This Lonely Ghost Town in Nebraska is Hauntingly Beautiful

Many Nebraska towns sprung up in the late 1800s out of peoples’ shared desire to join forces as a community. Nebraskans assembled to build and share resources such as churches, schools, and shops. Everything the residents needed was right there in easy reach in their little towns. But when roads and then highways made it easier for people to travel farther from home, the populations of these towns began to dwindle. Venus, now a tiny unincorporated community in Knox County, was founded in the late 1800s. The town was named after the goddess Venus thanks to the unspoiled beauty of the area. Its general store was opened in 1879 and its post office was established the next year. The post office closed its doors in 1959; the store held on for another 20 years. After that, the town’s decline accelerated.

When we think of ghost towns, many of us picture the gold rush towns of the west: abandoned in a hurry, left exactly as they were standing with belongings still in them. The hundreds of ghost towns all around Nebraska – those which you can see and those which have altogether vanished – declined much more slowly. Places like Venus remind us that, even after the people have left a town, there is still so much beauty to be seen.

Special thanks to Micheal Peterson for giving us permission to share his photos of Venus.

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