Readers helped us find 12 new towns you've probably never heard of. Check out these examples of Nebraska at its finest — one or more might be worth a visit.
Cairo, population 785 as of 2010, is named after the city in Egypt, and many street names (and the camel sign) reflect the theme. Residents and visitors to the Hall County town can hang out at the Cairo Bowl and Watering Hole. The big event every year is the Cairo Cornstalk Festival in June.
Lewellen, population 224 as of 2010, features The Most Unlikely Place, a breakfast/lunch restaurant and art shop, and The Blind Goose, a restaurant that boasts the best ribeyes in the Panhandle. It also features the Gander Inn Motel B&B. Ash Hollow State Historical Park (pictured) is near Lewellen. Archaeological expeditions have shown that four cultures spanning 1,500 years inhabited Ash Hollow Cave. Lewellen is in Garden County.
Homesteader George Washington Brewster, a direct descendant of the Mayflower, founded the town of Brewster, now population 17. The history of the town includes the notorious Doc Middleton, who opened the first saloon in town and was known as "Nebraska's version of Robin Hood," according to the Virtual Nebraska site. Uncle Bucks Lodge (pictured) is on Rhoades Ranch near Brewster and is highly rated on TripAdvisor.com; the ranch offers guided hunting. Brewster is in Blaine County.
The Champion Mill, a restored water-powered flour mill shown here, is the centerpiece of Champion Mill State Historical Park in Champion. Champion, population 103 as of the 2010 Census, is in Chase County in far southwest Nebraska. Champion was named for Champion S. Chase, the first Nebraska attorney general, according to the book "Nebraska Place-Names."
Arthur, population 117 in the 2010 Census, was founded in 1914 and is in Arthur County. The town and county were named for President Chester A. Arthur. Arthur has two sites on the National Register of Historic Places: the Pilgrim Holiness Church and the smallest courthouse ever built in the United States. Arthur features the Bunkhouse Grill (pictured).
Dalton, population 315 in the 2010 Census, "is the ideal community to live in and raise a family. It is one of those little towns you pass through on the way to the Black Hills of South Dakota," the town's website proclaims. The town has a Prairie Schooner Museum and Log Cabin Museum. It is also near Mud Springs Monument, which commemorates a Pony Express Station and the springs that were the "first significant opportunity for obtaining water in a 24-mile stretch of barren overland trail," according to the National Park Service. Dalton is located in Cheyenne County.
Winnetoon in Knox County has a population of 68 (as of 2010). Winnetoon began when homesteader Oscar Norton established a store called Winnetoon in 1896, according to the Winnetoon Historical Society. When the railroad came through, the town was established. The Boardwalk Back in Time has replicas of early Winnetoon storefronts and a school.
Ellsworth, population 78, is in Sheridan County. The town was formed in the late 1880s for a depot and water stop on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. It was known as a company town for the Spade Ranch and a shipping point for cattle. Today, the Spade Ranch Store is listed as the only business in the town and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The store boasts that it sells everything from clothing to guns to Zippo lighters and candles. Nebraska 2 (pictured) runs east of Ellsworth.
Verdigre, billing itself the Kolach Capital of the World, has a population of 575 as of 2010 and is in Knox County near the Missouri River. The town features the Commercial Hotel B&B on the National Register of Historic Places and Kolach Days in June. Outdoor recreation spots include Wild Wood Acres park and the Bohemian Prairie Wildlife Management Area.
Hardy, population 159, is in Nuckolls County in the Republican River Valley. The town was platted in 1880 when the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad came through and is named after a railroad official, according to Virtual Nebraska. The town features the DO Drop In restaurant, with homestyle food. Cemetery flags fly in Hardy in the photo above.
Lisco, population 64 as of the 2010 Census, is another town laid out when the railroad came through -- this time the Union Pacific Railroad in 1909. The town in Garden County is named after cattleman Reuben Lisco. Riverview Lodge is a well-known landmark in Lisco, and The Roost Bar and Grill is the place to eat out. The above photo shows a historic bridge near the town.
Seneca, population 33, is along the Middle Loup River in the Sandhills. The town was established along the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad in 1888. The establishment of a depot, yard and roundhouse led to the town's prosperity, but the population dwindled once the roundhouse closed. In 2014, Thomas County voted to unincorporate the town following a dispute over whether horses could be kept in town. Pictured is a game ranch near Seneca.
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We searched the state for towns you've probably never heard of that might be worth a visit.
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