Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Nebraska National Register Sites
in Richardson County


Rural Sites

 Leary Site (NHL) [25-RH-01] Listed 1966/10/15

The Leary Site is the principal "Oneota" site west of the Missouri River. Oneota was a sophisticated Mississippian-like culture which flourished in Iowa, Wisconsin, and neighboring states from A.D. 1000 through the early historic period (about A.D. 1600-1700). Oneota represents prehistoric ancestors of the Siouan-speaking historic tribes, and Leary probably was inhabited by people related to the Iowa, Oto, and Missouria. The Leary Site, near the present-day town of Rulo provides a unique opportunity to study the Oneota people at the western margin of their territory.

 Mount Zion Brick Church, pdf [RH00-029] Listed 1988/12/01

Constructed in 1881, the Mount Zion Brick Church, located near the town of Barada, is significant as a superb example of the basic hall-type church, for its notable interpretation of the type in the Gothic Revival style, and for its substantial, solid masonry construction. Only two examples of the type, which has significant associations with early settlement and pioneering protestant congregations, are known for the Methodist Episcopal denomination in southeastern Nebraska. Mount Zion is the only extant example in the southeastern region that was built for a Methodist Episcopal congregation.

Survey Thematic Group Nebraska-Kansas Public Land Survey Thematic Group, pdf [RH00-062] Listed 1987/06/19

These surveyors' monuments, and witness stones which locate them, played a vital role in the survey of public lands in Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming. A cast iron monument, located on a bluff above the Missouri River in Richardson County near present-day Rulo, marks the initial point for the survey. It was set in place on May 8, 1855. An 1856 red sandstone monument marks the intersection of the sixth principal meridian and the fortieth degree of the north latitude base line (the point where present-day Thayer and Jefferson counties, Nebraska, and Washington and Republic counties, Kansas, meet). The monuments remain major reference points to the present day in the rectangular land survey system. Broken off and reburied several times, the stone monument was most recently unearthed in 1986 by surveyors from five states who were sponsored by the Professional Surveyors Association of Nebraska.

  Rulo Bridge, pdf [RH00-066] Listed 1993/01/04

A group led by John Mullen of Falls City, Nebraska, laid the groundwork for the Rulo Bridge, located near the town of Rulo, in 1933, when it secured permission from Congress to build and operate a toll bridge over the Missouri River. The War Department approved the bridge in May, but several months later Mullen approached the Richardson County Board with an offer to assign the county all rights to the bridge. The county accepted Mullen's offer, but only on the condition that it not have to pay for construction. Mullen proposed that the county apply for a federal grant and loan, and it did, but the process dragged for almost five years. Finally, in September 1938 the Public Works Administration agreed to fund nearly one-half of the bridge's construction. To cover the balance, the county issued bonds that would be repaid through bridge toll revenue. Construction began in 1938 and continued steadily through the bridge's completion in November 1939.

  Miles Ranch [RH00-423] Listed 2012/12/19

The Miles Ranch, approximately three miles south of Dawson, represents one of the finest collections of mid to late 1800s agricultural buildings in the state. The main house and the barn in particular are believed to be the two oldest buildings on the ranch and are two of the oldest buildings in Nebraska.
Furthermore, Stephen Boyd Miles is significant in the early commerce and development of ranching in southeastern Nebraska. From government contracts, Miles acquired large tracts of land, which he later used for his ranching and banking business. Much of the settlement in the region of southeastern Nebraska can be tied to the contributions and activities of Stephen B. Miles.


Alfred and Magdalena Schmid Farmstead, pdf [RH00-529] Listed 2005/11/16

Built between 1910 and 1925, the Schmid Farmstead is located in rural Richardson County. The farmstead exemplifies a diversified farming operation moving from horse-powered implements to machine-powered implements. The built environment of this farm retains a high degree of physical integrity.

Urban Sites

 Gehling's Theater, pdf [RH03-076] Listed 1988/09/28

Constructed in 1892-93 in Falls City by the Gehling family, owners of the local brewery, the three story brick building has a large opera house on the second level. The interior features a curved balcony and a huge proscenium arch, which fills the entire wall of the opera house. Old posters advertising silent movies remain on the walls backstage. The opera house hosted stars like Fanny Rice and such classics as "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and "Shepherd of the Hills."

 Richardson County Courthouse, pdf [RH03-069] Listed 1990/07/05

As one of Nebraska's first eight counties established in 1854, Richardson is among the oldest in the state. Archer was initially selected as the county seat. In 1860 the county seat was moved to Falls City. The original frame building was replaced ten years later by a brick courthouse. The courthouse served the county well until fire destroyed it on May 7, 1919. In July voters approved a levy to finance the construction of a new courthouse. Work began in 1923 and the Classical Revival-style courthouse was completed in 1925.

Governor Arthur J. Weaver House, pdf [RH03-153] Listed 2005/04/27

Located in Falls City, the Weaver House is a two-story frame residence constructed in 1889 in the Queen Anne-Eastlake style. Arthur J. Weaver was a prominent business leader in southeast Nebraska and significant state political leader, serving in 1920 as the president of the state constitutional convention and in 1929-31 as governor. The house is significant for its association with Weaver who occupied it from 1908 to his death in 1945.

    Humboldt Commercial Historic District, pdf [RH04] Listed 2005/09/07

The Humboldt Commercial Historic District includes thirty-eight contributing resources built around the town's central public square. The park features an elevated concrete bandstand supported by chamfered pillars and decorative concrete arched gateways. The buildings surrounding the park are typically one- and two-story brick or stone commercial buildings constructed between the 1880 and 1950. One noteworthy exception is the Humboldt Auditorium constructed by the WPA in 1941. Original brick streets also contribute to the historic feeling of the district. The Humboldt Commercial Historic District is an exceptional example of historic commercial development around a small town public square.

 John Holman House, pdf [RH04-006] Listed 1972/04/25

The two-and-one-half-story brick house was built about 1893 by John Holman, a wealthy farmer and landowner in the Humboldt area. The residence, located in Humboldt, was purportedly furnished with furniture purchased by Holman at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. The Queen Anne mansion features a three-story, engaged corner tower; wraparound porch with gingerbread; decorative brickwork; and ornamental window hoods.

 Miles Ranch, pdf [RH00-423] Listed 12/19/2012

The Miles Ranch, established in 1857, contains several excellent examples of early rural buildings in Nebraska, dating to the 1860s and 1870s, and includes the best surviving example of a posted forebay barn in the state. In addition to its early buildings, the ranch is significant for its role in the settlement of southeastern Nebraska and the development of ranching in the state.



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Last updated 25 November 2009

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