Museums and History


The Auburn Post Office is where the famous painting “Thresher” is located. The mural inside the lobby was a project of President Roosevelt in the 1930’s and only 12 post offices in the state were granted to be the recipient of a mural. The goal was to enhance the fine arts to the general public. It was painted by Ethel Magafan.

Legion Memorial Park was designated a National Historic Park Site because of its unusual structures within the park. The park was developed as one of the WPA projects of President Roosevelt and the construction began in the 1930’s. The material used throughout the park was the red granite boulders found in Nemaha County quarries. The rock creek dissects the park and the rock bridges were originally designed to accommodate horse and buggy travel.

The Nemaha County Veterans Memorial, dedicated in 2011, holds the names of more than 1,000 veterans carved into black granite on one side and murals depicting scenes from the Civil War to present times are on the opposite side of the granite structure.

The Nemaha Valley Museum displays the history of the area in three buildings along the historic Courthouse Square. “Living History Days” take place the last Sunday of September, located at 1423 19th Street, (402) 274-2608.

State Historical Marker for the Half-Breed Tract is located between the Great and Little Nemaha Rivers one mile east of Auburn on Hwy 136. It was the custom for many early fur traders to marry into Native American tribes. As the Native Americans ceded their lands, the rights of the half-breed descendants were not always identified. This was recognized by the government in 1830 by the Prairie Du Chien Treaty, which set aside a tract of land for the half-breeds of the Oto, Iowa, Omaha, and Santee Sioux Tribes.


The Peru Museum features a history of the town including the college and Missouri River. It also holds the genealogoy of Mount Vernon Cemetery.

The Brownell House was the home of Professor Herbert Brownell and the birthplace of Professor Brownell’s sons, Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr., and U.S. Commissioner of Education Samuel Brownell, and five other children born to the Brownell’s.

Peru Cemetery – Mount Vernon The observation point features a tri-state identity of Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa. The genealogy information is kept at the Peru Museum.

Peru State College Nebraska’s first college in 1867, a teacher training school with one building and 60 students, has transformed over the past 145 years into a state-of-the-art institution offering diverse, multifaceted educational programs to students from around the world.


The Nemaha Underground Railroad was utilized for smuggling slaves to the North. Many were ferried across the river, hid in attics of local sympathizers by day, and headed to the north by night. There are two documented sites by the Nebraska Historical Society.

The Methodist Church features native brick and a cornerstone laid in 1890. It still houses weekly Sunday Services.


The Bailey House is built of brick manufactured in one of the three brick factories in early Brownville. It is unique in that it originally stood near the Missouri River. When the river began to change its course and endanger the house, it was disassembled in 1877 and moved brick-by-brick to its present location on Main Street. Captain Bailey was a Civil War captain. Hours open: Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m., May through October. (402) 825-6001 or toll free at (877) 559-6005.

The Carson House
was originally built by Richard Brown, founder of Brownville. In 1864, it became the home of John L. Carson, an early Nebraska banker. Mr. Carson’s daughter, Rose, bequeathed the house to the Brownville Historical Society upon her death in 1966. Hours open: Saturday and Sunday 1-4 p.m., May through October. (402) 825-6001

Brownville Depot and Railroad History Museum, a finely preserved 1875 railroad depot and caboose feature the history of the relationship of the railroad and the village, located at U.S. Highway 136 and Main Street, (402)825-6001.

The 1854 Didier Log Cabin was built with whole logs running the length of the cabin, seven logs high with dovetailed corners. These logs are 8” to 15” in diameter, each chinked. The woods used in the reconstruction of the cabin were oak, walnut, pine, cottonwood, and cedar. The fireplace is erected with stone and the foundation constructed with large lime stones complete with loft, main room, bedroom, sitting room and dining area. This wonderfully reconstructed cabin is located in Boettner Park at 2nd & Main Streets. Open Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 pm, mid-May through mid-October, (402)825-6001.

Dr. Spurgin’s Dental Office is a re-creation of an early 20th century dentist office open and free to the public weekly.

Flatwater Folk Art Museum An art collection of vernacular expressions and creations reflecting the human spirit and the passion of common folk celebrating the diverse and universal traditions of life’s experiences, ceremony and rituals, located at 7th & Main Street, 402-825-4371.

Governor Furnas Museum This Italianate and Gothic Revival-style house was built in 1868 and was occupied by Robert Furnas from 1878 until his death in 1905 (as his retirement home). Robert Furnas was Nebraska’s third (or second elected) governor, located at 1868 South 6th Street at Water Street, (402) 274-4772.

The Meriwether Lewis Dredge Museum This decommissioned U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge boat now houses a Museum of Missouri River History, (402) 825-3982.

The Wheel Museum A historical display of various carriages, wagons, cannon, steam engines, etc. Open and free to the public.

Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard & Winery Built around 1902 the 100 year old barn of Julius Bergman was moved 18 miles to its present location spanning Whiskey Run Creek and sitting on the site of Brownville’s old brewery caves, located at 702 Main Street, (402) 825-4601.