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Arbor Lodge State Historical Park, Nebraska City

4.5
#10 of 28 in Nature in Nebraska
State Park Nature / Park
Arbor Lodge State Historical Park and Arboretum is a mansion, state park, and arboretum located at 2300 2nd Avenue, Nebraska City, Nebraska. Park grounds are open daily; the mansion is open April–December daily.OverviewToday's 52-room neocolonial house began in 1855 for Julius Sterling Morton, originator of Arbor Day and Secretary of Agriculture in the 1890s under President Grover Cleveland. The house was originally a modest 4-room frame structure on 160acre. It was extended several times, most recently in 1903, and in later years served as the summer home for his son Joy Morton, namesake of Morton Salt Company. The mansion features Victorian and Empire furnishings, many of which were owned by the Mortons. Its sun parlor contains a fine Tiffany skylight with grape wreath design.The mansion currently functions as a museum and contains many items related to the early history of Nebraska, Otoe County, and Nebraska City (which was founded in 1854). A nearby outbuilding contains early carriages, steam-driven vehicles, fire wagons, and gasoline-driven vehicles.Trees were a central interest of J. Sterling Morton. He imported trees from all over the world in order to test their suitability to create windbreaks and otherwise break up the monotony of the great plains. The house is surrounded by 270 varieties of trees and shrubs, including gardens, apple orchards, and acres of oaks, maples, chestnuts, and pines, including at least 10 state-champion trees. Specimen trees are typically labeled with engraved bronze plates. Over the years, many of Arbor Lodge's apple orchards were demolished, but in the 1990s their restoration began with plantings of Winesaps, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Jonathans, and Jonadels.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
104 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • First time through this lovely mansion. Lots of interesting facts about the founding family and the area. If you are into local history that also influenced the rest of the United States history, then...  more »
  • Just a beautiful park with amazing vegetation. The whispering bench and statue of Daphne and J. Sterling Morton are a must see spot as is the mansion. The mansion tour offers a detailed history of the...  more »
  • We toured the mansion years ago and decided to stop and do it again. I had forgotten how beautiful this stop is. I learned more this time about the history of the family and the home and their love of...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful grounds. Refreshing! While on your visit, take the time to tour the Mansion. Walk the trails and take it all in. Its very rich in history and beauty. Staff is beyond friendly, knowledgeable and are very willing to answer any questions that may arise. A definite must see in Nebraska City. It will not disappoint.
  • Incredible old home, and grounds with trees from around the world. It's a beautiful setting. Well worth the visit.
  • Great place to go for a walk and spend a relaxing day.
  • Beautiful lodge situated in a scenic setting. Olympic sized pool is amazing!
  • Beautifully preserved historic home of J. Sterling Morton.

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