Trees Along the Trail – December 2 – December 22, 2017
Trees Along the Trail, now in its 14th year, is a Christmas tree decorating contest and nonprofit/service club organization fair rolled into one. Organizations provide and decorate a Christmas tree in the museum, often reflecting the group’s mission in the theme of the decorations. Visitors may purchase $1 vote tickets to vote for their favorite trees or organizations. Half of each vote ticket benefits the nonprofit or service club organization, and half benefits the museum.
Commemorating Western Nebraska’s WWI Legacy – Spring 2018
This exhibit will commemorate the centennial of the end of WWI. The museum plans to showcase artifacts and memories of Western Nebraska during 1918. Stay tuned!
Water Ways – February 23 – April 7, 2019
Water Ways is part of the Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Council nationwide. This traveling exhibit is made possible in Nebraska by Humanities Nebraska. More information to come as the date nears.
Every year, Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11th. In commemoration of this year’s Veterans Day, Legacy of the Plains created an exhibit that tells the stories of the panhandle’s veterans. There was a display of uniforms, a wall of veterans’ photos, and a full display in our temporary gallery.
This exhibit was on display from November 3 – November 22, 2017.
This 1920’s era exhibit features Halloween and how it was celebrated in the 20th century. Interactive activities were a major highlight of the exhibit and provided a fun experience for people of all ages!
This exhibit was on display from October 1 – October 31, 2017.
This special exhibit marked Nebraska’s 150 year legacy. Planned to be up until November 2017, the exhibit features a map display, courtesy of the Croft Brothers, a photo wall filled with historic images, and several exhibit cases which showcase artifacts and memories of Western Nebraska.
This exhibit was on display from March 1 – September 29, 2017.
Western Nebraska Community College’s 90th Birthday
In collaboration with Western Nebraska Community College
Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC) was not always called by that name. 90 years ago on September 13th, 1926, Scottsbluff Junior College first opened its doors and since then, the college has left an impressive mark on the North Platte Valley area. This exhibit features a timeline with ephemera, yearbooks, a video feature and a wall of well-known graduates.
This exhibit will be on display from September 11 – November 22, 2016.
Commerce and Trade on the Oregon Trail
In collaboration with Western Nebraska Community College’s History Department and Fort Laramie National Historic Site
It’s hard in today’s modern age to imagine trekking thousands of miles to find a new home in the West, but that is exactly what over half a million people did. With research by WNCC’s History class taught by Professor Brian Croft, figures have been calculated showing just how much people spent for supplies – and what those supplies would cost us today! We also have some currency as well as artifacts which would have been found along the route, sometimes discarded by families to lighten the load. Kids can try on bonnets and hats and pose for pictures in a wagon or by the large wagon wheel.
The Way We Worked
Sponsored by the Smithsonian’s “Museum on Main Street” program and Humanities Nebraska
With their hands and minds hard at work and sweat on their brows, American workers perform a diverse array of jobs to power our society. Whether we work for professional satisfaction and personal growth or to ensure the well-being of ourselves and our families, work is a part of nearly every American’s life. Office workers, factory workers, homemakers, truckers and the millions more who keep the nation going through their work make great contributions not only to industry, but also to American culture.
The diversity of the American workforce is one of its strengths, providing an opportunity to explore how people of all races and ethnicities identified commonalities and worked to knock down barriers in the professional world. And, finally, the exhibition shows how we identify with work – as individuals and as communities. Whether you live in “Steel Town, USA” or wear a uniform each day, work assigns cultural meanings and puts us and our communities in a larger context.
The Way We Worked, adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives, explores how work became such a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years. The exhibition draws from the Archives’ rich collections to tell this compelling story.
Nebraska’s Miss America: Teresa Scanlan
How does a small-town Nebraska girl get named Miss America? Born and raised in Gering, Scanlan was named Miss America for 2011. At just 18 years old, she was the youngest winner in nearly a century. The exhibit featured clothing from Scanlan’s pageant career, along with memorabilia and gifts from her year-long reign as Miss America. In addition, the exhibit explained how Scanlan used her platform as Miss America to promote rural values. The exhibit came to Legacy of the Plains after a long run at the Nebraska State Historical Society in Lincoln.
Free Land: The Homestead Act
The Homestead Act of 1862 has been called one of the most important pieces of Legislation in the history of the United States. Signed into law in 1862 by Abraham Lincoln after the secession of southern states, this Act turned over vast amounts of the public domain to private citizens.
This panel exhibit on loan from Homestead National Monument explored the Homestead Act and its effect on the land and people of the United States.
“Barn Again! Celebrating an American Icon”
Sponsored by the Smithsonian’s “Museum on Main Street” program
Like the town hall and the skyscraper, the barn is a symbol of America. To traditional farmers, barns are the soul of the farm. To the general public, barns represent both our rural past and our agricultural present. They are monuments in the American landscape.
Nevertheless, modern barns are no longer the centers of industrial and community life they once were. Traditional barns were not designed to store the enormous machinery and harvests of today’s large-scale farms.
Barn Again! explored the barn as both a cultural and agricultural icon. It examined the building as an architectural structure and as a means of expressing beliefs about what our country was and could be. It looked at the origin and fate of the barn in its roles as warehouse, factory, and legend.
Sponsored by the Smithsonian’s “Museum on Main Street” program
This exhibition offered a unique history of popular expectations and beliefs about the shape of things to come. Using toys, books, movie stills, World ’s Fair memorabilia, car designs, advertisements, and architectural designs, the exhibit examined ways that Americans of yesteryear envisioned the future.
Visions of the future have fluctuated between secular utopias characterized by breathtaking leaps of science and technology and urban chaos fraught with danger and disintegration. Though many of the predicted futures never came to pass, other visions still challenge our concept of the future.
Mexican American Heritage in the North Platte Valley
This exhibit featured a collection of personal artifacts and historical memorabilia from the former Mexican-American Museum in Scottsbluff, including items commonly used in a Mexican home, religious items, and photographs and paintings of famous Mexicans and Mexican Americans.
Another part of the display featured local families and provides some history about them, their culture and their contributions to the North Platte Valley.
Japanese Heritage in the North Platte Valley
This exhibit, sponsored by many of the descendants of the original Japanese settlers in the valley, highlighted unique elements of Japanese domestic culture including clothing and kitchenware.