Nebraska May 01, 2018
The Most Nebraska Town Ever And Why You Need To Visit
What do you think of when you picture Nebraska? We like to think of our home state as being rich with history, wholesome people, and beautiful sights. We picture strong communities, awesome outdoor activities, and plenty of locally-owned businesses. This sweet little town in the panhandle encompasses all of those things and more, and it may just be the most quintessentially Nebraskan town in the whole state.
Kimball is the county seat of Kimball County and boasts a population of just under 2,500. It's small enough for everyone to know everyone else, but large enough that the community is thriving and vibrant.
This sweet community bills itself as the "High Point of Nebraska," a moniker it earned thanks to the (kind of) nearby Panorama Point, the highest elevation point in the state.
Many people who visit Panorama Point start out in Kimball and then make the 33-mile trip to the monument, which is located in the middle of a field on private property. You can visit for $3/person - but be careful not to aggravate the resident bison herd.
But there are a whole lot of reasons to stick around in Kimball itself, particularly if you're a fan of historic architecture.
The Historic Kimball Walking Tour takes visitors through the downtown area to look at some of the most impressive buildings, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Read more about the walking tour here.
Below is one of those buildings. It was built in 1904 as the Fraternal Hall and today houses the Plains Historical Museum, a terrific collection of regional artifacts dating back to the heyday of the cowboy.
The Wheat Growers Hotel is a splendid piece of early 20th century architecture. When it was built in 1918, it was one of the fanciest hotels on the Lincoln Highway. Today it's listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but it sits empty...unless you believe the
ghost story, that is.
The Goodhand Theater is a great example of the community spirit in Kimball. The classic movie theater was built in 1954 and closed in 2011, then sat unused for five years. A community project brought the theater back to life and it is once again showing movies.
Kimball's fascinating history is apparent just about everywhere you look. One point of interest is the beautifully preserved aqueduct just outside of town. It was built in the early 20th century as part of an irrigation system that traversed the rough terrain of the area.
Pat Maginnis, a blacksmith who lived in Kimball more than 100 years ago, patented the irrigation flume. Kimball's first manufacturing plant was built to produce these flumes which were used all across the country and abroad.
There are several parks and green spaces throughout the town, including a park displaying a retired UP caboose and one with a decommissioned Titan I missile. The missile is a nod to the many underground missile silos in the area. In fact, one of those abandoned silos has been turned into a unique home that sometimes welcomes very small groups for tours.
Read more about the underground home here.
Nature lovers will feel right at home in this western Nebraska town. The hunting and fishing are great, and the nearby Oliver Reservoir offers everything you could want in an outdoor recreation area.
Kimball's community celebrations and events are plentiful all year long. Farmers' Day, the annual rodeo, and the county fair are some of the favorites. The Harvest Moon gathering is a unique event that takes place on a local historic ranch. Attendees get together to observe and learn about the big full moon while enjoying some hot dogs and s'mores.
This very Nebraskan town is the kind of place that natives tend to return to when it’s time to raise their own families. It’s a quiet, wholesome town where you can still feel safe leaving your doors unlocked and sending your kids out to ride their bikes in the evening.
We’ve really only scratched the surface here when it comes to everything the beautiful Kimball has to offer. Read more about Kimball-area tourism
here and the town itself here.
Did you grow up in Kimball? Have you spent time there enjoying this unique city? Share your experiences in the comments!