This rest site is near the center of Nebraska's tall-grass prairie on the eastern edge of the hunting grounds once used by the Pawnee Indians. Nebraska's largest tribe, the Pawnee located villages on major area streams, including the Blue, Loup, and Platte Rivers. Wagon trains from Nebraska City on the Missouri River to frontier settlements and military posts farther west carried people and goods through the area beginning in the 1840's. The freighters' trail, known as the Nebraska City-Fort Kearny Cutoff, ran a few miles south of here. Frontier settlement began in the 1860's, Seward County was organized in 1865, and the countryside was rapidly colonized during the following decade. This fertile watershed of the Big Blue River attracted many German immigrants (including some by way Russia), as well as Scandinavians. Through the use of deep-well irrigation, the region was developed in recent decades into a major center of successful, intensive farming. For the next seventy miles, westbound travelers will notice the subtle changes in the landscape as the tall-grass prairie merges into the short-grass country of the semi-arid plains.
Department of Roads
Nebraska state Historical Society
Goehner Rest Area, I-80 West