The mission of Legacy of the Plains Museum is to collect, preserve and interpret the history of settlement and agriculture of the region for present and future generations.
Legacy of the Plains is a destination for people interested in stories of human and agricultural history in the North Platte Valley and High Plains.
Through interactive exhibits, living history, educational programs, and archival resources, we invite visitors to explore, experience, and connect with the unique history of this region of the American West.
We serve area residents who wish to preserve and learn about their heritage as well as researchers and tourists from around the country and world who seek historical resources, education, and entertainment.
Our museum exhibits focus on the archaeology of Native American and Westward Expansion sites, the lives of pioneering settlers, the establishment of irrigation, the development of rural communities, the diversity of culture in the High Plains, and the innovative technologies and cultural practices of raising animals and crops—including cattle, sheep, potatoes, sugar beets, beans, corn and wheat—in a semiarid environment.
Responsibilities and Values
Legacy of the Plains recognizes and adheres to these institutional responsibilities and values:
• Collection. The collections are the foundation of the institution. The first responsibility of Legacy of the Plains is to create and maintain a library / archive and collections for research, display, and living history. These collections consist of artifacts, documents, oral histories, and published materials significant to the history of the North Platte Valley and High Plains agriculture. To meet the next goal, preservation, collecting must be constrained to only those artifacts that are appropriate to collection goals and the organization’s resource capacity.
• Preservation. In everything we do we strive to balance preservation of Legacy of the Plains’ historical resources with the need for public access to them. Preservation will include appropriate storage and exhibition, applied conservation, and cataloguing according to the standards of the profession.
• Research. Legacy of the Plains has a duty to make accessible to researchers the artifacts, documents, oral histories, and published materials significant to North Platte Valley heritage and High Plains agricultural developments. This research also provides the basis for decisions about collection, preservation, and interpretation.
• Service through education. Legacy of the Plains exists to serve people curious about the history of this land and its people, development, and agricultural heritage. We seek to interpret High Plains agricultural history and North Platte Valley heritage in an active and entertaining way to educate, enrich, and enlighten our visitors. Through a range of services available to the public, we hope to promote curiosity, learning, dialogue, diversity of opinion, and support. The groups we serve include: families, tourists, educators, students, researchers, museum members, young people, and seniors.
• Public trust. Legacy of the Plains is organized as a public trust, to act as steward of historical resources for the benefit of the public. The Legacy of the Plains Board of Directors, staff and volunteers are committed to meeting the highest standards of personal integrity and professional ethics to earn the trust of our donors, members, and the general public.
• Making connections. Legacy of the Plains strives to illustrate how people connected with one another socially and economically to survive and thrive in the High Plains / North Platte Valley. By extension, our goal is to connect visitors to the museum on a personal level. Special components of these connections include illustrating the importance of High Plains / North Platte Valley archaeology and history to the story of the United States and the importance and innovations of agriculture to the increasing number of people who have no direct experience with agriculture.