ABOUT THE MUSEUM
The Historical Museum is located in Bassett, Rock Co., Nebraska. The museum is owned and maintained by the Historical Society. It is easily accessible from Highway 20 on the west end of Bassett. The Museum is located in the Bassett City Park. Close to picnic areas, camper hook-ups, and public swimming pool.
Hours are from 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday. The museum is closed on major holidays. Group tours are available by contacting the museum in advance. Admission is free, there are donation boxes, if we only allowed those who donated we would have very few through the door.
The Historical Museum consists of several buildings that have been purchased and moved from their original sites to the Museum Complex Area. Below are some of the historical buildings:
CHICAGO & NORTHWESTERN DEPOT/MUSEUM -- the log cabin was the first building in the Historical Society complex. As interest in the preservation of the Rock County history grew so did the need for a building to house the growing collection. The society purchased the depot from the railroad in 1968 for the amount of $1.00. In 1969, the building was cut into three sections and moved for a cost of $1,200.00 to its present location. the benches and the old pot bellied stove in the wiating room occupy their original positions. The freight room houses various exhibits of Rock County history. The bricks in the walk and the platform out back are original to the depot. A caboose and track have been added for your viewing. We honor all of the dedicated people who volunteered their time to make the depot/museum's reality. The Depot/Museum was built in the early 1900's. The building sports all the original accessories and fixtures. Collections housed here cover exhibits in music; newspapers; postal service; toys and dolls; farm and ranch tools; barbwire exhibit; and much, much more. Out back of the depot are original tracks and railroad signals. Sitting on the tracks is an authentic caboose. All is available to the public.
THE BELLS -- east of the depot is a stylized symbol of the Praying Hands, designed by Tom Galleher to house the 1889 Methodist church bell. To the west of the depot is the early 1900's fire bell that stood atop the Carl Stenby Hardware store.
BALDWIN-EBERHART WINDMILL -- in 1930, Elmer Baldwin built the windmill on the Baldwin farm west of Bassett, it would later become the Eberhart ranch. Using a Model-T Ford enine he mounted the wheel on the drive shaft and used the brake to stop the wheel and head. The windmill was donated to the Historical Society.
ST. MICHAEL'S CATHOLIC CHURCH -- in 1978, the St. Michael's Catholic parish donated the Church building to the Historical Society. Original features of the church included: the alter, the statues, the pews and kneeling rails and the organ. The church is considered non-dominational and is available for private use. St. Micheal's Catholic Church was built in 1887. The stained glass windows and a functioning pump organ are exceptional points of interest.
VALLEY GROVE SCHOOL -- in 1973, there came a new addition of the Valley Grove School District #17. The interior replicates the typical rural school of Nebraska. Various districts and persons have donated books, desks and other items to make it an interesting stop on the complex. The school may be used by the local teachers as a learning tool and experience "a day in school". The school was built in 1903. This was an original one room school house from western Rock County. This building houses a complete school exhibition. An working water pump stands outside the school door.
HOUSE OF MEMORIES -- had its start with the Old Settlers' Organization founded in 1934. Organization president was Guy Kendall, Rev. Thomas Peacock, C. J. Sandall and W. E. Buckendorf were the remaining officers. It was Guy Kendall and W. E. Buckendorf who worked out the details of a log cabin being built at the fairgrounds to be used as a museum. In 1938 the cabin was constructed under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "work progress administration" project. The logs for the project came from A. P. Johnson,Guy Kendall, Abie Haller, Morris Brinkerhoff, C. J. and Archie Sandall and possibly others. The rocks for the fireplace and chimney structure is green sandstone taken from Rock Creek on the old May place. This green sandstone occurs in Rock County only along Rock Creek and may be the only location in Nebraska. Charles Smith made the door hinges and screens. Mr. Buckendorf donated the cost of the wiring and installing the electricity, all of which helped this first Rock County Museum become a reality . The House of Memories was open to the public in 1940 with Maude Preble and Hester Carpenter in charge of the donated items and the display.
TOWN PUMPS -- Located west of the log cabin is the pump that was located down town in the intersection of Clark and Legnard Streets. The pump was used by farmers, ranchers and towns people to water horses or to get a refreshing drink themselves. In case of a fire the pump was operated by 4-6 men providing water for the bucket brigade. The smaller pump is the school's pump where the teacher get their daily water from to wash hands and faces, or just a drink of cool water.
:: NOT OPEN AT THIS TIME ::
ROCK COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL
-- is located on "the high school hill" at the east edge of Bassett. The school was erected in 1926 and used in conjunction with the "new" high school until 1990. The new school was constructed in 1963. UPDATE!
The school is currently closed (Added: May 16, 2008