Most People Have No Idea There’s An Underwater Ghost Town Hiding In Nebraska

Over the years, the Nebraska landscape has changed many times and for many reasons. Towns sprang up and disappeared all over the state, usually because of the arrival or departure of nearby railroad routes. But some towns disappeared for entirely different reasons, like the town under Lake McConaughy. This beloved lake is a popular spot for summer fun, but what many people don’t know is that in order for the lake to exist, an entire town had to be submerged.

This short video from 2004 shows what the uncovered ghost town looked like when Lake McConaughy water level’s dropped low enough that we could see the original town.  Although it isn’t as dramatic as, say, entire buildings rotting away beneath the lake, it is still fascinating to see little wisps of memories of an entire town.

For some spectacular pictures of the exposed town, click here.

The town of “New Lemoyne” was established just north of the old townsite, but the “New” never caught on and people continued to call the new town Lemoyne. Many residents decided to make their new homes elsewhere instead of moving to the new site, making for more than a few tearful goodbyes as the original Lemoyne was dismantled and slowly moved away.

Now that you know what’s hiding beneath the lake waters, you’ll think of old Lemoyne every time you fish or swim there. For another tiny, nearly-forgotten Nebraska ghost town, read our story on Brocksburg.

Address: McConaughy Lake, Nebraska, USA

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The OIYS Visitor Center

town under Lake McConaughy

July 15, 2022

Are there any good swimming holes in Nebraska?

When you’re looking for good swimming holes in Nebraska, you can’t pass up an opportunity to swim in Nebraska’s largest lake, Lake McConaughy. Yes, Lake McConaughy’s history includes a sunken underwater town, but it’s also one of the most beloved lakes in Nebraska, and one worthy of a road trip from any corner of the state. Not only is this beautiful lake a great spot for fishing, boating, and even scuba diving, but you can also sprawl out on the sandy beach and soak up some sun in between floating in the refreshing waters. There are plenty of cabins and campgrounds nearby, too, if you’d like to extend your stay for a day!

Which state parks should I visit in Nebraska?

There are eight state parks in Nebraska, and each one will show you the unspoiled beauty of this beautiful state. Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area and Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area both hug the shores of Lake McConaughy and provide endless hours of outdoor adventure, beautiful scenery, and calm waters to enjoy.

Can I camp right on the water in Nebraska?

You sure can! Waterfront camping in Nebraska is one of the best ways to spend a weekend during the warmer months, and Lake McConaughy has several campgrounds peppered along the shore, in fact, you can practically camp just about anywhere on the shoreline, as long as it’s not clearly marked for nesting/wildlife.

Address: McConaughy Lake, Nebraska, USA

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