The Willa Cather Foundation, Red Cloud

#12 of 17 in Historic Sites in Nebraska
The Willa Cather Foundation was founded in 1955, through the efforts of a small group of volunteers in Red Cloud, Nebraska, led by Mildred R. Bennett. Today the Foundation is directed by a thirty-member Board of Governors that includes nationally recognized scholars, teachers, and business and professional people from throughout the United States. The Cather Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting understanding and appreciation of the life, time, settings, and work of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Willa Cather.

For the first 20 years of its existence, the Cather Foundation concentrated on preserving and restoring sites important to the life and works of Willa Cather. Today, six of the restored properties are owned by the Nebraska State Historical Society, but managed by the Cather Foundation. These sites are the Garber Bank Building, the Cather Childhood Home, the Grace Episcopal Church, the St. Juliana Catholic Church, the Burlington Depot, and the Pavelka farm, located fourteen miles north of Red Cloud. In addition, the Cather Foundation owns and manages the 1885 Red Cloud Opera House, the Baptist Church, the Harling House, and the Moon Block. Taken together, the Cather Foundation historic site has the largest number of national historic designated buildings devoted to one author in the United States. In addition, the Cather Foundation owns and manages the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie, a 608-acre tract of unbroken prairie located five miles from Red Cloud.

The Willa Cather Foundation offices are presently located in the newly restored 1885 Red Cloud Opera House. A bookstore within the Opera House carries all of Cather's works as well as many books written by others about Willa Cather. Art and educational exhibits regularly hang in the gallery, located on the main level of the Opera House. The Willa Cather Foundation is an Affiliate of the American Writers Museum.
Plan my Red Cloud trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.
Create an itinerary including The Willa Cather Foundation
The Willa Cather Foundation Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
43 reviews
  • The Willa Cather Museum in Red Cloud, NE, is an interesting, well done presentation of Willa Cather’s life and work. The full tour, which covers over half a dozen buildings in Red Cloud, is very inter...  more »
  • We ended a long day's drive from Denver in Red Cloud at the Willa Cather Second Home. The residence is lovingly restored and is on a quiet street just off of Webster. Red Cloud is beginning to revive ...  more »
  • There are many options in Red Cloud to experience the life and literature of Willa Cather. We felt very fortunate to start our visit by staying at the magnificent Cather Second Home overnight. It is r...  more »
  • Had a really nice time staying at the Willa Cather House. Fantastic people! A great reason to visit Red Cloud!
  • Nice museum Beautiful prairie
  • Very educational
  • Nice
  • If one is a Willa Cather fan, this is the place to be. There is a fabulous collection of artifacts on her, a video, and points around Red Cloud that are associated with her books. The volunteers there at the foundation were very accommodating, and ready to answer any questions. Copies of "Oh Pioneer," produced by Hallmark were on hand as well. The Foundation is around the corner from her childhood home, and the town itself is a must see.

Plan your trip to Red Cloud

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Red Cloud

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor