more), Legends Division (past 1st place winners of the Senior Division), and the Acoustic Band Division.  Contestants will play three pieces; a hoedown, waltz and tune of choice. There are no participant or registration fees.  The event is free to all, whether you compete or join the fun by being in the audience.

Morning workshops, fiddle playing at 10 a.m. and harmonica playing at 11 a.m., are open to everyone free of charge.  Participants wanting to join the fiddle workshop will need to provide their own fiddle while harmonicas can be purchased prior to the workshop at the Homestead Bookstore located in the Homestead Education Center.  Non-players are welcome to listen.

This popular event celebrates music from the homesteading period. Music was a common thread among pioneers of all ages. The Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival is an opportunity to highlight this historic activity and heighten awareness and enthusiasm for fiddling.  Music fans wanting to spend the whole day at the Monument can do so.  Back Alley Eatery will be on hand to serve lunch and drinks.

“This event has grown tremendously over the years and is a great family event,” said Mark Engler, Superintendent of Homestead National Monument of America.   “We’re lucky to have the team of Greenblatt and Seay back for another great year to manage the competition and to be a part of this fun music filled day.”
  
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (HomesteadNM).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 14 May, 2015

Get a Tune-Up for the Summer at the Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival!

Does your fiddle need a tune up?  Need some advice about your banjos broken bridge?  If so, you need a luthier!  A luthier is a person who makes and repairs stringed instruments. You are invited to bring your stringed instrument issues to the Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival at Homestead National Monument of America on Saturday, May 23, 2015 and visit with luthier Marilyn Wallin. While at the monument, Wallin will provide free tune-up services for stringed instruments and discuss repair options.  She will be at Homestead starting at 10 a.m. and will continue to work with instruments through the afternoon. 

When asked to be a part of the music festival, she said “Yes!”  She was excited  at the idea of helping musicians clean and polish their stringed instruments, advise about repairs, and to be there  "just in case..." for things that come up.  Marilyn has been the past president of the Violin Society of America and part of some of the biggest music stages in America, working with such groups as the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra and many others. “She is a well-known, well respected and personable instrument maker and we are fortunate to have her join us for the Fiddle Festival.” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.  

The Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival, formerly known as the Monumental Fiddling Championship, has been celebrating music from the homesteading period for over a decade. Music was a common thread among pioneers of all ages. The Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival is free for competitors and spectators alike. 

Music fans wanting to spend the whole day at the Monument can do so.  Back Alley Eatery will be on hand to serve lunch and drinks.  Thanks to the Coffin Family Foundation, the Grand Ole Opry and Corvallis, Oregon violin maker Nancy Rohn, for providing prizes and making this event possible. 

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (HomesteadNM).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.  Find Your Park at Homestead National Monument of America.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 12 May, 2015

3rd Thursdays in Beatrice

(Beatrice, NE)  May 11, 2015 – 3rd Thursdays – May Event Community Possibilities will be hosting the next 3rd Thursday, taking place on Thursday, May 21 on 5th Street, between Court and Ella. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will last until 9:00 p.m.

3rd Thursdays is geared towards adults (but open to all ages), providing live music and activities at each event.

This month, we will be celebrating the 1st year anniversary of Traubel’s Popcorn.  The stand will be bringing back the popcorn tubs for $5.00, with the Community Possibilities logo attached to each new tub. Refills will be $3 after the event.  There will also be an abundance of caramel corn.

The entertainment will be provided by folk art band, “Nobody Died with Downtown Dave and Popa Bob.” This is the same band that played for Traubel’s grand opening last year.

Select stores will be open late.  The Dog Sled (hotdog cart) will be there, and local restaurants will be open.  Several local vendors will also be present.  The Cornhole Tournament starts and will be played through August, at each 3rd Thursday event.

This event is a great way for adults to enjoy a social evening downtown.  3rd Thursdays is Beatrice lead and community driven.  It is designed to bring people together in historic downtown Beatrice.
This event is brought to you by the following partners: Community Possibilities, Beatrice Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Beatrice.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 12 May, 2015

“The Meaning of Names” is the Title for this Month’s Book Discussion at
Homestead National Monument of America

You are invited to join the Beatrice Public Library Book Discussion on Wednesday May 20, 2015 at 7 p.m. at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center. The book for this month, “The Meaning of Names” by Karen Gettert Shoemaker, is about the prejudice shown towards German immigrants during WWI. The library is honored to have Dr. Charles Joahanningsmeier leading the discussion.  This event is cosponsored by the Library and Homestead National Monument of America.

“The Meaning of Names” was selected as the One Book, One Omaha title for 2014.  Dr. Johanningsmeier was one of the special presenters who provided public programs to complement this book.  To properly appreciate this novel, Dr. Johanningsmeier feels, it helps a great deal to fully understand the cultural context of the American home front during World War I.  In his presentation “The Meaning of (German) Names in Nebraska, 1914-1920”, he will illustrate this background and follow it with a discussion among audience members about the book.

Set in Nebraska during World War I, THE MEANING OF NAMES tells the story of a German-American woman trying to raise a family during extraordinary times.  Suddenly “liberty cabbage” replaces sauerkraut on food menus, job advertisements warn “no Krauts need apply” and neighbors demand that the nearby university stop leading courses in “that vile language.”  At the same time that nationalism is leading to widespread prejudice again German-Americans, the influenza epidemic of 1918 is killing millions.  This book reminds us of the bonds that hold us together and the fears that can tear us apart.

Dr. Joahanningsmeier is a Professor of American Literature in the Department of English at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  He teaches courses on a wide range of subjects, including American Immigrant Narratives, American Regionalist Fiction, and Willa Cather.  He has more than 30 published books and articles that deal chiefly with American literary works published between 1865 and 1940.  He has served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Leipzig in Germany.  During the past few years, he has used his knowledge of German language and culture to research and publish a number of articles about American literary texts in Germany.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

 Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

 

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 05 May, 2015

Diller Picnic Dates & Events Set For 2015

Diller Picnic: June 25, 26, 27 2015
Contact: Doug Lottman, Chairman 793-5865 or 793-5870

Mark your calendars as the Diller Picnic has new dates for the 2015 year, June 25, 26, and 27th.  The 119th annual event’s theme will be, Bright Lights, Little City” and it is going to be a huge celebration in Diller, Nebraska! It’s a family affair with events like the tractor pull, carnival, mud drags, kid’s one-mile fun run and so much more.

Kicking off the Diller Picnic on Thursday night will be armband night on the Midway by Thomas D. Thomas Shows. Also, starting at 7pm will be the Nebraska Bush Pullers Tractor Pull located at the south end of Diller. This high action event is guaranteed to be a thrill for the family. There will be beverages and food available on the grounds.

Come back on Friday night at 7pm for the entertaining and comedic event, the Redneck Farm Olympics. This event is sponsored by the Field Sports Bar of Diller and will consist of Co-ed teams comprised of 3 men and 3 women. The Redneck Farm Olympics will have prizes including one for “Best Dressed Team”.  To get your team signed up contact Gayle at the Field of Diller, 402-793-8557. Stay in town and enjoy Fireworks lightning up the sky on the north end of Diller.

Start the day on Saturday, with the Pancake Man who will be serving delicious pancakes from 8am to 10am at the Community Building. Also, Saturday morning take part in the Kid’s One Mile Fun Run, starting at 9am. Later Saturday morning the Mid-State Mud-draggers will return to the Diller Picnic for the 12th straight year and pasture golf will take place for the 24th year in a row.

Prior to the annual parade at 7pm, take in a Chicken Barbecue at the Opera House or visit the Our Savior Lutheran food stand at the Community Building beginning at 5pm. To register for this Big Lights, Little City themed event please contact Mildred Kotas at 402-793-5999 or download an entry form at www.dillerpicnic.com. Following the parade will be a FREE Entertainment in the Park that has yet to be determined.

Throughout the three days the carnival will be running, along with American Legion Bingo and St. Paul’s Lutheran Food Stand on the carnival grounds.

 Come to Diller and experience the Bright Lights of our little city during the 119th Diller Picnic, Southeast Nebraska’s oldest and largest community celebration. To see a complete listing of the many activities and services check us out at www.dillerpicnic.com or check out our Face Book page.

 

 

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 01 May, 2015

Homestead National Monument of America
Selected as 2015 Nebraska Passport Stop

Beatrice, NE – Homestead National Monument of America has been chosen as one of the 80 stops on the 2015 Nebraska Tourism Commission Passport Program!  Homestead will be a part of the “Only in Nebraska” tour.  

Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice, Nebraska commemorates and interprets the impacts of the Homestead Act of 1862 on the United States and the world. This law declared that anyone who was a citizen, or intended to become one, could claim 160 acres (one-quarter square mile) of surveyed government land. Claimants had to build a home and live on the land for five years and improve the land agriculturally. After five years, the government would transfer ownership of the land to the successful claimant.

Homesteaders faced a great deal of uncertainty and numerous hardships, including drought, locusts, and blizzards; 60% of all homesteaders abandoned their claims. Still, the US government distributed more than 270 million acres of land to 1.6 million successful homesteaders between 1863 and 1986. Homestead lands were located in 30 of the 50 states. Today there are estimated to be more than 93 million descendants of homesteaders in the United States.

Homestead National Monument of America encompasses 100 acres of restored tallgrass prairie and includes a T-shaped quarter section of tallgrass prairie, stream, and mixed hardwood forest that comprised the entire original claim of Daniel Freeman. On January 1, 1863, Freeman was one of the first homesteaders to file under the provisions of the Homestead Act of May 20, 1862. The primary monument visitor facilities include the Homestead Heritage Center, the Homestead Education Center, the Palmer-Epard Cabin, and the Freeman School, a one-room schoolhouse built in 1872 and located a quarter mile west of the Education Center.  Picnic areas and hiking trails are also available.  Admission is free, no park permit is required. 

The Nebraska Passport program encourages travelers to explore Nebraska, collect stamps from participating attractions and earn great prizes. The 2015 Passport Program will feature 80 attractions on 10 themed tours: Play Nice, Happy Heart, I  Art, One Of A Kind, Yummy Tummy, Chill & Chat, Sauce & Cycles, Crazy Confections, Only in Nebraska, and Nebraska Legends.

Travelers have from May 1 through September 30 to visit attractions and redeem their stamps for prizes. For each completed tour, participants win a Nebraska Passport T-shirt. Travelers also can receive 20 $1 Nebraska Lottery Scratch coupons (for 20 stamps) and a Travel Duffle Bag (for 40 stamps) and a Local First Gift Basket (for all 80 stamps).

A grand-prize drawing for an Omaha Steaks Culinary Calendar Package will be held in October. This year, an additional drawing for 300 $1 Nebraska Lottery Scratch tickets will be held for all participants, 19 and older, who turn in passports with at least one stamp.

Passports are be available at both the Homestead National Monument of America Education Center and Heritage Center beginning May 1.

For more information about travel, events and unique destinations in Nebraska, order your free travel guide today at www.VisitNebraska.com. Then stay connected with Nebraska Tourism on our Visit Nebraska Facebook page, on Twitter, on Pinterest and on YouTube.
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 29 April, 2015

Birds and Bagels at Homestead National Monument of America

Join natural resource specialist Jesse Bolli at Homestead National Monument of America for an early morning birding program on Friday, May 1 or Saturday May 2 at 8 a.m.  This program will begin at the Homestead Education Center with a light breakfast of bagels followed by a short walk to investigate the birds of Homestead’s prairie and woodland.  Limited numbers of binoculars will be available; you are encouraged to bring your own.  One all-terrain wheel chair is available to check-out, as well.   

Homestead is celebrating International Migratory Bird Day 2015 by offering two weekends of birding this year, the first Friday and Saturday in May and the first Friday and Saturday in June. International Migratory Bird Day highlights and celebrates the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. To learn more about International Migratory Bird Day go to http://www.birdday.org/birdday/media-tools/bird-day-faqs.

Over 100 avian species inhabit the monument’s tallgrass prairie and bur oak forest, including grassland species such as the dickcissel, common yellow throat and grasshopper sparrow, raptors such as the barred owl and red-tailed hawk, and forest species such as the eastern towhee, Baltimore oriole, downy woodpecker and warbling vireo. 

“Homestead National Monument of America provides a great location for birders of all experience levels to come together to learn and share about birds,” stated Mark Engler, the monument’s Superintendent. 

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (HomesteadNM).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 23 April, 2015

Lied Center’s Arts Across Nebraska and Hevelone Foundation Presents
Singer Song Writer Susan Werner at
Homestead National Monument of America National Park Week 2015
Encourages Everyone To “Find Your Park”

BEATRICE, NE – Homestead National Monument of America wraps up celebrating National Park Week with Susan Werner in concert on Sunday April 26, 2015 at 3 p.m. at the Homestead Education Center.  This free concert is provided in partnership with the Lied Center’s “Arts Across Nebraska” and made possible through the generous support of the Hevelone Foundation.

Commissioned by the Lied and UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Werner’s newest album “Hayseed” celebrates the language, livelihood and concerns of American farmers.  The tender song “Something to Be Said,” inspired by her previous visits to Nebraska, is at the heart of this moving, funny and thought provoking album.  Susan will be joined by musicians Trina Hamlin and Natalia Zukerman.

“Telling the story of farm life through song is an engaging way to tell Homestead National Monument of America’s story.  We are very excited to welcome Susan Werner in concert at Homestead National Monument of America.” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

The Lied Center’s “Arts Across Nebraska” is a Lied Center program made possible with the support of the Friends of Lied, Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska, Richard P. Kimmel and Laurine Kimmel Charitable Foundation, UNL Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Rebecca R. Anderson.

The Susan Werner Concert is part of the National Park Service’s #FindYourPark Campaign.  Find Your Park invites the public to see that a national park can be more than a place -- it can be a feeling, a state of mind, or a sense of American pride. Beyond vast landscapes, the campaign highlights historical, urban, and cultural parks, as well as the National Park Service programs that protect, preserve and share nature, culture, and history in communities nationwide.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 16 April, 2015

Fairbury First Friday Art Walk Scheduled May 1st

Plans are underway for downtown Fairbury’s art galleries and specialty stores to be open for "First Friday" coming up Friday, May 1st.  Venues will be opening their doors to visitors from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. as part of the "First Friday Art Walk" in historic downtown Fairbury.

The May Art Walk will include 3 stops and participants in the walk will be given punch cards which can be picked up at any of the participating Art Walk locations. Punch cards can also be downloaded at www.Fairbury.com.  With punch cards in hand, visitors are encouraged to visit each stop on the Art Walk to have their card stamped. Completed cards for May can then be turned in at Stagecoach Mall Antiques and Tasting Room to be entered into a drawing for prizes.

Located at 515 4th Street, New Earth Clay Pottery features locally made stoneware pottery by Bill Robbins of Fairbury and is Fairbury’s only working pottery. Robbins is well-known for his use of Endicott clay material as the basis for his craft. The gallery also features (for viewing and for sale) functional stoneware pottery, ceramic art, handmade tiles, jewelry, porcelain, paintings, hand-made paper, photography, sculpture and art glass pieces produced by local & regional artists.

The Jefferson County Art Guild is located at 511 5th Street, across the street from the Campbell Bros Circus Mural. Abbie R Powers, a silk artist from Loveland, Colorado, will be the featured artist at the Jefferson County Art Guild and will be doing a silk dye demonstration at the Jefferson County Art Guild for the First Friday Art Walk.

Powers is an artist living and working in Loveland, Colorado. One of her artistic passions is hand-dyeing silk: she has a luxurious line of silk scarves that are painted, marbled, dipped, tied, simmered and steamed to create her many color combinations and patterns. The scarves come in several sizes and types of silk and can be custom dyed. Her scarves are sold in several retail locations in Colorado, at Lily's Flowers & Gifts in Fairbury, and online at www.AbbieRPowers.com/scarves.  

Powers also works as an installation, performance and video artist, creating environments with expanses of hand-dyed silk for the viewer to experience. Digital video projection, sound, and modern-dance inspired movement enhance the experience. Visit Powers' website for more information and photos of her work: www.AbbieRPowers.com.

Stagecoach Mall’s featured artist for the May Art Walk is Fairbury native and owner of The Kustom Woodshop, Larry Schwisow. The Kustom Woodshop, located in Lincoln, specializes in creating custom, one-of-a-kind gourmet kitchen cutting boards. Each cutting board is handmade and heirloom quality. Schwisow uses a variety of woods to create intricate designs and patterns. No two boards are alike. Schwisow will be showcasing a variety of cutting boards in many shapes, sizes and patterns with Art Walk attendees. A selection of boards will be available for purchase that evening. For more information visit www.TheKustomWoodshop.com.

Live Music, Wine Tasting

Visitors to Stagecoach Mall Antiques and Tasting Room can view the "century-old" brick wall and massive limestone fireplace made entirely of sculpted concrete, created by artist Thom Hunt of BB Studios of Fairbury. A wine-tasting event featuring WunderRosa Winery of Roca, NE. will feature a variety of handcrafted, Nebraska-made wines available for sampling and for sale (must be 21). Live music provided by Tracy Skretta (www.SkrettaMusic.com) of Omaha, who will be performing from 6 – 9 p.m. Tickets are $15, available online at www.Fairbury.com or by calling 402.587.2521. Proceeds from the wine tasting event benefit local art projects and future First Friday Art Walk events.  “Meet The Artists, Celebrate The Arts!”

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 15 April, 2015

Find Your Park with Artist-in-Residence
Mackenzie Younger at Homestead National Monument of America

Mackenzie Younger will be the third artist of the 2015 Artist- in-Residence program at Homestead National Monument of America.  He will be presenting a program based on his work at the monument on April 26, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Education Center. This is the seventh year of the monument's Artist-in-Residence program.

A native New Yorker, Mackenzie began using his creative abilities to explore the natural world.  “Observation, self-expression, and the environment define who I am,”  stated Mackenzie. He studied fine art at Rhode Island School of Design and also took botany classes at Brown University. Since school he has professionally painted murals portraying habitats, designed native plant gardens, and taught classes such as Art & Ecology

For his residency at Homestead National Monument of America, Mackenzie plans to study and document the local ecology, while logging information into an illustrated journal.  This journal will then be used as a reference for an educational mural, publication, or garden, depending on the needs of the monument.  His public program will use the journal and illustrations to explain plant-wildlife-human relationships found within or near the monument.

Mackenzie will be working throughout the area of Homestead National Monument of America April 16 through April 30.  He enjoys talking and welcomes sharing his art and creative abilities with all visitors.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 10 April, 2015

Susan Werner in Concert through the Lied Center’s Arts Across Nebraska
Project at Homestead National Monument of America
National Park Week 2015 Encourages Everyone To “Find Your Park”

BEATRICE – A Susan Werner concert on April 26, 2015 at 3 p.m. at the Homestead Education Center is the finale of National Park Week activities at Homestead National Monument of America.  This free concert is provided in partnership with the Lied Center’s “Arts Across Nebraska” and made possible through the generous support of the Hevelone Foundation.

Acclaimed singer/songwriter – and Iowa farm girl – Susan Werner returns to Nebraska with performances of her album, Hayseed.  Commissioned by the Lied and UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hayseed celebrates the language, livelihood and concerns of American farmers.  The tender song “Something to Be Said,” inspired by her previous visits to Nebraska, is at the heart of this moving, funny and thought provoking album.  Susan will be joined by musicians Trina Hamlin and Natalia Zukerman.

“Susan Werner composes skillful songs that effortlessly slide between folk, jazz, and pop, all delivered with sassy wit and classic Midwestern charm. Telling the story of farm life through song is an engaging way to tell Homestead National Monument of America’s story.  We are very excited to welcome her in concert at Homestead National Monument of America.” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

The Lied Center’s “Arts Across Nebraska” program is made possible with the support of the Friends of Lied, Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska, Richard P. Kimmel and Laurine Kimmel Charitable Foundation, UNL Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Rebecca R. Anderson.  Artist transportation provided by Sid Dillon.

The Susan Werner Concert is part of the National Park Service’s #FindYourPark Campaign.  Find Your Park invites the public to see that a national park can be more than a place -- it can be a feeling, a state of mind, or a sense of American pride. Beyond vast landscapes, the campaign highlights historical, urban, and cultural parks, as well as the National Park Service programs that protect, preserve and share nature, culture, and history in communities nationwide.

Visit www.NationalParkWeek.org to learn more about how you can join parks, programs, and partners in celebrating National Park Week across the country.  To learn more about activities and to get a complete listing of the events at Homestead National Monument of America visit www.nps.gov/home.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 01 April, 2015

Find Your Park with Artist-in-Residence Forrest Chapman at
Homestead National Monument of America

The second artist of the 2015 Artist- in-Residence program at Homestead National Monument of America, Forrest Chapman, will be presenting a program based on his work at the monument on April 12, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Education Center. This is the seventh year of the monument's Artist-in-Residence program. There is no registration necessary and the program is free.

“Frosty”, as he likes to be called, lives in Lincoln, is an Army veteran, retired employee of the Federal Government and artist.  His preferred mediums are colored pencil and acrylic. He is excited about participating in the Artist- in-Residence program because “I would like to pay back the many blessings that I have received from my government.”  His presentation will include a discussion of his Daniel Freeman postage stamp design and “Daniel the Younger”.

Frosty will be working throughout the area of Homestead National Monument of America through April 15th.  He enjoys talking and welcomes sharing his art and creative abilities with all visitors.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 01 April, 2015

National Park Service Releases New Brochure For
Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America has developed a new brochure. This brochure will be placed into use as part of the National Park Service’s “Find Your Park” Campaign. Traditionally visitors to National Parks are given brochures when they enter the park. The brochures include basic information, such as maps and hours of operation, but also in-depth information on a segment of the park’s story. The new Homestead brochure takes a new approach to telling America’s Homestead story as it starts with discussions on immigration. Monument Superintendent Mark Engler shares that this approach is very fitting and makes the Homestead story relevant to today’s citizens.

Recent historic research conducted at Homestead National Monument of America has highlighted the tie the Homestead Act of 1862 had to immigration. In fact, Homestead Historian Blake Bell’s research reveals that the Homestead Act is America’s first “accommodating immigration law”. Bell’s research has been shared through C-SPAN and by Washington Post Columnist George Will. The new Homestead brochure captures the immigration elements and other original research updates relating to the Homestead story.

The brochure also features a new, easy to read timeline. The Homestead Act spanned 123 years of American History, and the timeline allows readers to quickly see the evolution of agricultural technologies and the development of transportation and communication networks. The timeline starts with the acquisition of public lands in the late 18th Century and guides readers through to the last homestead in Alaska in 1988. In addition to the new research and timeline, the brochure features beautiful pictures and stunning maps.

Engler further stated that it has been nearly 30-years since the Homestead Brochure has undergone major revisions, and the Park is excited to share the new brochure with visitors.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 01 April, 2015

Homestead National Monument of America
Joins National “Find Your Park” Campaign
National Park Week 2015 Encourages Everyone To Find Your Park

BEATRICE – Homestead National Monument of America joins parks, programs and partners across the country to encourage everyone to find their park and share their stories online at FindYourPark.com. Launched yesterday by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, Find Your Park is a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the milestone centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and setting the stage for its second century of service.

Find Your Park invites the public to see that a national park can be more than a place -- it can be a feeling, a state of mind, or a sense of American pride. Beyond vast landscapes, the campaign highlights historical, urban, and cultural parks, as well as the National Park Service programs that protect, preserve and share nature, culture, and history in communities nationwide.

“Find Your Park” is also the theme for this year’s National Park Week, April 18 – 26, 2015. National Park Week is full of activities at Homestead National Monument of America. Kicking off the week on April 18 is National Junior Ranger Day and a “Kids in Parks” birding activity at 1 p.m. On Sunday, April 19, at 1 p.m. Katie Nieland, from the Center for Great Plains Studies and the artist of the current special exhibit at the Education Center, will give a presentation on ecotourism. On Saturday, April 25, come experience the trails through the tallgrass prairie during the Get Out, Get Fit event from 9-3 p.m. At 1 p.m. the Homestead Running Club will bring their competition clock so you can track your time whether you walk or run. At 2 p.m. Anja Becker will use her border collies to demonstrate herding both sheep and geese on the demonstration prairie. The finale for National Park Week takes place on April 26 at 3 p.m. with a concert by folksinger Susan Werner. This is a partnership with the Lied Center for Performing Arts and part of the Lied Arts Across Nebraska program.

“The centennial is an opportunity to introduce the National Park Service to the next generation of visitors, supporters, and advocates, re-engage those who already know and love the parks and prepare for the next 100 years of the National Park Service. Homestead National Monument of America is excited to begin this multi-year celebration with many fun opportunities.” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Visit www.NationalParkWeek.org to learn more about how you can join parks, programs, and partners in celebrating National Park Week across the country. For a complete listing of events at Homestead National Monument of America visit www.nps.gov/home.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 30 March, 2015

Lunar Eclipse Viewing at Homestead National Monument of America

The parking lot at Homestead National Monument of America's Heritage Center will be open for early risers to watch a lunar eclipse this Saturday, April 4, 2015.  The parking lot will open at 5:00 am (CDT), with the partial eclipse starting at 5:17 am.  Totality happens at 7:00 am, and the moon sets at 7:09 am.  The Heritage Center sits on a high, open point and will be a perfect place to view the eclipse.  While there will not be a program, there will be an employee on site with binoculars and a spotting scope.  You are welcome to bring you own telescope, binoculars, and chairs.

Some fun facts:
- Lunar eclipses occur when the Moon passes within Earth's shadow, also called the "umbra".  As a lunar eclipse begins, the Earth's shadow first only slightly darkens the Moon.  Then, the shadow appears to "cover" part of the Moon, typically turning it a dark red-brown color (the same effect that causes sunsets to appear reddish).  However, the color can also be yellow, orange, or brown in color. This is because different types of dust particles and clouds in the Earth's atmosphere allow different wavelengths to reach the surface of the Moon. 

-While this April 4 eclipse is considered a total lunar eclipse, you would need to be in Alaska to see the total eclipse. In Nebraska we will experience a partial eclipse, with a small sliver of the Moon remaining bright. 

-Total lunar eclipses are rare – only about one in three lunar eclipses are total. However, every once in a while, four total lunar eclipses happen in a row. This is called a lunar tetrad. This April eclipse is the 3rd of four eclipses in a tetrad.  The next on will occur on September 27, 2015.  

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 25 March, 2015

Join the National Park Service in Ringing “Bells across the Land: A Nation Remembers Appomattox”

For the past four years, the National Park Service and many other organizations and individuals have been commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War and the continuing efforts for human rights today. On April 9, 1865, Union General Ulysses S. Grant met Confederate General Robert E. Lee to set the terms of surrender of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, Virginia.

On April 9, 2015, in conjunction with a major bell ringing event at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, the National Park Service and its partners invite individuals and communities across the nation to join in this commemoration. The bells will ring first at Appomattox at 2:00 p.m. (CDT) on April 9, 2015. The ringing will coincide with the moment the historic meeting between Grant and Lee at Appomattox Court House ended. While Lee’s surrender did not end the Civil War, the act is seen by most Americans as the symbolic end of four years of bloodshed.

After the ringing at Appomattox, bells will reverberate across the country. Churches, temples, schools, city halls, public buildings, historic sites, and others are invited to ring bells precisely at 2:15 pm (CDT) for four minutes (each minute symbolic of a year of war). If you have access to any such organizations, please encourage them to participate.

Homestead National Monument of America will join in the commemoration by ringing the school bell at Freeman School at 2:15 pm (CDT).  You are invited to join us, or simply step outside and listen to your community join in the ringing.

The end of the Civil War has different meanings to different people. Each organization may customize this idea to its own situation. We ask participants to ring bells across the nation as a gesture to mark the end of the bloody conflict in which more than 750,000 Americans perished. Some communities may ring their bells in celebration of freedom or a restored Union, others as an expression of mourning and a moment of silence for the fallen. Sites may ring bells to mark the beginning of reconciliation and reconstruction, or as the next step in the continuing struggle for civil rights. Curriculum materials are available for schools interested in participating.

Share your story and help us write history!

Schools, parks, and communities from all over the country will be participating in this event. Share how you observed it with #BellsAcrosstheLand2015. Stories will be compiled in one place to see how each one helps build our national story.

Please join us in the historic commemoration. Let bells ring across the land!  For more information contact Carol_Shively@nps.gov or John_Hennessy@nps.gov. For educational materials for schools contact  Amy_Bracewell@nps.gov.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 25 March, 2015

It Rained! Get Your Garden On
at Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America is still accepting applications for the Homestead Community Garden!  Applying is easy – pick up an application and rules at the Heritage Center or Education Center, 9 am – 5 pm, or download one from at http://www.nps.gov/home/getinvolved/2015-Homestead-Community-Garden.htm.  Then simply return it to Homestead National Monument of America or email it to Nicholas_Manes@nps.gov  by Thursday, April 2, 2015

The monument will provide a free 10’ x 15’ plot and water. One plot is allowed per application with a limit of two plots per address. No pesticides will be allowed.  Plots will be selected by lottery on Friday, April 3, 2015.  Visit the Monument’s Community Garden webpage http://www.nps.gov/home/getinvolved/2015-Homestead-Community-Garden.htm for more information and rules. Contact us at 402-223-3514 with any questions.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (HomesteadNM).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 20 March, 2015

New Title, Same Event
At Homestead National Monument of America

News Flash!  The Monumental Fiddling and Acoustic Band Championship will now be known as the Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival.  With a free workshop in the morning, jam sessions erupting throughout the day, up to $3,000 in award monies, and a chance to win a violin, the Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival is the place for musicians of all ages to be on Saturday, May 23, at Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice, Nebraska. This is the 15th year for this musical event.

Still free to all participants and spectators, the Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival encourages all ages and abilities to join in friendly competition. One unique rule for this competition is that all songs must have been in existence when Homestead National Monument of America was established in 1936. There are Junior, Senior, Legend and Acoustic Band divisions.

The competition is geared towards all ability levels and begins with Deborah Greenblatt teaching a free workshop in the morning. She was the first woman to win the Nebraska State Fiddling Championship, the first woman to win the Mid-America Fiddle Championship and is a member of the Mid-America Old-Time Fiddler’s Hall of Fame.

Greenblatt finds the atmosphere at the Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival to be inviting and nurturing for all levels of musicians.  It is a day for fiddlers of all ages and experience levels to come together much like they did when the first pioneers arrived in the 1800s and began settling the prairie. The sounds of fiddlers were often heard whenever homesteaders got together and those same sounds will be heard on May 23, 2015, at the 15th annual Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival.

Greenblatt enjoys the jam sessions. “They inspire and entertain each other on stage and play nicely together in the many jam sessions that erupt all over the landscape,” said Greenblatt. Over the years she said that many musicians have told her they were inspired to begin to play because of the performances and jam sessions they observed at the Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival.

The competition is free and offers fiddlers the chance to be judged in a non-threatening environment. Each participant is given comments by the three judges. Professional musician and high school band director Nathan LeFeber has been a judge several times. “From the great music that is made, to the prizes and trophies, to the free fiddle they give away each year it is no wonder folks are coming from miles around to compete in this contest,” said LeFeber. Competition helps musicians get better. “Give folks a high standard and then let them work at trying to achieve their best with the hopes they might be in the top three. That is what competition in music is all about,” said LeFeber.

Twenty-one year old Joe Fedrizzi from Dearborn, Missouri, has placed several times in competition including winning the Senior Division and third last year in the Legends Division. Ferizzi enjoys the thrill of competing, the chance to meet new people and hear new songs. “If I hear a song I like at competition, I will go home and do my best to learn the song,” said Fedrizzi. He also thinks it helps a musician deal with the suspense of being on stage.

His grandpa also played the fiddle and influenced his decision of instrument. “My grandpa played the violin and one day when I was six I was sitting in the kitchen with my parents and they saw an ad for violin or piano lessons. When they asked me if I would rather play the violin or the piano, I quickly said violin.”

Following the morning workshop participants will break for lunch and prepare for the competition in the afternoon. Onsite lunch and snacks will be provided by Back Alley Eatery. The day ends with the announcement of winners. Trophies and cash prizes are awarded to the top three finishers in the Junior, Senior, Legend and the Acoustic Band divisions, as well as a drawing for a free fiddle!  

The winner of a Tune Writing Competition, which is held in conjunction with the Nebraska Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, is also announced. The best left-handed fiddler and the youngest fiddler are recognized. “But win or not there are no losers at this competition,” said LeFeber, “For young and old, it is a great time!”

The Coffin Family Foundation has been a long-time supporter and provides the funding for the cash prizes.  Leigh F. Coffin started the foundation 17 years ago to help support and enrich the community, its youth and history. His son said the Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival fits into his father’s vision. Another partner for this event is the Nebraska Arts Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Arts.  For more information and contest rules, visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 19 March, 2015

Easter Weekend Exploring
at Homestead National Monument of America

Hey kids!  Bring your cousins, aunts, uncles and parents to Homestead National Monument of America over Easter weekend, April 4 and 5, 2015, for some Junior Ranger exploring! The Homestead Junior Ranger Activity Booklet includes a scavenger hunt, kid’s bingo and more.  Although it is designed for children ages five to twelve, anyone is welcome to try.  The more you explore the monument, the more pages you can finish! It’s a great way to involve the whole family, see some cool stuff, and hike off those Easter eggs.  Finish the activities and become a Junior Park Ranger for Homestead National Monument of America! You will get a certificate, “Junior Park Ranger” badge, and wristband.

There are all kinds of things to see and do at Homestead National Monument of America. Stop by the Homestead Education Center to “See the Great Plains”.  This poster exhibit focuses on ecotourism destinations across the State of Nebraska.  With posters baring titles like “Bison Rebirth: See the Largest Land Mammal in North America” and “Dancing Chickens: The Original Sandhills Hoe-Down” you will not want to miss this exceptional exhibit!  Test your skills by trying the monument’s GPS led prairie walk or check out a Nature Pack and find some birds.  This free equipment can be checked out at the front desk of either the Education or Heritage Centers.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 18 March, 2015

“Art Away from Home” with Artist-in-Residence Amanda Palmer
at Homestead National Monument of America

The Artist In Residence program at Homestead National Monument of America starts early this year. Our first artist, Amanda Palmer, is a native Nebraskan, most recently from the Adirondacks of New York, living full-time on the road. She is traveling the National Park system and drawing inspiration from her current surroundings, wherever they may be. You are invited to join her for a talk on "Art Away from Home" on Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Homestead Heritage Center. This is the seventh year of the monument's Artist-in-Residence program. There is no registration necessary and the program is free.

Amanda's work encompasses many media including woodblock printing, drawing, writing and photography. She will be talking about her Nebraska roots, artwork and inspiration drawn from time spent in the outdoors and in National Parks. Her presentation will include photographs and drawings as well as a display of her woodblock printing tools. 

Amanda will be working throughout the grounds of Homestead National Monument of America through March 29th. Since she feels she can always learn more from other artist and naturalists, or folks with knowledge of the local environment, she welcomes fellow artists, photographers and visitors to stop and draw with her for a while, or to introduce themselves and talk! To learn more about Amanda's work visit www.wanderartist.com

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 16 March, 2015

“See the Great Plains” Poster Series Ecotourism Exhibit to Open
at Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America is excited to announce the opening of its newest exhibit titled See the Great Plains.  The exhibit will open at the Monument’s Education Center on Sunday, March 29, 2015.  Designed by Lincoln, Nebraska artist Katie Nieland, See the Great Plains is a special ecotourism poster exhibit on loan from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Great Plains Studies.  The exhibit is free and open to the public and will be on display through Labor Day weekend.

See the Great Plains features 12 posters designed in a style that pays homage to the 1930s Works Progress Administration’s posters for the National Parks.  These posters feature scenes from across the Great Plains.  The poster series is designed to bring awareness to the beautiful destination sites throughout the region.  Each site has been identified by the Center for Great Plains Studies as an ecotourism site and encourages travelers to visit these ecological marvels. 

“Ecotourism offers a way to combine conservation of biodiversity with new economic opportunities for rural towns across the Great Plains, and it’s the best way to engage with the natural beauty and wonder of the region,” said Dr. Richard Edwards, Director of the Center for Great Plains Studies.  With posters baring titles like “Bison Rebirth: See the Largest Land Mammal In North America” and “Dancing Chickens: The original Sandhills Hoe-Down” you will not want to miss your chance to see this exceptional exhibit!  Additionally, you can collect them all -- posters and postcards will be for sale at Homestead’s bookstores.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 14 March, 2015

Jr. Rangers to Discover Birds at Homestead National Monument of America

Does that bird have a seed eater beak, or a bug eater beak?  And what is a raptor, anyway?  Find out on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 1 p.m. at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center.  Jr. Rangers of all ages are invited to a fun and informative program on birding basics.  And for those of you ages 5 and up, the self/parent directed Homestead Jr. Ranger activity booklet will be available to complete before or after the birding program.  Come to Homestead, become a Jr. Ranger and earn a badge.

“Jr. Rangers are some of our favorite people!  And now that spring is here, the prairie and woodland are coming alive with birds. ” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.\

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 13 March, 2015

Youth Conservation Corps Applications for Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America is now accepting applications for the summer 2015 Youth Conservation Corps (YCC).  The YCC is a summer employment program for young men and women, ages 15-18, who work and learn together on projects that further the development and conservation of the natural and cultural resources of the United States.

YCC enrollees will work together and individually to accomplish conservation and maintenance work at Homestead National Monument of America.  This eight-week program will begin on Monday, June 1, 2015.  Enrollees must have a desire to work in the outdoors.  Proposed projects for the 2015 summer include trail work, work in native prairie, general maintenance and assist with painting.  YCC enrollees must be at least 15 years of age and cannot reach 19 years of age during the term of employment; be a permanent resident of the United States or its territories or possessions; and have a social security number or have applied to obtain one.  Enrollees must provide the proper type of work clothing, which will include long pants and work shoes.

Enrollees will be paid the Federal minimum wage of $8.00 per hour and work 40 hours each week.  Interested persons may pick up an application at Homestead National Monument of America between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or have an application mailed by calling 402-223-3514.  Completed applications must be returned (or postmarked) by April 10 to Homestead National Monument of America, 8523 West State Highway 4, Beatrice, NE  68310.  Selections will be made by April 17.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 12 March, 2015

2015 Nebraska Passport Sites Selected

LINCOLN, Neb. (March 11, 2015)—The Nebraska Tourism Commission presents the 80 featured stops in the 2015 Nebraska Passport Program. The Passport program encourages travelers to explore Nebraska, collect stamps from participating attractions and earn great prizes.

The 2015 Passport will feature 80 attractions on 10 themed tours. Travelers have from May 1 through September 30 to visit attractions and redeem their stamps for prizes. For each completed tour, participants win a Nebraska Passport T-shirt. Travelers also can receive 20 $1 Nebraska Lottery Scratch coupons (for 20 stamps), a Travel Duffle Bag (for 40 stamps), and a Local First Gift Basket (for all 80 stamps).

A grand-prize drawing for an Omaha Steaks Culinary Calendar Package will be held in October. This year, an additional drawing for 300 $1 Nebraska Lottery Scratch tickets will be held for all participants, 19 and older, who turn in passports with at least one stamp.

Passports will be available at participating stops in May or can be pre-ordered by emailing info@NebraskaPassport.com. Participants can also download the Nebraska Passport App for their smart phone and get stamped digitally rather than carrying around the paper passport. Please note, the passport app will be updated with the 2015 information at 12:01 a.m. on May 1. Those who used the application last year will need to download the update to see the new information.

Selected Tour Sites

  1. Play Nice 
    1. Alia Arram Children's Museum - Kearney
    2. Cody Park and Train Display - North Platte
    3. Edgerton Exploit Center - Aurora
    4. Lincoln Children's Museum - Lincoln
    5. North Platte Area Children's Museum - North Platte
    6. Omaha Children's Museum - Omaha
    7. Pawnee Plunge - Columbus
    8. Wildlife Safari Park - Ashland
  2. Happy Heart
    1. Bike Cowboy Trail – Long Pine to Ainsworth
    2. Climb the Tower at Platte River State Park - Louisville
    3. Golf Awarii Dunes - Axtell
    4. Hike at Fontenelle Forest - Bellevue
    5. Kayak the Niobrara River with Graham Canoe Outfitters - Valentine
    6. Run at Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center - Denton
    7. Trek to the Hudson-Meng Education & Research Center - Toadstool Park, near Crawford
    8. Walk at Pioneer's Park Nature Center - Lincoln
  3. I 394px-Love_Heart_symbol.svg_[1] Art
    1. Art at Lodgepole Creek - Sidney
    2. Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art - David City
    3. Carnegie Arts Center - Alliance
    4. Love's Jazz Center - Omaha
    5. Lux Center for the Arts - Lincoln
    6. Museum of the Fur Trade - Chadron
    7. Petrified Wood and Art Gallery - Ogallala
    8. Red Path Gallery and Tasting Room - Seward
  4. One Of A Kind
    1. Hollywood Candy and Fairmont Antiques - Omaha
    2. Lee's Legendary Marbles & Collectables - York
    3. Meadville Store and Park - Ainsworth
    4. Moonstruck Meadery - Bellevue
    5. Sew Blessed - McCook
    6. The Solid Rock Inc. - Kearney
    7. The Whistle Shop - Bassett
    8. Yankee Peddler West - Fremont
  5. Yummy Tummy
    1. Back Alley Bakery (Organic Sourdough Bread) - Hastings
    2. Bakers Candies (Bakers chocolates) - Greenwood
    3. Big Mama’s Kitchen (Big Mama’s Oven-Fried Chicken & Catfish) - Omaha
    4. Dinty Moore's (The Dinty Moore Sandwich) - Nebraska City
    5. Dundee Dell (The Reuben) - Omaha
    6. Dusters Restaurant (Dorothy Lynch) - Columbus
    7. Kuper Farms Country Market (farm fresh produce) - Norfolk
    8. The Drifter Cookshack (The Coffee Burger) – Crawford
  6. Chill & Chat
    1. Balcony House B&B – Imperial
    2. Historic Golden Hotel - O'Neil
    3. Liberty House B&B - Seward
    4. Ofe's Bed and Breakfast - Bennington
    5. Pine Valley Resort LLC - Long Pine
    6. River Inn Resort- Brownville
    7. The Red Cloud Bed and Breakfast at the Kaley House - Red Cloud
    8. Whispering Pines B&B – Nebraska City
  7. Sauce & Cycles
    1. Fairfield Opera House Brewery & Grill - Fairfield
    2. Kinkaider Brewing Co. - Broken Bow
    3. Sandhills Hotel & Glidden Canoe Rental – Mullen
    4. Schilling Bridge - Pawnee
    5. Stagecoach Mall Antiques and Tasting Room - Fairbury
    6. Storz Trophy Room Grill & Brewing Company - Omaha
    7. The Brewery at Divots Center - Norfolk
    8. Union Bar & Grill - Gering
  8. Crazy Confections
    1. 4th Avenue Coffee - Holdrege
    2. Licorice International - Lincoln
    3. R.F. Goeke Variety and Soda Fountain - Atkinson
    4. Seihnert's Bakery - McCook
    5. Serendipity Chocolate Factory - Tekamah
    6. The Gering Bakery - Gering
    7. The Sweet Shoppe - St. Paul
    8. Tru Café – Kearney
  9. Only In Nebraska
    1. Agate Fossil Beds National Monument - Harrison
    2. Boys Town - Omaha
    3. Buffalo Bill Ranch & State Historic Park - North Platte
    4. Homestead National Monument - Beatrice
    5. Scotts Bluff National Monument - Gering
    6. Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer - Grand Island
    7. The State Capitol - Lincoln
    8. Winnebago Arts Center – Winnebago
  10. Nebraska Legends
    1. Andrew Jackson Higgins National Memorial - Columbus
    2. Arbor Lodge State Historical Park, Home of J. Sterling Morton - Nebraska City
    3. Arthur Bowring Sandhills Ranch State Historical Park - Merriman
    4. General Crook House Museum – Omaha
    5. John G. Nieheart State Historical Site - Bancroft
    6. Ponca Tribal Museum and Library -  Niobrara 
    7. Senator George W. Norris Nebraska State Historical Site – McCook
    8. Willa Cather State Historic Site – Red Cloud

For more information about travel, events and unique destinations in Nebraska, order your free travel guide today at www.VisitNebraska.com. Then stay connected with Nebraska Tourism on our Visit Nebraska Facebook page, on Twitter, on Pinterest and on YouTube.

The mission of the Nebraska Tourism Commission is to expand Nebraska’s dynamic and diverse travel industry making it more viable by creating awareness, attracting increased visitors which results in greater tourism revenue and economic gain throughout the state. To learn more, go to www.VisitNebraska.com.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 11 March, 2015

Mark Your Calendar for the 2015 Land Records and Genealogy Symposium

Are you interested in researching your family history, land records, or learning about the latest technologies being applied by genealogists?  If so then you should plan to be at the 2015 Land Records and Genealogy Symposium.  The event will take place Friday and Saturday, July 10&11, 2015, and is co-sponsored by Southeast Community College of Beatrice and Homestead National Monument of America.  It will be held at the Truman Center building on Southeast Community College’s Beatrice campus.  

The conference will feature renowned speakers from all over the country, excellent food, entertainment, vendors, and onsite help for all of your genealogy needs.  Southeast Community College and Homestead National Monument of America have partnered once again to bring in professional genealogists to present a variety of topics and techniques that will enhance your genealogical research. 

Please contact Homestead National Monument of America for more information at 402-223-3514.  Those wanting to register for the event should contact Southeast Community College Continuing Education Center, at 402-437-2700.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 06 March, 2015

Get Growing this Spring at the Homestead Community Garden!

Want to garden but don’t have the space? Want to expand your garden? Apply for a plot in Homestead National Monument of America’s Community Garden this spring. The Monument is now accepting applications for the sixth year of its Homestead Community Garden. 

Applications are available at the Heritage Center or Education Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  They can also be downloaded at http://www.nps.gov/home/getinvolved/2015-Homestead-Community-Garden.htm. Applications must be dropped off at the Monument or emailed to Nicholas_Manes@nps.gov by Thursday, April 2, 2015. 

The monument will provide a free 10’ x 15’ plot and water. It is one plot per application with a limit of two plots per address. No pesticides will be allowed.  Plots selected by lottery on Friday, April 3, 2015.

Visit the Monument’s Community Garden webpage http://www.nps.gov/home/getinvolved/2015-Homestead-Community-Garden.htm for more information. Contact Park Guide Nick Manes with questions at 402-223-3514 or email him at Nicholas_Manes@nps.gov.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (HomesteadNM).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 02 March, 2015

Celebrate Women’s History Month at Homestead National Monument of America

You are invited to celebrate Women’s History Month at Homestead National Monument of America on March 8, 2015, at 2 p.m. with author Stephanie Grace Whitson.  Ms. Whitson will be presenting “Nebraska’s Sod House Homemakers and Their Quilts” at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center. Following the program she will be available to sign books.  Several of her titles will be available for sale at the Homestead bookstores. 

Ms. Whitson has authored numerous historical fiction books, many of which take place in the Midwest during the 19th century and feature strong women struggling to find their place in the world.  Her program “Nebraska’s Sod House Homemakers and Their Quilts” is based on Whitson’s research documenting quilts made and used by 19th century sod house homemakers.  Reproduction quilts, historic photographs, and the women’s own words help us see inside pioneer women’s homes and better understand their lives and legacy.   

“We look forward to hosting Ms. Whitson and hope you will join us in celebrating Women’s History Month.” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 26 February, 2015

Friends of Homestead to Sponsor Barn Quilt Workshop

The Barn Quilt workshop have been so popular that the Friends of Homestead is hosting another Barn Quilt Workshop on Thursday, March 19, 2015.  This evening workshop will be from 5:30-7:30 pm at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center.  It is open to everyone and will be led by Kay McKinzie. 

Participants will get everything they need to complete a barn quilt to hang on a building or post in a yard.  Along with instructions, participants will receive a primed board to pencil on a pattern, tape off the pattern and paint the first color.  They will leave with the rest of the paint and brushes needed to complete their project.  Pre-registration is required with Tammy Weers at First National Bank of Omaha at 402-228-4241.  There is a $30 supply fee payable to Friends of Homestead at the time of registration.

Barn quilts have become a major tourist attraction.  There are several barn quilt trails near Beatrice and in Gage County. The goal of these workshops is to fill in some gaps and connect Homestead National Monument of America and surrounding communities with barn quilt trails to draw tourism to the area.

The Friends of Homestead is a non-profit organization created to support the educational and public programs of Homestead National Monument of America.  For more information visit www.friendsofhomestead.com.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 24 February, 2015

Enjoy the Storytelling Festival at Homestead National Monument of America!

Enjoy the stories of professional storytellers at the Heartland Storytelling Festival at Homestead National Monument of America on March 4 and 5, 2015.  Three storytellers perform each day in a round-robin set-up.  Programs are held at the Monument’s Education and the Heritage Centers at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, and 1:00 p.m. both days.  This fun event is free! Storytellers this year include:

Darrin Crow - Hailing from across the mighty Missouri in Iowa, Darrin’s yarns will take you back to a time when immigrants were settling the Midwest.

Tyler Rinne - A native Nebraskan, Tyler shares tall tales of mysteries homesteaders encountered when they settled here.

Rosie Cutrer – Visiting from Kansas, Rosie will take you back to the pioneer times and delight all with her collection of everyday tools and toys from yesteryear.

Elementary schools, daycares, home school groups, senior centers and the general public are encouraged to attend.  Groups of 10 or more interested in attending should call Jesse Bolli at (402) 223-3514 as soon as possible to make reservations.  

This program is possible with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.   

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 23 February, 2015

Final Episode of "The West" at Film Festival at Homestead National Monument of America

We hope you will join us for the final installment of “The West” by Kens Burns.  Episode 9 will be shown Saturday and Sunday, February 28 and March 1, 2015, 2:00 p.m. at Homestead National Monument of America’s Education Center.  

In episode 9, “One Sky Above Us”, the new century marks a new era in the West, an age of aqueducts and smelters. But the West remains what it has always been, a world waiting for a dream.
“Thank you for coming along on this journey through The West with us” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Film Festival Schedule: 2:00 p.m. each day
February 28 & March 1 — Episode 9: One Sky Above Us
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 19 February, 2015

“Nebraska’s Sod House Homemakers and Their Quilts” Author Featured at Homestead National Monument of America

Author Stephanie Grace Whitson will give her program “Nebraska’s Sod House Homemakers and Their Quilts” on March 8, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Homestead National Monument of America Education Center.  Following the program she will sign books.  Her many books will be available for sale at the bookstores. 

This program is based on Whitson’s research documenting quilts used by 19th century sod house homemakers.  Quilts, enhanced archival photographs, and the women’s own words help us see inside pioneer women’s homes and better understand their lives and legacy. This program includes a trunk show of reproduction quilts made for the book Home on the Plains:  Quilts and the Sod House Experience.  Another book is set at a Chautauqua Event in Beatrice, Nebraska and part of the story line includes the Paddock Hotel. 

“We are very excited to host Stephanie Whitson at Homestead National Monument of America.  She will even have a surprise.  She may have advance copies of her newest book Daughter of the Regiment available for sale that day.  This book is set during the Civil War.” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 19 February, 2015

Winter Deer Survey Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America will conduct its annual winter deer survey on February 28, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. You are invited to come and help the monument staff count deer! No experience necessary; all age and ability groups will be able to help. Walkers and spotters are needed.  Walkers will hike about ¾ of a mile through the tallgrass prairie (wear long pants, long sleeved shirt, good walking shoes, and appropriate coat for the weather).  Spotters will be stationed at various points along the west, north and south boundaries to count deer as they leave the monument (wear appropriate clothes for the weather).

Orientation will begin at the Homestead Education Center at 9:30 a.m. The survey will be completed by noon. Motorists on State Highway 4 need to be alert for deer crossing the highway as they drive through the monument on the morning of February 28, 2015.

“Assisting with the deer survey is a great way to get out into nature and off of the trails, you never know what you might encounter” Stated Park Superintendent Mark Engler

Remember Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 11 February, 2015

Black History Month Celebrated in the Homestead Film Festival at
Homestead National Monument of America

Experience more of “The West” by Ken Burns at Homestead National Monument of America’s Film Festival. Next up is Episode 7: “The Geography of Hope” at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, February 14 and 15, 2015 at the Education Center.  

This episode focuses on newcomers arriving by the millions, bringing a new spirit of conformity to the West. With racial discrimination on the rise in the post-Reconstruction South, an estimated 40,000 African Americans begin to migrate from the former slave states into Kansas; Indian children are taught to forsake their heritage; Mormons are told to abandon a tenet of their faith; and new laws deny Chinese and Mexican Americans a place in society. Yet the legend of the “Wild West” lives on, thanks to the greatest showman of the age.

 “This film shines a spotlight on the ways different cultures experienced the West,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Film Festival Schedule: 2:00 p.m. each day
February 14 & 15 —Episode 7: The Geography of Hope
February 21 & 22 —Episode 8: Ghost Dance
February 28 & March 1 —Episode 9: One Sky Above Us
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).
  

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 08 February, 2015

Get Your Homestead Quarters at the Coin Exchange

Having your very own Homestead quarter following its February 10, 2015 release will be easy.  At coin exchanges, you may exchange paper cash for Homestead quarters with a one roll minimum ($10) and ten roll ($100) maximum. You may not make an exchange for less than $10 or one roll. Quarter rolls will be exchanged for cash bills only (no coins, checks, or credit cards).  The first coin exchange will take place from 11 a.m. to noon, immediately follow the 10 a.m. official launch ceremony at Beatrice High School, February 10, 2015. The exchange will then continue from 1-4 p.m. at the Education Center at Homestead National Monument of America during an open house that same day, as long as supplies last. After this date you must exchange quarters at your local bank or purchase sets from Homestead's bookstores or the United States Mint.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to get their very own Homestead quarters,” said Superintendent Mark Engler. “This is a great opportunity for everyone to have an item which represents an important era in our nation’s history.”

Quarters rolls will also be available from the U.S. Mint’s website later in February. They will be sold as a two-roll set; one from the Philadelphia Mint and one from the Denver Mint. This product will sell for $32.95 + $4.95 shipping. They will also have $100 bags of quarters and bullions (5 oz. silver coins) available at the same time. Later in the month, you will find other Homestead quarter rolls, sets, and items for sale from the U.S. Mint's catalog.

The bookstores at Homestead National Monument of America will have special packaged sets of P (Philadelphia Mint) and D (Denver Mint) quarters available for purchase through the Friends of Homestead and the cooperating association, Eastern National. The bookstore will also have other commemorative quarter items such as collector folders and key chains.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 05 February, 2015

Be the First to See and Get the New Nebraska Quarter!
The Homestead Quarter!

What:  Join 2,500 plus Nebraskans, and guests; with officials from the United States Mint, National Park Service, State of Nebraska and local officials as they celebrate the arrival of Nebraska’s next quarter, the Homestead Quarter!  The Homestead Quarter is the 26th Quarter in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.  Approximately 300 million Homestead Quarters have been struck at the Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints.  Be a part of the Official Launch Ceremony! 

Time:  10:00 a.m., (CST) Tuesday, February 10, 2015
 Seating opens at 9 a.m.

Place:  Beatrice High School
            600 Orange Blvd.
            Beatrice, NE  68310
            Phone 402-223-3514 (Homestead National Monument of America)

Who:  Event participants include: Mike Foley, Nebraska Lt. Governor; Dave Croft, Associate Director of Manufacturing U.S. Mint; Mark Engler, Superintendent, Homestead National Monument of America and Stan Wirth, Mayor of Beatrice.  Performing at the ceremony will be the University of Nebraska’s Big Red Singers, and Beatrice High School Band and Chamber Choir. 

I want a quarter!  Following the launch ceremony, a quarter exchange will take place in the auxiliary gym at the Beatrice High School until supply runs out.  Minimum purchase will be $10 for a roll of Homestead Quarters, with the maximum of 10 rolls, or $100.  Cash (bills) Only.   

Reserved parking will be provided for members of the media.

Other Events Tied to the Quarter Launch:  Open house, ice carving, music, quarter exchange (until supply runs out), postal cancellation and cake at Homestead National Monument of America, Education Center, February 10, 1-4 p.m.  A Coin Forum, February 9, 2015, 6-7 p.m. at the Homestead National Monument of America, Education Center.

University of Nebraska Men’s Basketball Game with Wisconsin, February 10, first 2,500 fans get new Homestead quarters at Pinnacle Bank Arena-“The Vault.”

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 03 February, 2015

Western History Film Festival Continues at
Homestead National Monument of America

The Homestead Film Festival continues to share “The West” by Ken Burns. Snow closed the monument last Sunday, so this weekend you get two for the price of one - which, as usual, is free!  On Saturday and Sunday, February 7 and 8, 2015, join us for Episode 5: “The Grandest Enterprise Under God” at 12:30 pm, followed by Episode 6: “Fight No More Forever” at 2 p.m. at the Homestead Education Center.  And just in case you can’t make it on the weekend, both films will be offered this Thursday, February 5, at 12:30 and 2:00 pm.

Episode 5, “The Grandest Enterprise Under God” explores how progress took hold of the nation and flooded it with dramatic changes. A triumph of the human spirit, the transcontinental railroad opens a new era in the West, carrying homesteaders onto the prairies, bringing cowboys up the cattle trail from Texas, helping give women the vote in Utah and sending buffalo hunters onto the plains, where they drive a symbol of the West -- and a way of life -- to the brink of extinction.

In Episode 6, “Fight No More Forever” you will learn about a pivotal time in western history. The federal government tightens its grip on the West, but three bold spirits remain defiant -- Sitting Bull, who prophesies his people's greatest victory but cannot prevent their ultimate defeat; Brigham Young, who must sacrifice a spiritual son to save his church; and Chief Joseph, who triumphs in defeat as an indomitable voice of conscience for the West.

“Many changes occurred through the West’s history, and it is important to see all perspectives. These films have a lot to teach us,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Film Festival Schedule:
February 5, 7 & 8 —Episode 5:  The Grandest Enterprise Under God, 12:30 pm; Episode 6: Fight No More Forever, 2:00 pm
February 14 & 15 —Episode 7: The Geography of Hope, 2:00 pm
February 21 & 22 —Episode 8: Ghost Dance, 2:00 pm
February 28 & March 1 —Episode 9: One Sky Above Us, 2:00 pm

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 02 February, 2015

The Homestead Quarter Will Soon Be Here!

Beatrice High School will be the place to be on February 10, 2015 for the launch of the Homestead Quarter!  From 9 a.m. to noon everyone is invited to be a part of the program which will end with the public’s first opportunity to get a Homestead Quarter. 

Each time a quarter in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program series is released a special launch event is planned. The launch of the Homestead quarter is no different. Seating will open at 9 a.m. when the audience will be treated to performances by the Big Red Singers from the University of Nebraska, and Beatrice High School’s band and Chamber choir. 

At 10 a.m. the Quarter Launch Ceremony will officially begin with a welcome from co-emcees Beatrice Mayor Stan Wirth and Beatrice High School Junior Dylan George. Mike Wolfe, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, will give an American Indian Blessing. Following remarks by Superintendent Mark Engler, Acting Midwest Regional Director Patty Trap, and County Supervisor Myron Dorn, the Beatrice High School Chamber Choir will perform “Home on the Range.” This will be followed by remarks from a number of dignitaries or their representatives. The Big Red Singers will also perform in this part of the program.

The program will conclude with a Quarter launch video, remarks by Lt. Governor Mike Foley, and a special presentation and Coin Pour by Dave Croft from the United States Mint. The Coin Pour is just what it sounds like, new quarters being poured from/into something that represents the site on the quarter.  The Beatrice High School industrial arts students have been building the quarter pour mechanism for Homestead and are excited to share it with the state.

Following the launch ceremony, the Quarter Exchange will take place at Beatrice High School from 11 a.m. to noon.  Rolls of Homestead quarters will be available for exchange - 1 roll ($10) minimum, 10 rolls ($100) maximum, bills only. The Quarter Exchange will continue in the afternoon from 1-4 p.m., at the Education Center at Homestead National Monument of America.  Refreshments and special programing will take place during the afternoon at the monument.

“We want to make this quarter launch special for all attending. In addition to the students from Beatrice High School and many surrounding schools, we have floor seating for the general public. We want everyone to have a chance to be a part of this historic event,” said Mark Engler, Superintendent.  In addition to the high school parking lot, parking will also be available at SHOPKO Hometown and the Orange Bowl Bowling Alley. Shuttle busses will pick up guests from these locations and deliver them to the front door of the high school.  Shuttle busses will begin running at 8:45 a.m. and will be available to return guests to their vehicles until noon.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 22 January, 2015

Enjoy the Film Festival at Homestead National Monument of America

The show goes on!  Join us for more films in the series, “The West” by Ken Burns. Episode 5: “The Grandest Enterprise Under God” will be shown at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 31 and Sunday, February 1, 2015 at the Homestead Education Center. This film explores how progress took hold of the nation and flooded it with dramatic changes. A triumph of the human spirit, the transcontinental railroad opens a new era in the West, carrying homesteaders onto the prairies, bringing cowboys up the cattle trail from Texas, helping give women the vote in Utah and sending buffalo hunters onto the plains, where they drive a symbol of the West -- and a way of life -- to the brink of extinction.

“This episode introduces our homesteading story, along with it’s complicated context. We hope you enjoy the show,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Film Festival Schedule: 2:00 p.m. each day
January 31 & February 1 —Episode 5: The Grandest Enterprise Under God
February 7 & 8 —Episode 6: Fight No More Forever
February 14 & 15 —Episode 7: The Geography of Hope
February 21 & 22 —Episode 8: Ghost Dance
February 28 & March 1 —Episode 9: One Sky Above Us

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 22 January, 2015

More of “The West” at Film Festival
at Homestead National Monument of America

The film festival continues, featuring “The West” by Ken Burns. Catch Episode 4: “Death Runs Riot” on Saturday, January 24 and Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Homestead Education Center. In this installment, civil war comes early to the West. In “Bleeding Kansas,” abolitionists battle for free soil. In Utah, federal troops march against Mormon polygamy. And along the Rio Grande, oppressed Mexican Americans rebel. The war between North and South unleashes brute savagery in the West, and leaves behind an army prepared for total war against the native peoples of the plains.

“We hope you join us for the rest of the series—it’s a wonderful way to learn all about the West’s great history,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Film Festival Schedule: 2:00 p.m. each day
January 24 & 25 —Episode 4: Death Runs Riot
January 31 & February 1 —Episode 5: The Grandest Enterprise Under God
February 7 & 8 —Episode 6: Fight No More Forever
February 14 & 15 —Episode 7: The Geography of Hope
February 21 & 22 —Episode 8: Ghost Dance
February 28 & March 1 —Episode 9: One Sky Above Us

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 15 January, 2015

Service Projects and Film to Celebrate Martin Luther King Day
at Homestead National Monument of America

In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Homestead National Monument of America invites you to join in a service project and view the film “The Man and The Dream” on Monday, January 19, 2015.  The service project will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Education Center.  You can choose between litter pick up or cleaning outdoor exhibits on the prairie. Then at 2 p.m. we will show a film on the life of Martin Luther King at the Education Center.  Come for one or both! “This day is an opportunity to honor Dr. King and his legacy of service,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

“The Man and The Dream” is an hour long film that explores the life of Dr. King from childhood through his assassination in 1968.  This year is the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the event that set the stage for King’s rise to national prominence as a civil rights leader.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 12 January, 2015

Film Festival Continues at Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America continues the winter film festival featuring “The West” by Ken Burns.  The film chapter “Speck of the Future” will be shown Saturday, January 17 and Sunday, January18 at 2 p.m. at the Homestead Education Center.   In “Speck of the Future” it seems the whole world comes to the West during the Gold Rush, as 49ers from Asia, South America and the eastern states scramble for “a share of the rocks,” littering the hills with mining towns and creating the West’s first metropolis. But many discover it isn’t so easy to strike it rich as they are violently pushed aside.

“Don’t miss the rest of this Ken Burns series which explores all aspects of the immense story of the settling of the west,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Film Festival Schedule: 2:00 p.m. each day
January 17 & 18 —Episode 3: The Speck of the Future
January 24 & 25 —Episode 4: Death Runs Riot
January 31 & February 1 —Episode 5: The Grandest Enterprise Under God
February 7 & 8 —Episode 6: Fight No More Forever
February 14 & 15 —Episode 7: The Geography of Hope
February 21 & 22 —Episode 8: Ghost Dance
February 28 & March 1 —Episode 9: One Sky Above Us
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 08 January, 2015

“The Man and The Dream” Film to Celebrate Martin Luther King Day
at Homestead National Monument of America

In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Homestead National Monument of America invites you to the monument to view “The Man and The Dream” on Monday, January 19, 2015, 2 p.m. at the Education Center.  “This day is an opportunity to honor Dr. King and his legacy of service,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

“The Man and The Dream” is an hour long film that explores the life of Dr. King from childhood through his assassination in 1968.  This year is the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the event that set the stage for King’s rise to national prominence as a civil rights leader.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 07 January, 2015

Volunteers Wanted! Help Organize Dempster Archive at
Homestead National Monument of America

Homestead National Monument of America has launched a project to begin processing the Dempster Mill Manufacturing Company archival records. Volunteers are needed to help with this huge archival project.  Work on the project will begin January 20, 2015 and will take place Monday through Friday, 9am-noon or 1-4pm, at the Education Center.  No experience necessary; all training will be done on-the-job.  If interested, apply at the Monument.  Any time you can spend helping with this project is greatly appreciated.  

The Dempster Mill Manufacturing Company was founded in Beatrice, Nebraska in 1878 by Charles B. Dempster. Mr. Dempster knew that many families were heading west to homestead following the Civil War. So he created a company to provide the windmills, water pumps, and machinery they needed to prosper. The Dempster company quickly grew into one of the most successful windmill and pump companies in the nation. The company's records, dating back to the nineteenth century, have largely survived and provide a first-hand account of how Dempster's managers grew their business.

These records include product catalogs, board of director’s meeting minutes, yearly financial reports, engineering bulletins, sales reports, photographs and much more. Preserving company records such as these for scholarly and public use is very rare and extremely valuable. These records will provide a valuable resource to scholars of business, history, economics, industrial and mechanical engineering, and others.  Family historians will also be able to examine the records for their research.  

Volunteers will help with the preservation and processing of the Dempster records. Many of the records are dusty and need to be cleaned before they are put in the archives; volunteers will help by dusting and vacuuming the papers.  Volunteers will also help preserve these documents by removing staples, paper clips, and other items that could harm the paper over time.  The records also need to be organized and volunteers will help label the folders and put them in order chronologically, alphabetically or numerically. Volunteers will also help identify duplicate pages, blank pages, and non-archival materials which don’t need to be kept in the archival collection.

This project is expected to continue throughout 2015.  Any former Dempster employees who wish to volunteer are especially appreciated since they can give insight into the records and will be especially helpful for the identification of products and people who worked at Dempster over the years.
Special thanks to Dempsters LLC and Dempsters Manufacturing LLC and their dedicated employees for preserving these records for Homestead National Monument of America. Ryan Mitchell and Glenn Bebee have been instrumental in the culmination of this donation. This project is funded by the Margaret and Martha Thomas Foundation.

For more information about the project please contact Amy Neumann at 402-223-1716 or amy_neumann@nps.gov. If you are a new volunteer at Homestead or wish to set up a regular work shift please contact Susan Cook, Volunteer Coordinator, at 402-223-1712 or susan_cook@nps.gov.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

Heritage Highway 136 Byway Newsroom Published 06 January, 2015

Film Festival Continues at
Homestead National Monument of America

The next installment of Ken Burn’s nine part series “The West” will be shown on January 10 and 11 at 2 p.m. at the Education Center.  This episode, “Empire Upon the Trails”, features fur trading, fighting for self-determination in Texas, seekers of religious freedom in Utah or a better life along the Oregon Trail. With every step, they move closer to a “Manifest Destiny” that will make the West their own.

“We are excited to offer “The West” for the Homestead Film Festival this year.  We hope you will join us each weekend through March 1 for a different episode,” stated Superintendent Mark Engler.

Film Festival Schedule: 2:00 p.m. each day
January 10 & 11 —Episode 2: Empire Upon the Trails
January 17 & 18 —Episode 3: The Speck of the Future
January 24 & 25 —Episode 4: Death Runs Riot
January 31 & February 1 —Episode 5: The Grandest Enterprise Under God
February 7 & 8 —Episode 6: Fight No More Forever
February 14 & 15 —Episode 7: The Geography of Hope
February 21 & 22 —Episode 8: Ghost Dance
February 28 & March 1 —Episode 9: One Sky Above Us

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.