America’s great agricultural expansion started in Gage County near Beatrice, which is home to the 211-acre Homestead National Monument of America. The Monument preserves the era of expansion westward in the United States spurred by passage of the Homestead Act. The Monument is located on the homestead site of Daniel Freeman, the first to apply for “free land” under the program.

The Monument’s Heritage Center has interactive exhibits explaining immigration, agriculture, Native Americans, and the prairie ecosystem. A 100-acre restored tallgrass prairie provides a glimpse of the once-expansive grasslands that dominated the homesteader era. The Freeman School was the longest running one-room school in Nebraska and has been restored to its 1870s appearance at the Monument. 8523 Highway 4. (402) 223-3514.

Some mornings, you can smell the sweet aroma of candied apples, nuts and liquor wafting through the downtown from Beatrice Bakery Co., which has a retail store and can arrange tours of the facility. 201 S. 5th St. (402) 223-2358.

Ervin Dixon fires salt-glazed pots, mugs, baking dishes and other stoneware in his 1895 former Lutheran church studio. Cedar Creek Pottery is seven miles east of Beatrice. 37639 S 80th Rd. (402) 228-0138.

The Gage County Historical Society Museum has a large research library and exhibits focusing on local history of the railroad, medicine, industry and agriculture. Many of these items can be seen nowhere else in Nebraska. 101 N. Second St. (402) 228-1679.

For more information about Gage County, contact Beatrice Chamber of Commerce and Tourism at and (402) 205-3292.

Discover Activities in Beatrice

  • Heritage Highway Scenic Byway

    The Heritage Highway Scenic Byway stretches 238 miles east-west on U.S. Highway 136 starting in Brownville and ending mid-state not far from Holdrege. This road-less-traveled begins on the banks of ...

  • Beatrice Bakery in Nebraska

    Beatrice Bakery Co.

    The Beatrice Bakery Co. prides itself on baking "America's best" fruitcakes. The company is located in downtown Beatrice, but their wide assortment of desserts, cakes and breads are demanded (...

  • The Black Crow

    The Black Crow is a fine dining experience in downtown Beatrice. The restaurant serves gourmet meals in a historic 1890s building. Menu items include caquilles Saint-Jacques, honey roasted game ...

  • Gage County Historical Society Museum

    Gage County Historical Society Museum

    It's all about history at the Gage County Historical Society Museum in Beatrice. The museum is housed in a Burlington-Northern Railroad passenger and freight station that was added to ...

  • Great Plains Welsh Heritage Centre

    The Great Plains Welsh Heritage Centre is an excellent place to learn about Welsh heritage or research your own roots. Located in Wymore, 15 miles south of Beatrice, genealogical records ...

  • Filley Stone Barn

    The Filley Stone Barn is quite a sight to see 12 miles east of Beatrice. It's the largest limestone bank barn in the state. The 1874 structure is on the National ...

  • Cedar Creek Pottery

    Cedar Creek Pottery is located 7 miles east of Beatrice. Ervin Dixon fires salt-glazed pots, mugs, baking dishes and other stoneware in an 1895-era former Lutheran church. The studio is ...

  • Homestead National Monument of America

    Homestead National Monument of America

    The Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice pays homage to the Homestead Act of 1862. With a roof that emulates a plow and a precise one-acre parking lot, the ...

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Photos from Beatrice