Last updated: 7/15/2013
Beatrice, Nebraska
Street Address
101 North 2nd
Beatrice, NE 68310
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 793
Beatrice, NE 68310
Winter Hours
Tuesday - Friday9 AM - 12 PM & 1 PM - 5 PM
Memorial Day through Labor Day (Summer Hours)
Tuesday - Saturday9 AM - 12 PM & 1 PM - 5 PM
Sunday1:30 PM - 5 PM
Free. Donations Accepted.
Gift Shop
Online Gift Shop
Group Tours
Lesa Arterburn, Director
phone: 402-228-1679
Rita Clawson, Curator
phone: 402-228-1679

The Museum is in a 1906 Burlington Passenger Station, the first Neo-Classical Revival architectural style on the Burlington line. This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Begin your genealogical research at the Gage County Museum. The Gage County Historical Society has a willing staff available to guide people in finding Gage County relatives.

The people of Gage County were and are today an important part of the growth and prosperity of the county. Early settlers and later homesteaders made Gage County home, planting hardwood trees, orchards and building substantial homes. Gage County, Nebraska was listed as a destination point at Ellis Island. Several different ethnic groups made Gage County home — just a few of these groups included German, Danish, Russian and Welsh.

Gage County came alive when the Burlington Missouri railroad built a line from Lincoln to Beatrice in 1871. The Union Pacific arrived in 1879 and the Rock Island in the 1880's. With the expansion of the railroads came immigrants looking to start a new life on the fertile farmland in Nebraska.

Early Gage County homesteaders were the Kilpatrick brothers who contributed in a big way to railroad building and Western expansion. Working as railroad contractors, the brothers built over 3,339 miles of rail line west of the Mississippi River, plus 34 miles of water pipe line, two reservoirs for a privately owned company, and a tunnel and reservoir for the United States Government.


"The Gage County Historical Society collects, preserves and interprets artifacts and archival materials related to the history of Gage County and hold them in trust for present and future generations."


Founded in 1971.

n February 1970, Zoa Ann Worden, teacher, historian and author of Queen City of the Blue, hand moved to the Defender's Townhouse (former the Paddock Hotel, which is today The Kensignton) and displayed her collection in the mezzanine. She continued to collect Gage County related items until it was clear a real Gage County Museum was needed. In March 1971, the first organizational meeting was held with approximately two dozen people in attendance.

In June 1971, the Historical Society was incorporated, and in November 1971, the Museum opened at 404 Court. The board realized they needed a permanent site for the Museum. It was Jane Coffin who suggested the old Burlington depot, and her husband Leight and W.W. Cook, Sr. wrote letters and met with Burlington official to secure the old passenger station. The Burlington-Northern Railroad donated the depot to the Gage County Historical Society in March 1973. The depot was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

On April 11, 1977 the Filley Stone Barn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The following year, it was willed to the Gage County Historical Society by owner Edwin Pedersen, with over three acres of the surrounding land and $10,000 for restoration.

Artifact Collections

Gage County, Nebraska related

  • People
  • Railroad
  • Industry
  • Medical
  • Agricultural
  • Research Collections

    The Gage County Historical Society's research collections offer a whole host of other possible options to guide researchers in their quest. Some of the resources include:

  • Historical books for staff to research
  • Cemetery records throughout entire county
  • Marriage records 1907 and earlier
  • Extensive photographic collection including people, houses, buildings, businesses, street scenes, etc. Obituaries filed according to name Other newspaper clippings filled according to event, business, industry, etc.
  • Library

    Access: General Public

    Appointment required: No


    Quarterly Express newsletter


    Wheelchair Accessible




    Gift Shop

    The Gage County Historical Society's Gift Shop is located in the Museum and open during Museum hours.


    Thank you to the many individuals and/or businesses who donate their time and talents to the Museum. The Society has dedicated volunteers who staff the museum on Sunday afternoons (some since 1971).

    Gift Shop

    Online Gift Shop

    Group Tours

    This information, including business hours, addresses and contact information is provided for general reference purposes only. No representation is made or warranty is given as to its content or the reliability thereof. User assumes all risk of use. Stories USA, Inc. and its content suppliers assume no responsibility for any loss or delay resulting from such use. Please call ahead to verify the dates, the location and directions.
    Richmond, Virginia

    Riggs Ward Design (RWD) is an award-winning experience planning and design studio headquartered in historic Richmond, Virginia. Over the past 24 years, we have provided experience design, strategic master planning, interpretive planning, research, content analysis, and storyline development for museums, universities, corporations, and cultural institutions. RWD’s services also include exhibit ephemera, books, and fundraising campaign materials.

    Friday, October 1 - Sunday, October 31, 2021 — Virtual
    Arriving this October: The Western Museum Association Roadshow!
    Monday, November 29 - Wednesday, December 1, 2021 — Washington, District of Columbia
    2021 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums
    Washington, District of Columbia
    Sunday, March 6 - Thursday, March 10, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
    2022 Public Land Alliance Convention and Trade Show
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Recent Updates