Old Freighters Museum

Housed in the home office of the Russell, Majors, & Waddell Freighting Company, this museum’s mission is focused on the interpreting the significance of the freighting and shipping industry in the development of Nebraska City. The exhibits in this museum demonstrate not only the history of the shipping firm, but also the history of westward movement along the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails.


History of Freighting

Russell, Majors, & Waddell, more widely known for their later business venture the Pony Express, spent around $300,000 in 1859 to turn Nebraska City into a shipping port for their company. Russell, Majors, & Waddell was the largest shipping firm in the Great Plains at the time and they reportedly reached their peak in 1865, moving 44 million pounds of freight that year.

Old Freighters Museum contains numerous galleries dedicated to the history of the freighting company, the men who ran the wagon trains, and the journeys they experienced. These galleries include the names of known freight company employees in Nebraska City and rare artifacts, such as an 1860 Freighters Bible signed by Alexander Majors. 

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Trails West Day

Trails West Day at Old Freighters Museum is an annual event celebrating the history of the freighting industry and the westward trails.

Come join in the festivities on Saturday, June 8th, from 10am to 4pm. This year's event will feature living history demonstrations, hands-on kids' activities, and live musical performances throughout the day by Dr. Dan Holtz.

Nebraska Through Song and Story by Dr Dan Holtz celebrates and commemorates people, places, and events in Nebraska history through stories, historic folk songs and his own original musical compositions. Accompanying himself on guitar and harmonica, Dr. Holtz tells of Nebraska's early-day settlers; Overland Trail Pioneers; Bullwhackers; Pony Express riders; Susan LaFlesche Picotte, the first Native American to become a medical doctor; and more recent events and people such as the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team and the great blizzard of 1949.

A native Nebraskan and emeritus professor of English from Peru State College, Holtz enjoys sharing insights about some of the many things which make Nebraska unique.

This event is made possible by a grant from our local Walmart.

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