Sherman County, NE


  • Land Area: 566 square miles
  • Population (2010): 3,152
  • County Seat: Loup City
  • Towns and Population (2010): Loup City- 1,029, Litchfield– 262, Ashton– 194, Rockville– 106, Hazard- 70. 
  • Public School Districts: Litchfield Public Schools, Loup City Public Schools.
    • Extracted from casde.unl.edu/history/counties/sherman

Click here to download All Central Setup Locations (may not include this town)
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Sherman county exemplifies the rich pioneer history of central Nebraska. Early settlement from the South was followed by a variety of ethnicities  from many of the states to the East. The area provided good natural resources including wood, water, clay, and excellent farmland. The county grew steadily until the Depression and the 1930s, at which time climate collapsed much of the local economy. Since then, Sherman County has grown back to provide a home to strong families and many businesses and farms. It still maintains its rural values and mores including hard work, religion, and a willingness to give to communities in the county. All of these features are instantly recognizable to Junk Jaunters, who invariably have great experiences meeting and negotiating with the colorful residents of Sherman County.

History, and the settlement of the County Seat in Loup City:

The idea of the settlement of the Middle Loup Valley, in what is now Sherman County, originated in Grand Island, in the winter of 1872-73, when a little party of less than a score of men, only a few of whom had families, entered the plan of making a settlement in what is now Loup City, and securing the early organization of the county. At the time of their arrival on the present site of Loup City, there was only one small log cabin, 18 X 24 feet in size, occupied by as many as fourteen persons. When the organization of the party was perfected, they selected Loup City as their location, and secured authority from the State government to form a county organization.

At the election on April 1, 1873, only thirteen votes were polled, most of which were by the officers elected. This little band of sturdy pioneers left Grand Island in the winter of l872-73 entering what was then wild and unsettled territory with hopes of making homes and carving out their fortunes. Soon after the organization of the county, bonds were voted for the building of bridges, county buildings and schoolhouses. The amount of this bonded indebtedness was large estimated at about $65,000.

During the severe snowstorm, commencing April 13, 1873, and lasting three days, there was considerable suffering in the small but growing colony. At one point the store, owned by Frank Ingram, had sixty men imprisoned for the three days of the storm. During the storm, about fifty horses perished in the creek or hollow, just south of the store. The incident gave the creek, on which Loup City is located, its name: Dead Horse Run.

The first school in the county was taught by Miss Susan S. Gilbert, at. Loup City, with twenty-five pupils in attendance. Indian scares were common in 1876. Though these rumors were without foundation, they aroused so much terror that a large number of the inhabitants left the county. In the spring of 1877, there was quite a large immigration to the county, engendering tri-weekly mail to Grand Island, and resulting in considerable travel to the Black Hills by this route.

Loup City has had its share of excitement, from the murder of a newspaper editor, to a murder/suicide committed by
a Sheriff — both before 1900. Later, in the “dirty thirties,” Loup City had a Communist Riot and developed a widely renowned cultural center called Jenner’s Park.

Villages of Litchfield, Ashton, Hazard, and Rockville — Sherman County

Litchfield, Nebraska was founded on May 20, 1886. The land was the feature that brought most of the settlers to Litchfield. There are three theories on how the town of Litchfield got its name. Litchfield may be based on the name of a railroad worker from Litchfield, CT, of settlers from Litchfield, MN, or that an early settler had the name of Litchfield. Families came from Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Vermont. There was no dominant ethnic group but elements of Dutch, Swiss, German, Norwegian, Scotch-Canadian, Irish, and English were all present.
Litchfield’s first building was a real estate offi ce. This was shortly followed by a Post Offi ce on June 19, 1886, and a railroad stop. The town grew rapidly after that to include a newspaper, businesses, schools and churches. The annual Old Settlers Picnic, held in July, still draws a large crowd.

Ashton was conceived as the Lincoln & Blackhills Railroad (later the B&MR) had stations at Farwell and Loup City and needed another stop midway between for the farmers along the line. It is said the site chosen was a prairie dog town not far from Oak Creek. The Lincoln Townsite Company platted the town, naming it “Ashton” for the hometown of John P. Taylor, from Illinois.

Even before rail service began in 1887, businesses were flourishing. There was a brickyard, lumber yard, real estate dealer, hotel, grain elevator, two general stores, and livery stables. The bank of Ashton began in 1888. That same year the school and post office were moved in from the German settlement of Zeven. Incorporation papers were filed on March 30th, 1889.

The original founders of the town were a blending of ethnic Europeans. When the railroad bypassed the village of Paplin, many Polish businessmen moved to Ashton, creating the preponderance of Poles, still evident today. Ashton continued to grow until the Depression in the 30s caused one of the two banks to fail, and several businesses to close. Train service was discontinued in 1985, and the tracks were removed the next year, so the “Second Chicago” remains a small Nebraska village. St. Francis Catholic Church continues to serve the community.

Rockville began with the arrival of a few families, establishing a post office in 1873, followed by a sod schoolhouse built in 1874. From these beginnings, Rockville was organized in 1886. Early homesteaders were colonial Americans of British and Anglo-Saxon descent. Then Germans settled south of the Middle Loup, Danes to the east, Bohemians and Czechs to the southwest, and the Poles to the northeast in the hills. 

When the Union Pacific Railroad built through the area in 1886, the town site was comprised of four sections of land. It is said that their primary purpose was to ensure incorporation so a license for a saloon could be attained. It was not long until there was one. In addition to the arrival of the railroad, a wooden bridge built over the Middle Loup River in 1886 also strongly influenced the growth of the town, connecting it along what is now Hwy 58 to Ravenna and larger communities to the South. After several weather washouts, major reconstruction began in 1972, which included a concrete bridge and realignment of the highway. The names Laona and Rockford were already taken, so “Rockville” was suggested, and as such the town was incorporated in 1887.

By the turn of the century, there were two grain elevators near the depot, which brought farmers to Rockville to sell their crops. St. Mary’s Catholic Church was built in 1909, followed by The Community Church organized in 1935 and served by ministers from Evangelical and Reformed, and Congregational churches. In 1968 it became the United Church of Christ, and it was rebuilt in 1982.

Hazard, on the Grand Island & Wyoming Central Railroad line, was initially established in 1886. Early pioneers of many nationalities and cultures who moved to this frontier area, lived in dugouts and sod houses, forming a strong community bond that bound them together as they lived through blizzards, tornadoes, hordes of grasshoppers, drought, and dust storms.

Hazard is believed to have gotten its name as a result of a dangerous, swampy area along the tracks at that location. The soft roadbed caused trains to slow down and mark their logs with the word “Hazard” as a caution to other engineers who might be unfamiliar with the route.

Churches and schools were very important to residents. The first school was made of sod and remained with some improvements until 1900, when a frame schoolhouse was built. Today Hazard has three churches: Methodist, Lutheran, and Catholic. The Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized as early as 1882, with services held in various farm homes around the area until the church was built. Although the town is classed as “a quiet farming community,” the citizens feel that Hazard is still alive and well.

Hazard earned worldwide fame in 1992 when Richard Marx recorded his hit song, “Hazard,” based on a fictitious murder.

*Produced in part by a grant from Sherman County Lodging Tax Committee
**Extracted from casde.unk.edu/history/counties/sherman

**DIGITAL DOWNLOAD** Shopper Guide Available NOW!

PURCHASE NOW

NOW available as an “IMMEDIATE DOWNLOAD” after PayPal payment.

Order Price: $10.50 (Shopper Guide $10.00, plus $.50 handling fee)

The 2020 JUNK JAUNT® SHOPPER GUIDE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD is identical to the printed version. You will be able to download a .pdf file that you can use on a Mobile device (for example iPad, iPhone or other devices) or optionally print on your local printer immediately after making your payment. NOTE: The file size of the download file is LARGE (>17MB & 120 pgs). You should allow ample time to download the file, and depending on YOUR internet connection speed, it may take some time to complete the download. You will need to take this into consideration before making your purchase. Your purchase of the 2020 JUNK JAUNT® SHOPPER GUIDE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD is non-refundable.

Printed Shopper Guides are also available at selected local area businesses (print a list), plus a few participating businesses located outside the JUNK JAUNT® area, WHILE THEY LAST!

Shopper Guide SOLD OUT!

WOW!  The response to this year’s JUNK JAUNT® has been overwhelming. 

If the sales of the Shopper Guide is any indication of the turnout expected, then it is going to be a great year.  Normally we always have left over Shopper Guides that get returned after our event.  However this year dues to the effects of COVID-19 and with the reduced number of vendor registrations, we made the decision to cut back a bit on printed guides.  We would normally continue taking orders on this website until around the 12th of September, but we are now sold out of the inventory we ordered. [Read more…]

Nebraska’s Junk Jaunt® IS for EVERYONE!

Nebraska’s Junk Jaunt® is MUCH MORE than just a Garage Sale. It is 350 miles of great scenery, friendly people, good food and treasure’s galore!

The Junk Jaunt® route is along on Hwy’s 11, 91 and 2 in Central Nebraska, with 33 participating towns and approx. 450 vendors in 2020. The takes you to the Nebraska Sandhills which provides excellent Fall scenery as well as many historical places to check out. The North Side Bar in Burwell has 100 years of rodeo photos on display and Fort Hartsuff is an old frontier army post located near Ord. [Read more…]

Junk Jaunt Passport contest for Shoppers

Our 17TH ANNIVERSARY, TIME TO DO NEBRASKA’S JUNK JAUNT®!

Once again we are celebrating by sponsoring the Junk Jaunt Passport contest for Shoppers!   “Passports” will be included in the Shopper Guide, as well as with the digital download available later in September.  Order your Shopper Guide now online or through the mail so you can join the contest.  There is a link on the right column for purchasing a Shopper Guide.

As you drive the Junk Jaunt® route, shopping and enjoying the view, look for the bright colored signs with the big black asterisk.   There will be one in each town along the route.   The passport stops are also noted in the Shopper Guide with an asterisk next to the vendor number.  Stop at these sites and get your card stamped. The more stamps you gather, the bigger the prize you are eligible to win.

Following the Junk Jaunt® mail your Passport to: 

Nebraska’s Junk Jaunt®
1523 M St.,  Ste 104
Ord, NE  68862

All Passports must arrive in our office by October 16, 2020 to be entered in the drawing. 

If you visit 16 or more Junk Jaunt® towns, you will be entered in the drawing for a $150.00 cash prize, visit 10 to 15 towns and you are eligible to win $100 cash and the prize for visiting 9 or fewer towns is $50.00. 

Get Ready for the 2020 Nebraska Junk Jaunt

September 25, 26 & 27, 2020

Don’t Delay, Start Planning Today?

Searching for Treasures at Junk Jaunt

 

[Read more…]

Junk Jaunt to roll into Central Nebraska this weekend

Re-posted from the Grand Island Independent
By Kelli Rollin

Nebraskans and many others will be running for the junk around Central Nebraska Friday through Sunday.

The 13th annual Junk Jaunt, which is like a large garage sale, is happening in 36 towns along the Loup River and Sandhills Journey Scenic Byways.

The event spans nearly 500 miles of garage sales, collectibles, antiques, vintage items and quirky finds.

Dianne Wiberg, who helps coordinate Junk Jaunt every year, said the event has grown. This year, 760 vendors are selling things for Junk Jaunt, compared to the estimated 730 last year.

Nebraska's Junk Junk Always the last weekend in September

“It increases every year a little bit,” Wiberg said.

She said many people from all over the country come to Junk Jaunt. The event has a shopper guide that includes street maps, lists of lodging and restaurants, vendor addresses and historical information about the area. Many visitors order the guides ahead of time.

Wiberg said guides have been ordered from California and that more than half of the states are represented through visitors.

“That was the reason it was formed,” she said of Junk Jaunt, “to bring people to this area, to show people that Nebraska is more than a cornfield or Interstate 80.”

Since the event goes through towns on the scenic byways, visitors can experience the Sandhills and the heart of Nebraska and the United States. Wiberg said people often make a weekend trip by coming to Junk Jaunt. It’s common to see mother-daughter getaway pairs who come to enjoy the shopping and treasure hunting in the Central Nebraska area.

She said the weekend event also benefits the participating towns and the economy.

“It’s a tremendous boom to every town in this area,” Wiberg said.

As far as the variety of items, she said there’s “everything from antiques to baby clothes.”

Every town has food vendors, as well, so visitors are sure to get some hometown Nebraskan food.

Wiberg said people should go to Junk Jaunt because it’s an inexpensive trip and “it’s just a fun way to get out and enjoy a different part of Nebraska.”

Make your 2020 Lodging plans Today!

motel_listInnkeepers across NEBRASKA’S JUNK JAUNT®” extended to you a hearty “WELCOME” and appreciate your early reservations.  There are numerous Motels, Bed & Breakfasts, Guest Houses and Campgrounds in the area.

Take advantage by making your 2020 JUNK JAUNT® 
Lodging plans today using the 

2019 Sponsored Lodging List

These supporting businesses have the perfect place for a good nights’ rest after a  ”Shop ’til You Drop” day.  Accommodations fill quickly, so make your reservations early. [Read more…]

SAVE THE DATES

2020 JUNK JAUNT®

SAVE THE DATES!

Friday, Sept. 25, 2020
Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020
Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020

Watch for important dates throughout
the year on our calendar.

Experience the “jaunt” one town – one treasure – at a time

by Tami Pistello (Omaha, NE)
original article was published in the Lyons Mirror Sun; Lyons, NE on the Decatur, NE news

When someone says, “Sand hills Journey Scenic Byway”, what comes to mind? Perhaps, sand – and lots of it – or perhaps nasty sand burrs the size of your thumb?

A three-day visit to the sand hills of central Nebraska was never at the top of my bucket list and definitely not somewhere I wanted to celebrate our 30 wedding anniversary. [Read more…]

Thedford, NE

Thedford, NE

Thedford is a thriving community of nearly 400 with a variety of businesses and entrepreneurs for the size of the population. Thedford, as the county seat, houses county. state and federal offices with four churches as well as K-12 schools. There are full service gas stations with convenience stores, a diesel repair shop, motels, lounges, a grocery store, lumber and hardware store, construction companies, a veterinary clinic, an art gallery, and newspaper office.

Click here to download Click here to download a printable map of Thedford, NE

Click here to download All Central Setup Locations (may not include this town)
Click here to download All town Coordinator Names & email
Click here to download new12019 Sponsored Lodging List

Thedford,_Nebraska_downtown_1

Bartlett, NE

Bartlett, NE

The village of Bartlett is the Wheeler county seat, with two courthouses.

The new courthouse was built partially underground while the old one is now the historical museum. Wheeler Central High School (Broncos) were the 2003 Class D2 Volleyball and 6-Man Football Nebraska state champions.

Stop by our ‘old courthouse’ to view “Silent Leather”, a life-sized bronze sculpture donated by Bartlett native, Herb Mignery. We hope you will enjoy a small piece of “Nebraska’s Good Life” with a stop at one of our businesses or one of our two parks, complete with restrooms and camper hookups

Click here to download Click here to download a printable map of Bartlett, NE

Click here to download All Central Setup Locations (may not include this town)
Click here to download All town Coordinator Names & email
Click here to download new12019 Sponsored Lodging List

Bartlett-Silent-Leather-statue

Westerville, NE

Westerville, NE

No information for Westerville is available. [Read more…]

Sargent, NE

Sargent, NE

“Hot Link” http://www.sargentne.com

Sargent is the Chokecherry Capital of Nebraska. Our Chokecherry Jamboree is complete with Pit Spittin’ contests and held each June in connection with the close-by Comstock Windmill Festival.

Sargent, named in 1879, is nestled along the beautiful spring-fed Middle Loup River.

Between 1927 &1974 Sargent and Oscar’s Paladium was the dancing hot-spot of central Nebraska, when it hosted such greats as Guy Lombardo, Lawrence Welk, the Dorsey Brothers and other, world -famous, ‘big bands’. It’s still the place to be during Nebraska’s JUNK JAUNT®.

Click here to download Click here to download a printable map of Sargent, NE

Click here to download All Central Setup Locations (may not include this town)
Click here to download All town Coordinator Names & email
Click here to download new12019 Sponsored Lodging List

Loup City, NE

Loup City, NE

Built near the banks of the Middle Loup River, a sign reads, “Welcome to the ‘Polish Capital’ of Nebraska”.

“Polish Days” is celebrated the first weekend in June.

Sherman County Reservoir is 5 miles east of town and Bowman State Park is 1 mile west. Newly renovated Jenner’s Park, near downtown, is the site of historical Jenner House and Kuszak’s Log Cabin … a peaceful break in a busy day.

Click here to download Click here to download a printable map of Loup City, NE

Click here to download All Central Setup Locations (may not include this town)
Click here to download All town Coordinator Names & email
Click here to download new12019 Sponsored Lodging List

Comstock, NE

Comstock, NE

Comstock is a quiet and friendly community with school bus access to three schools, low taxes, all utilities available, best water with low arsenic, fresh air, paved roads to larger shopping centers, health care available in neighboring communities of Broken Bow, Ord and Sargent, scenic Middle Loup River with constant flow and public hunting and fishing grounds.

Click here to download Click here to download a printable map of Comstock, NE

Click here to download All Central Setup Locations (may not include this town)
Click here to download All town Coordinator Names & email
Click here to download new12019 Sponsored Lodging List

Boelus, NE

Boelus, NE

No information for Boelus is available. [Read more…]

Arcadia, NE

Arcadia, NE
“A Home to Come Home To”

Arcadia, population 359, is located on Hwy 70, near the Middle Loup River Established in 1885 and named by Postmaster Mrs. Samuel Hawthorne, Arcadia is a Greek word meaning “a region or scene of simple pleasure and quiet”

. We are a town of dedicated people. In 2005, we raised enough money to erect a Veteran’s Memorial Wall using engraved bricks, each honoring a veteran. This year we successfully undertook another large project, that of purchasing new playground equipment for the Arcadia Public School.

Click here to download Click here to download a printable map of Arcadia, NE

Click here to download All Central Setup Locations (may not include this town)
Click here to download All town Coordinator Names & email
Click here to download new12019 Sponsored Lodging List

Arcadia_Ne_downtoiwn

Arcadia, Nebraska: “A Home To Come Home To.”

Wolbach, NE

Wolbach, NE
“The Small Town with 7 Exits”

Welcome to Wolbach!

Known nationally for its 7 exits, this quaint little town of 300 is nestled in the Spring Creek Valley on the Greeley-Howard county line. Citizens and visitors alike enjoy all that the town has to offer–numerous businesses, a volunteer fire and rescue department, a swimming pool and tennis court, a campground with electrical hookups, picnic areas, a fishing pond, two churches, a post office, playgrounds, a school, and a beautiful athletic field.

The annual Memorial Day Bull Ride and Wolbach Days Celebration and Rodeo are special big events attended by people from across the state.

Click here to download Click here to download a printable map of Wolbach, NE

Click here to download All Central Setup Locations (may not include this town)
Click here to download All town Coordinator Names & email
Click here to download new12019 Sponsored Lodging List

Wolbach_Ne_downtown

“The Small Town with 7 Exits”