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Arbor Lodge State Historical Park, Nebraska City

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 85+ 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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  • Both my husband and I were originally from Nebraska and we have both visited Arbor Lodge many times. This visit was heart-breaking. The exterior of the Lodge is deplorable. It is seriously in need of ...  read more »
  • We enjoyed a self guided tour of the home of J Sterling Morton and his wife Caroline. A lot of history, including several presidents having visited, Teddy Roosevelt, Grover Cleveland to name two. The ...  read more »
  • The house is very interesting, but the family history is even more interesting. Be sure to check out the bowling alley in the basement and learn about the J Sterling's sons and their businesses 
  • 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.
  • How is it.
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