At Fort Kearny State Historical Park, history begins with a bang. "Look at our artifacts and then go out, walk the grounds where we have a restored blacksmith shop, powder magazine and one of the three stockades," said Gene Hunt. All though used as a military post, pony express station, and outpost, its key objective was to keep settlers safe. "Fort Kearny was established in 1848, its main purpose was to protect immigrants along the Mormon Trail," Hunt explained. Visitors can see 40 acres of land how it used to be and don't get lost because of the fort's spelling. "Fort Kearny was named after Steven Watts Kearny and it was n-y. However shortly after the fort was established some of the clerks added the e to the e-y and then later the post office and Kearney county and later Kearney Junction and the city of Kearney spelled it n-e-y." The fort hosts re-enactors on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day, and, of course, they light off the canons. "We have a great number of volunteers who come out and they portray the 1860s and we have a soldier's camp and civilian camp," said Hunt. From little ones to history buffs it's a great place to see how the west was won. "It's something for everyone to enjoy from toddlers to those who have a real interest in the history of the American West. " Fort Kearny Rec Area lies right next door to the historical park for those who want to enjoy some camping, biking, and fishing.