Blaine County, Nebraska might not be home to many, but it is home to one of the Sandhills’ hidden gems.
The Sandhills Heritage Museum, located in Dunning, is a product of community support, hard work, and the rich history of the Nebraska Sandhills. Linda Teahon, a fierce advocate for historic preservation and lifelong community member, says that the museum has allowed for many Blaine County natives to feel connected to where they grew up.
The idea of a museum was pitched by a group of local volunteers in 2000. After much planning, the museum officially opened its doors in 2017. The old Home State Bank building in Dunning was donated for the museum and features countless pieces of local history, as well as the Hereford Crossroads Exhibit. This exhibit highlights the unique history of Hereford breeders in the Sandhills and their contributions to the settlement of the state and the beef industry.
While the Hereford Crossroads hopes to open a museum of their own in the future, the exhibit resides in the Sandhills Heritage Museum for the time being.
Teahon, who grew up in the small community of Cottonwood, says her favorite items in the museum involve the old schools in Blaine County. The museum is constantly receiving new items as community members want them to be preserved. The high volume of exhibits has caused them to be rotated on occasion.
The museum is typically open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Friday through Sunday, or by appointment. Hours have been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but museum organizers hope to welcome visitors again soon.
When asked why Sandhills history is so important, Teahon responded without missing a beat.
“We need to preserve it, so future generations can enjoy it.”
Listen to our interviews with Linda here: