Chimney Rock - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

One Tank Trip

Chimney Rock

Almost 200 years ago half a million people passed through a memorable site in Nebraska. Chimney Rock not only has a large historic value, but emphasizes the beauty of the prairie.

Chimney Rock Site Supervisor Loren Pospisil said, "Chimney Rock is an erosional remnant and it remains because it would've been under a harder layer of stone at the top protecting the layers underneath."

And what emerged is a major landmark of the Great Western Migration. Twenty-five thousand people stop by Chimney Rock either for the history.

"We have people that read about things their whole life and then for them it's important to go see the real thing," explains Pospisil.

Or for the beauty...

"There's a gloriousness to the prairie and I think you have to bring with you," describes Pospisil, "Sometimes you need to slow down and get in your car and just go sit in it and appreciate how beautiful the prairie is."

The Visitor's Center recreates the history of the monument.

"They give you a lot of information that you would never have thought of on Chimney Rock and the role it played in Western Migration," says Paul Leseberg, former Mayor of Bayard.

The importance also takes center stage on the Nebraska quarter.

"Chimney Rock is so recognizable," adds Leseberg, "There were entries from all over the state and outside of the state that showed Chimney Rock on there."

But this trip could Also be described as the "Nebraska Way."

"Just stop and listen and the longer you listen the more you hear, but then you realize you're hearing life," concludes Pospisil.

Reporter's Notes by Jake Wasikowski:

  • The area also offers wagon train rides that go right by the landmark.  For more information on the Oregon Trail Wagon Train call (308)-586-1850.
  • If you're out there after dusk, don't worry, it's lit up to be seen for miles.
  • The Ethel and Christopher J. Abbott Visitor Center is open daily from 9-5 except on holidays.  Call (308)-586-2581.
  • For more information on Chimney Rock go to:  http://www.nebraskahistory.org/sites/rock/index.htm 

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