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Arbor Lodge State Historical Park, Nebraska City

(4.5/5 based on 90+ reviews on the web)
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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  • Founder of Arbor Day-J. Sterling Morton's home. Decorated for Christmas was beautiful! The lady at the front desk was very knowledgeable about the family, history, and additions built onto the house t...  more »
  • My wife took our two daughters through the mansion and the kids loved it! As first graders and fifth graders the girls really loved all the history and "neat things" in the home. We were there for the...  more »
  • Huge historical Home, huge trees and beautifully manicured grounds! Great photo ops around the house and in the gardens. Take the tour! 
  • Loved the Morton Mansion, and the Marketplace. The cherry wine I bought was amazing.
  • Very interesting house and a very interesting story about it. Take the time to see it.
  • Great lady who showed my kid bugs on their nature walk
  • If you love trees, Arbor Lodge State Park is a must see. Explore the history of Arbor Day while you visit the mansion and carriage house. A walk through time that is well worth a visit.
  • Beautiful house, friendly staff. We were there three hours and could have stayed longer but the upstairs air-conditioning is broken. When the weather cools we'll come back again.