The Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation (NSHSF) has announced the Chimney Rock Fundraiser to expand and improve the Ethel and Christopher J. Abbott Visitor Center. The NSHSF hopes to raise $1.8 Million in donations and grants.
“There is a lot of excitement surrounding this fundraising campaign,” said Leslie Fattig, NSHSF Executive Director. “Chimney Rock is such an iconic Nebraska landmark, we thought it was appropriate to announce this project on the anniversary of Nebraska’s statehood.”
Fattig says to date, just under $1.5 million has been raised, and now the NSHSF is asking the public for assistance raising the remaining amount. Donations are currently being accepted on the NSHSF website, and a variety of other fundraising events will be announced throughout the year.
In November 2018, the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation purchased a parcel of land that sits between the 300-foot state-owned Chimney Rock and the Abbott Visitor Center, approximately 360 acres. Planned improvements include an outdoor classroom and a trail that takes visitors closer to Chimney Rock. Additional improvements will be announced as plans are finalized.
“The Visitor Center currently features museum exhibits featuring pioneers and the migrations in the West, as well as a gift shop,” said Fattig. “This fundraising project will allow us to accommodate more visitors and to enhance the visitor educational experience.”
Chimney Rock, a geological rock formation rising nearly 300 ft. above the surrounding North Platte River valley, served as a prominent landmark along the Oregon Trail, the California Trail and the Mormon Trail during the mid-19th century. Chimney Rock Historical Site and Abbott Visitor Center attracts approximately 30,000 people a year.
Interested parties can donate via mail, phone or website. All donations will go towards the Chimney Rock project. https://www.nshsf.org/projects/chimney-rock/.