National Register Listings in
Furnas County, Nebraska

Nebraska is home to Chimney Rock, a prominent landmark on the Oregon Trail, which served as a navigational marker for pioneers traveling west in the 1800s.
Furnas County, Nebraska, has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. The area was originally occupied by Native American tribes, including the Pawnee and Arapaho, who used the land for hunting and sustenance. The first recorded Euro-American explorations of the region took place in the early 1800s, with fur traders and trappers venturing into the area.

In 1873, Furnas County was officially established, named after Robert W. Furnas, the second governor of Nebraska. Settlement in the area began in the late 1860s, with pioneers attracted by the fertile lands and vast prairies. Agriculture quickly became the dominant industry, with crops such as wheat, corn, and alfalfa thriving in the county's favorable climate.

The late 19th century brought significant growth and development to Furnas County. Railroads were established, connecting the region to larger markets and facilitating the transportation of goods. Towns such as Beaver City, Arapahoe, and Cambridge emerged as important trading centers and provided services to the growing population.

Over the years, Furnas County has faced its fair share of challenges. Droughts, economic fluctuations, and the Great Depression all had an impact on the local community. However, the resilience and determination of the residents allowed them to adapt and find new ways to sustain their livelihoods.

Today, Furnas County continues to be predominantly rural, with agriculture remaining a key pillar of the local economy. Visitors are drawn to the area's picturesque landscapes, outdoor recreational opportunities, and friendly communities. The county's rich history is still evident through its historic buildings, museums, and annual events that celebrate the region's heritage.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Furnas County, Nebraska.

  • 1848: The first known Europeans to explore the area are French-Canadian fur traders.
  • 1872: Furnas County is officially established by the Nebraska Legislature.
  • 1873: The town of Beaver City is platted and becomes the county seat.
  • 1877: The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad extends its line to Beaver City, spurring growth and development.
  • 1890: The population of Furnas County reaches its peak at around 9,000 residents.
  • 1919: A devastating tornado strikes Beaver City, causing significant damage and loss of life.
  • 1930s: The Great Depression brings economic hardship to Furnas County, leading to a decline in population and agricultural output.
  • 1960s: Construction of the Harlan County Reservoir begins, providing flood control and water supply to the area.
  • 1980s: The county experiences an upturn in agricultural production and economic growth.
  • 2000s: Furnas County continues to be primarily rural, with agriculture as a main economic driver.