Ash Hollow State Historical Park Travel Guide

  • Visitors Center
    Visitors Center
    by Basaic
  • Old Schoolhouse
    Old Schoolhouse
    by Basaic
  • Windlass Hill
    Windlass Hill
    by Basaic

Ash Hollow State Historical Park Things to Do

  • Toughluck's Profile Photo
    Cabin 1 more image

    by Toughluck Updated Oct 2, 2007

    This recreated 'soddy' represents the 1st homestead in Ash Hollow. Rev. Dennis Clary (Methodist) settled in in 1869, having traveled from Maryland. His home became a stopping place for the settlers of the North Platte valley on their way to and from the railroad at Big Springs in the South Platte valley (20 miles - 36 km) away.

    The one room house was dark and cool compared to the hot sun outside. Temperature near 100 F (38c) made this a welcome stop. As a home? The dirt floor and walls created the feeling of a cave. Without trees to build with, and the cooling affect of thick sod walls, this would have been a home to prize.

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    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip

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  • Toughluck's Profile Photo

    by Toughluck Updated Oct 2, 2007

    Here, the wagons came off the upper flatlands between the South Platte and the North Platte Rivers. Nearly 50 miles of open country, without shade, no rivers, little inviting for travelers who could make 10 miles a day. On a good day it might be 15 or 20. Bad days could be only 2. This bluff was the entry into a wooded valley with running water, a form of paradise to these early travelers.

    It was over 100 degrees (F) {38 c} that day. We didn't walk the trail to the top of the bluff. It was a good example of the hardships that the pioneers experienced coming across the divide of the Platte. A relentless sun, no shade, exhausting work, but the promise of cool shade and water. Of course, today, the shade of the hollow would be welcome, but we headed for the air conditioned visitor center and the refreigerated water fountain.

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel

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  • Toughluck's Profile Photo

    by Toughluck Written Oct 2, 2007

    Sweet spring water made Ash Hollow SHP near Lewellen a major stopover on the Overland Trail and prompted prehistoric Indians to use it, too. Ruts etched by west-bound wagons are visible on the bluffs at Windlass Hill. The history, archaeology and paleontology of the area are interpreted at the visitor center, Ash Hollow Cave and exhibits and structures.

    NPS Ash Hollow Comples,

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel

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