Homestead National Monument of America. Basic information for visitors to the Homestead National Monument

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Homestead National Monument of America. Basic information for visitors to the Homestead National Monument of America In southeastern Nebraska, near Beatrice

Homestead National Monument of America

In southeastern Nebraska, near Beatrice

 

The monument memorializes the Homestead Act of 1862, which encouraged pioneers to settle the American West by granting 160 acres of land to any household head who would live, work, and build on the land. It encompasses the site of the Daniel Freeman homestead, one of the very first claimed on January 1, 1863—the first day the Act took effect. The Homestead Act remained in place through 1976 in the continental United States, and until 1986 in Alaska. The monument includes 100 acres of restored tallgrass prairie, the restored Palmer-Epard cabin, and the Freeman School, an original one-room prairie school-house. The site was established in 1936.

 

WHAT TO SEE & DO

Cross-country skiing, hiking, picnicking, touring facilities, watching videos. Facilities: Visitor center, museum, guided and self-guided tours, hiking trails. Bookstore, picnic tables. Programs & Events: Ranger-led interpretive talks and walks. Homestead Days (2nd full weekend, June), American Indian History Month (Nov.), Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures (Thanksgiving-Jan. 1), Monumental Fiddling Championship (Sat., Memorial Day weekend), Heartland Storytelling Festival (2nd Fri., May). Tips & Hints: Go Aug. and Sept. to see tallgrass prairie at full height; May-Sept, for wildflowers; and Mar-May, Sept. and Oct. for migrating birds. Busiest May and June, least crowded Jan. and Feb.

 

FOOD & LODGING

 Hotels: None in park. In Beatrice: Super 8 (3721 N. 6th St., tel. 402/ 228-8808; 56 rooms; $59), Holiday Inn Express (U.S. 77 N, tel. 402/ 228-7000; 70 rooms; $55-$70). X Restaurant: None in park. In Beatrice: Black Crow (405 Court St., tel. 402/228-7200; $4-$9; closed Sun. and Mon.).

 

FEES, HOURS & REGULATIONS

Free. No hunting. Nebraska state fishing license required. No bikes or motorized vehicles on trails. Leashed pets in picnic area only. Trails open daily sunrise-sunset. Visitor center open Memorial Day-Labor Day, daily 8:30-5; Labor Day-Memorial Day, weekdays 8:30-5, weekends 9-5.

 

HOW TO GET THERE

4 mi west of Beatrice via Rte. 4. Closest airport: Lincoln (49 mi).

 

CONTACTS

Homestead National Monument of America (8523 W. Rte. 4, Beatrice, NE 68310, tel. 402/223-3514, fax 402/228-4231,). Beatrice Chamber of Commerce (226 S. 6th St., Beatrice, NE 68310, tel. 402/223-2338 or 800/755-7745,).

 

Homestead National Monument of America. Basic information for visitors to the Homestead National Monument of America In southeastern Nebraska, near Beatrice