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Built to protect Overland Trail travelers, Fort Kearny State Historical Park near Kearney was a stage station, home station for the Pony Express, outfitting depot for Indian campaigns and home of the Pawnee Scouts. The fort was established in 1848 and used until 1871. After it was abandoned as a fort, the buildings were torn down and the area was opened to homesteading. In 1928, the Fort Kearny Memorial Association was formed, and the group purchased the 40 acres where most of the fort had been located. The stockade, parade grounds, powder magazine and carpenter-blacksmith shop have been rebuilt.
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The Interpretive Center houses exhibits on history of the fort, its uses over the years and those who lived there. Visitors may view an 18-minute video about the fort and its history. During sandhill crane migration, the Interpretive Center doubles as an information center for crane viewers.
After the Fort Kearny Memorial Association purchased the land where the fort had been, an archaeological exploration was conducted to locate building sites and other features of the area. Several buildings, including the stockade, parade grounds, powder magazine and carpenter-blacksmith shop, have since been rebuilt.
Living history demonstrations are held periodically during the summer months.
Fort Kearny State Historical Park is an excellent place to start your viewing of sandhill cranes during spring migration. The interpretive center is open daily during peak migration and serves as an information center for crane viewers. The bridges over the Platte River at the nearby Fort Kearny State Recreation Area are a popular place to observe the cranes at dusk and dawn.
Fishing, camping, hiking, swimming and no-wake boating are available on adjoining Fort Kearny State Recreation Area . Picnicking is available at both sites.
Address: Fort Kearny State Historical Park | 1020 V Rd | Kearney, NE 68847-9804
Phone: (308) 865-5305
Email: Send email