A foundation expects to close Thursday on its purchase of land at the base of a famed pioneer landmark in the Nebraska Panhandle, Chimney Rock.
Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation executive director Leslie Fattig told the Lincoln Journal Star the $400,000 purchase of 360 acres will protect the site from development. The parcel, purchased from the Gordon Howard family, lies between the state-owned monument and the Abbott Visitor Center. The purchase could let visitors get closer to the landscape formation.
An invitation luncheon will be held Thursday at the Visitor Center to recognize the Howards for selling the land and protecting the view of the Rock in perpetuity, which is exactly what tourism icon Gordon Howard wanted prior to his death last month.
Chimney Rock received prominent mentions in diaries of pioneers migrating west on the Oregon, Mormon and California trails in the mid-1800s and site a few miles south-southwest of Bayard in Morrill County.