Nebraska March 17, 2017
The Fascinating Town In Nebraska That Is Straight Out Of A Fairy Tale
Isn’t it always a treat to find an enchanting little town that is both perfectly Nebraskan and kind of storybook-like? The little town of Fairbury stands out because of its rich history, lovely architecture, fun activities, and sweet surprises.
The first part of the town you might notice is the historic downtown district. Some of the buildings here are so whimsical that they seem to have hopped out from the pages of a fairy tale.
The entire district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These buildings are charming relics of a long-ago time.
This adorable building dates all the way back to 1896. It looks like a storybook cottage!
This building, constructed in 1929, has all kinds of retro charm...
...including these colorful terra-cotta details that lend an air of mystery.
Although some of these beautiful historic buildings are showing their age, it sort of seems as though they're just waiting until a spell is cast that restores them to their former state.
The town's public library was built with Carnegie funds between 1907 and 1909, and it remains as magical as the day it was opened.
One of the most spectacular examples of Fairbury's architecture is the Jefferson County Courthouse.
It was built of hand-cut limestone in 1891 at a cost of $60,000 - a hefty sum at the time.
And the crown jewel of the courthouse is, of course, its copper-shingled dome.
Inside the dome is a bell locals affectionally call "Little Ben," which chimes on the hour.
We really get into fairytale territory in Fairbury's parks. This stone building definitely looks like something a fairytale character would come across on a trip through the woods!
The entirety of McNish Park seems designed to bring to mind a fairytale, with beautiful plants, water features, and interesting structures.
Crystal Springs Park, located just South of Fairbury, is a wonderfully green natural place perfect for wildlife viewing. From pelicans...
...to the spectacular great blue heron, this 73-acre park is full of magical creatures that you fully expect to start talking to you at any moment.
There are two spring-fed lakes in the park along with a man-made pond. It's a completely perfect place to spend your fairytale day.
One of the most mysterious and unusual features of Fairbury is
The mausoleum was carved by hand by a local man. He meant it to be his final resting place after he died, but the tomb has never been used. Instead, McDowell is buried in the Fairbury Cemetery. If you can make the hike through the Rose Creek Wildlife Management Area, you can visit this fascinating place yourself.
The Frontier Fun Park in the Fairbury City Park is one more of Fairbury's delightfully quirky features.
This is the oldest wooden play structure of its kind in the state, and it was actually built from designs submitted by local children. It's meant to imitate an old wild west town, which we think it does nicely.
Fairbury is probably best known for the Rock Creek Station State Historical Park.
This isn't anything you'd find in a traditional fairytale, but it's straight out of a frontier legend.
It was once a stop on the Oregon-California Trail before being used as a Pony Express Station.
There is so much history on this spot that it's even worn into the ground - you can still see and feel Oregon Trail wagon wheel ruts here.
In a scene straight out of a prairie legend, a young James Butler Hickock was involved in a gunfight here in 1861 which resulted in the death of a local rancher.
That young gunslinger, of course, would go on to become the infamous "Wild Bill" Hickock. Rock Creek Station was the site of his first known killing. A dubious honor, to be sure, but one that cements Fairbury as a frontier legend.
We’ve got a lot of love for this sweet town. See our previous articles about
Fairbury, McDowell’s Tomb, and Frontier Fun Park for even more pictures and information about this place that could definitely be the setting of some fascinating prairietales.