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Nebraska State Parks

USA Parks
Southeastern Region
Arbor Lodge State Park
Arbor Lodge State Park Whispering Bench © Pam Holdsworth
Called the whispering bench. One person sits at each end and whispers into the back of the bench. The person on the other end can hear very plainly what that person has said.
Arbor Lodge State Park Old Settlers House © Pam Holdsworth
Arbor Lodge State Park Walking Path © Pam Holdsworth
Arbor Lodge State Park Fallen Apples © Pam Holdsworth
Arbor Lodge State Park Gazebo © Pam Holdsworth
Arbor Lodge State Park Mansion/Museum © Pam Holdsworth
Arbor Lodge State Park Fall Colors © Pam Holdsworth
Arbor Lodge State Park Park Bench © Pam Holdsworth
Arbor Lodge State Park Merigolds © Pam Holdsworth
Arbor Lodge State Park Fall Colors © Pam Holdsworth
Arbor Lodge State Park Friendly Squirrel © Pam Holdsworth
Arbor Lodge State Park Pick Fresh © Pam Holdsworth

This beautiful estate in Nebraska City was home to J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day. From its beginning in 1855 as a four-room frame house, the magnificent mansion grew to 52 rooms through several remodelings. Authentic furnishings grace the rooms, and displays capture the life and times of this exceptional man.

A collection of antique carriages and wagons are displayed in the carriage house, and a stroll through the beautifully landscaped grounds, formal rose garden and arboretum is a must. Picnicking is permitted on the area. Cider pressing and other old-time crafts are staged here on last two Sunday afternoons of September and the first two Sundays in October.

Carriage House: Built in 1901 for about $10 000 this structure housed the Morton coaches, carriages, and carriage horses On display are a Stanhope phaeton, a Vail phaeton, a rockaway, a sidebar runabout, the traditional surrey, and a Brougham used by President Grover Cleveland The collection also includes an Overland stage, purchased by Carl Morton.

Italian Terraced Garden: Part of Joy's 1903 addition, the garden was designed by a noted Boston architect named Manning. Gently curving brick walks guide the visitor along both levels of the cool, shaded rose garden Highlights include numerous flower and rose beds, as well as a sundial and pergola. Monument Square: Set in the east part of the park near the entrance is a bronze casting of the author of Arbor Day", J. Sterling Morton It was erected in 1905 and dedicated by President Cleveland. Standing in the foreground is a smaller bronze of the Greek goddess Daphne, who according to legend was turned into a laurel tree by her father to save her from the pursuit of Apollo.

Log Cabin: Just across the drive from Monument Square is a log house, built on October 2 2, 1890, as a memorial to the old settlers of the community by J. Sterling Morton and other members of the old Seniors Association It is typical of the early homes used by territorial settlers. Pine Grove: Originally planted by Morton in 1891 to prove to Governor Furnas that white pines would, indeed, grow in Nebraska, the stand was replanted in 1937 after the great drouth. The dense carpet of needles and cool shade make it a favorite area with visitors.

Tree Trail: A one-half mile tree trail winds through the original arboretum area planted by the Mortons The wood-chipped path, cool shaded benches, and labeled trees offer visitors both a pleasant and interesting experience The arboretum, which encompasses the entire 65 acres of the park, features over 250 varieties of trees and shrubs.

Family Plot: (Wyuka Cemetery)-Historic Wyuka Cemetery, site of the Morton family plot, is located at 19th Street and 6th CorSo, about 1 1/2 miles southeast of the park entrance The plot is easily recognized by its 20-foot, hand-hewn rock shaft, shaped like a tree trunk broken at the top.
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Arbor Lodge State Park is

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
May 7 Amazing, 15/15
It is fun and educational. I give it 15/15
September 3 Annual Fall Event
My family makes an annual visit to Arbor Lodge State Park and love it! The grounds are well kept, the fall trees are beautiful, and Nebraska City is very friendly and easy to navigate.
April 29 One of my favorite parks by Destiny
You will feel as if you stepped back in time
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Driving directions for Arbor Lodge SHPFrom Lincoln: Proceed on Highway 2, Go to Nebraska City exit. Exit and proceed east to Steinhart Park Road. At Steinhart Park Road take left (north) to 2nd Avenue. Turn Right on 2nd Avenue and go to entrance of park.From Omaha: Take Highway 75. Exit at Nebraska Business 75. Go East on that Highway. Go to Centennial Avenue. Turn right. Go around the park, joining 2nd Avenue. Following 2nd Avenue and go to the entrance of the park.From Omaha, I-29: Go I-29 south to Nebraska City exit. Take Highway 2 over the Missouri River bridge which becomes the J. Sterling Morton Beltway. Take the Beltway around to Nebraska City exit. Exit and proceed right (east) to Steinhart Park Road. At Steinhart Park Road. Go north to 2nd Avenue. Turn right on 2nd Avenue and go to entrance of park.


Nebraska State Parks