Welcome to the Custer County Historical Society, Broken Bow, Nebraska
 
 
 
A Brief History of the Custer County Museum

 
1960 - Organized at a meeting of 100 people under the direction of Carl Smith



1960 - Museum opened on the 2nd floor of the Broken Bow State Bank (Now Great Western Bank)  Collections began - newspapers saved.  Mr. Smith also authored several books relating to the area's history, including The Olive Trial.



1972 - On January 31 the Society moved to the newly vacated Broken Bow Carnegie Library Building.



1986 - The Society purchased the entire inventory from the Wescott, Gibbon, and Bragg General Mercantile Store of Comstock.  The majority of inventory was placed in storage for lack of display room.



1986 - The Society purchased the former Schmid Drug Store on SE corner of the Dierks Block.  Renovations began.



1986 - The former Security State Bank building was given to the Society by the Richardson family to be used as a Research Center and Bank Museum.

Expenditures for the three buildings soon became a financial burden and following a year of constructive study, the board determined a mission and future goal.

With the mission established, the Board of Directors voted to reduce their holdings from three buildings to one more suited for their purpose.

The building in the Dierk's block on the south side of the Broken Bow square was sold and became Square One, a clothing store owned by Lola and Gene Chapin. On April 1, 2007, a tragic fire destroyed that building and the entire Dierk's block.



1992 - The Society purchased the large building on the SW corner of the Square from Ken & Mabel Lyddon.  The long process of moving from the city owned Carnegie Library building, gathering inventory from all the storage places, cataloging and identifying items began.

The genealogy center was moved on May 2nd - We were open for business and under one roof at last!!



In recent years the museum has played host to three Smithsonian traveling exhibits and many displays by local collectors, artists, and craftsmen. To highlight our famed pioneer photographer, we created a rather extensive gallery of Solomon D. Butcher photos. In 2010, after 26 years at the helm, our curator and research director Mary Landkamer retired. Tammy Hendrickson is now filling that post, with help from an army of volunteers.

Our Philip K. Gardner Research Center has grown dramatically as more people become interested in tracing their roots through genealogy and studying the history of their home community.  We are proud of our outstanding information center used by researchers from across the nation and occasionally beyond.  With two websites and plenty of technology tools, we continue to provide more service to more people than ever.

We are located at 445 South 9th Avenue in Broken Bow, NE., phone 308-872-2203.

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