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Arbor Lodge State Historical Park


Park Snapshot



This beautiful estate in Nebraska City was home to J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day. From its beginning in 1855 as a four-room frame house, the magnificent mansion grew to 52 rooms through several remodelings. Authentic furnishings grace the rooms, and displays capture the life and times of this exceptional man.


A collection of antique carriages and wagons are displayed in the carriage house, and a stroll through the beautifully landscaped grounds, formal rose garden and arboretum is a must. Picnicking is permitted on the area. Cider pressing and other old-time crafts are staged here on last two Sunday afternoons of September.

Carriage House: Built in 1901 for about $10,000 this structure housed the Morton coaches, carriages, and carriage horses On display are a Stanhope phaeton, a Vail phaeton, a rockaway, a sidebar runabout, the traditional surrey, and a Brougham used by President Grover Cleveland The collection also includes an Overland stage, purchased by Carl Morton.

Italian Terraced Garden: Part of Joy's 1903 addition, the garden was designed by a noted Boston architect named Manning. Gently curving brick walks guide the visitor along both levels of the cool, shaded rose garden Highlights include numerous flower and rose beds, as well as a sundial and pergola. Monument Square: Set in the east part of the park near the entrance is a bronze casting of the author of Arbor Day", J. Sterling Morton It was erected in 1905 and dedicated by President Cleveland. Standing in the foreground is a smaller bronze of the Greek goddess Daphne, who according to legend was turned into a laurel tree by her father to save her from the pursuit of Apollo.

Log Cabin: Just across the drive from Monument Square is a log house, built on October 22, 1890, as a memorial to the old settlers of the community by J. Sterling Morton and other members of the old Seniors Association It is typical of the early homes used by territorial settlers. Pine Grove: Originally planted by Morton in 1891 to prove to Governor Furnas that white pines would, indeed, grow in Nebraska, the stand was replanted in 1937 after the great drouth. The dense carpet of needles and cool shade make it a favorite area with visitors.

Tree Trail: A one-half mile tree trail winds through the original arboretum area planted by the Mortons The wood-chipped path, cool shaded benches, and labeled trees offer visitors both a pleasant and interesting experience The arboretum, which encompasses the entire 65 acres of the park, features over 250 varieties of trees and shrubs.

Family Plot: (Wyuka Cemetery)-Historic Wyuka Cemetery, site of the Morton family plot, is located at 19th Street and 6th CorSo, about 1 1/2 miles southeast of the park entrance The plot is easily recognized by its 20-foot, hand-hewn rock shaft, shaped like a tree trunk broken at the top.

Visit the National Park Service's Lewis and Clark Missouri River Basin Visitor Center near Arbor Lodge. For more information click www.mrb-lewisandclarkcenter.org

Facility Details

Camping: No

Water: Yes
Modern Restroom: Yes
Dump Station: No
Showers: No
Laundry: No

Lodging: No

Cabins: 0
Rooms: 0
Dorms: 0
Food Service: No

Trails: Yes

Hiking: 1 miles
Mtn. Bike: 0 miles
Horse: 0 miles
Trail Rides: No
Allow Horses: No

Picnicking: Yes

Picnic Tables: 40
Grills: 7
Shelters: 1
Shelters w/ elec.: 0

Boating: No

Ramps: 0
Docks: 0
Fuel Avail.: No
Boat Rental: No
River Access: No

Fishing: No

Cleaning Stations: 0

Swimming: No

Pools: 0
Beaches: 0

Concessions: No

Visitor Center: Yes

Arbor Lodge Museum
Open seasonally; please call (402) 873-7222 for seasonal hours.

An admission fee of $7 per adult and $4 for youth 3 - 12.

Office on Site: Yes

Grounds and arboretum are open year-round; park entry is not required. Arbor Lodge is managed by the Arbor Day Foundation.

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Nebraska Game and Parks Commission - 2200 N. 33rd St. Lincoln, NE 68503 - 402-471-0641

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