Set amidst brick-lined streets, charming homes, historic buildings, and the immense beauty of the prairie, Red Cloud offers a glimpse into a storied American past while maintaining a progressive vision for the future. Willa Cather’s prairie novels introduced the world to the community and have left indelible impressions in the minds of her readers. Yet rich literary history is only one part of this unique town’s present-day draw. Your off-the-beaten path adventure will let you explore a rural lifestyle while also immersing yourself in arts, culture, history, and recreational pursuits.
Auld Public Library was contructed in 1917-18 and serves as an excellent representation of Neo-Classical style architecture. The facility was the result of William T. Auld's generous donation to erect the first permanent library for the community. The Library houses over 10,000 volumes as well as videos, DVD movies, and audio books. Wireless internet access is also available....
The Auld Public Library is the perfect place to spend a quiet afternoon. Thumb through a few of the over 10,000 volumes, as well as videos, DVD movies, and audio books. Wireless internet access is also available.
The Red Cloud Post Office is home to three mural panels commissioned as WPA projects. Archie Musick, who studied under Thomas Hart Benton and Boardman Robinson, is the artist who was awarded this project. He aimed to explain through these paintings — “Loading Cattle,” “Stockade Builders,” and “Moving Westward” — the advent of white settlement, the movement of Indian tribes to the west, and the...
Lobby is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week year round
The Republican River is an ideal location for viewing wildlife; species include eagle, turkey, upland birds, deer, and bobcat. The chalk cliffs are a naturally occurring geological feature, exposed by the action of the Republican River. Picturesque hills adorn the south side of the river and many great camping, hunting, and fishing possibilities are available. ...
This schoolhouse, known as North Star of Webster County School District 81 and referred to as "Little Tin Schoolhouse" was located near Cowles, Nebraska. It was built in 1887 and closed in 1959. In 1989, it was moved to its current location on the Yost Farm. The inside walls feature the original wainscoting. The ante room features an overshoe bench, wash stand, water bucket and tin cups, as...
Tours and experiences available by appointment. Contact Ardis Yost at 402-746-2856 for more information.
Depots in general played a significant role in Willa Cather's writings. The original two-story section of the depot, constructed in 1897, is the building Cather was familiar with during her last years in Red Cloud. Red Cloud was on the main line of the Burlington and Missouri between Kansas City and Denver. At one time, eight passenger trains (and several grain and livestock trains) passed...
The Burlington Depot is part of the 7 Building Tour conducted by the Willa Cather Foundation. Call 402-746-2653 for more information
The Childhood Home, the treasure of our restored buildings, contains many family artifacts including furniture, canned goods, prints and artwork, and family photographs and books. Grandma Boak's room is exactly as described in "Old Mrs. Harris." Upstairs, a "story within itself," is young Willa's (and Thea Kronborg's in The Song of the Lark) small attic bedroom; Willa wallpapered...
Tour the Childhood Home by itself or as part of a 3-building or 7-building tour.
The Starke Round Barn is a historic and engineering marvel. More than one hundred years old, the barn is massive in size but is held together without nails or pegs of any kind. Measuring 130 feet in diameter and three stories in height, the structure is constructed with balloon framing and heavy timber supports. The Starke Brothers, Conrad, Ernest, William and Chris, who...
Completed in 2017, the National Willa Cather Center is a sight to behold. In addition to being the headquarters of the Willa Cather Foundation, the building features a climate-controlled archive, a bookstore, a museum, and conference rooms. The NWCC is a testament to the Willa Cather Foundation’s dedication and a shining example of the organization's mission statement: to promote and...
Built in 1885, the Red Cloud Opera House transports visitors back in time to set the mood, scene, and tone of the 1890s, when Willa Cather and her friends eagerly anticipated the arrival of traveling productions such as The Bohemian Girl and The Mikado. As Cather herself put it, "Only real people speaking the lines can give us that feeling of living along with them, of...
9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m. No Saturday afternoon or Sunday tours.
For tour prices click here.
Housed in a 1909 classic revival style brick mansion, the Webster County Historical Museum is a beautiful landmark and an outstanding resource for learning about the area's rich pioneering and agricultural history. The four floors of the museum bring to life the early settlers of Webster County. It is a treasure trove of information about local families living in the Red Cloud and Guide Rock...
Hours: Tues - Sun, 1:00-5:00 p.m. April 1-October 30
Except Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and July 4th.
The genealogy department is open year round by appointment
The Kaley House is the perfect accommodation during your visit to Historic Red Cloud and the Willa Cather sites – as well as a place to gather with friends or family, or to spend a special weekend getaway. Come relax and enjoy the quiet surroundings in a beautifully restored home with all of the modern conveniences, and wake each morning to the smell of freshly ground coffee and your homemade...
Our community is proud to have the 3rd best 9-hole public golf course in Nebraska. Designed by the late PGA Tour Pro Harry Obitz in 1988, the course boasts elevated greens for quick play after a hard rain. It has a driving range and putting green and offers cart rental and a full clubhouse bar. The Red Cloud Golf Course is fun for players of all levels. Open year round. Located 2 miles east...
Putting Green, Chipping Green, Driving Range, Rental Cars, Snack Bar, Bar, Meeting Room, Nebraska Golf Association Member, Pro Shop, No Spikes.
The Willa Cather Memorial Prairie is a botanical treasure consisting of 612 acres of never-been-plowed native prairie. The Willa Cather Foundation is working to return this land to its 19th century conditions, a time before the encroachment of man and foreign plant species.
The importance of the prairie in shaping America's art, history, and culture has been lost to much of the...
5 miles south of Red Cloud on the west side of Hwy. 281.
Hike the trails and enjoy the unbroken horizon.
Contact The Willa Cather Foundation at 402-746-2653 for more information about this and other Cather Country Tour locations.
The Red Cloud High School Alumni Weekend will be held Friday, May 26th through Sunday, May 28th in Red Cloud. On the 26th, the Red Cloud Community Foundation Fund will host its Annual Banquet in...READ MORE...
Visit Red Cloud this summer and help us celebrate Nebraska's sesquicentennial--our state's 150th birthday--in style. On June 3rd, the Dedication of the National Willa Cather Center will be a...READ MORE...
Nebraska's premier Summer music tour returns to Red Cloud and the legendary Starke Round Barn! Lester Junction to perform. This year, the concert will be from 5pm to 9pm but the barn will be open to visitors starting at 3pm.
Clark & Company is an Indie R&B band with mature melodies, fresh arrangements and a stirring signature style. The band's first album, "Three of Swords," with 13 original songs, was released in January 2014. One of the songs from this album, "Battle Cry," was named a finalist in the 10th Annual International Acoustic Music Awards, in the Best Group/ Duo category.
Clark & Company has been an Omaha Entertainment & Arts Awards Nominee for two years in a row: Best R&B/Soul (2014) and Best Blues (2015). All six Clark & Company members are students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
“Let your fiction grow out of the land beneath your feet.”
"Growing up in central Nebraska it was easy to get lost in the land and the stories it told. With every thunderstorm that rumbles across the fields, to the wind that never stops blowing and scars everything it caresses I call this place home. I have always been enamored by its emptiness and ferociousness. I see ghosts working the land, hands stained black from rich soil. Visions of black bonnets bobbing in the fields while monumental horses pull plows breaking lines of sod. If only the isolated trees that sit in the middle of fields like guardians could tell their stories.
This body of work documents Catherland and the ideology of the Nebraska landscape. Located in Red Cloud Nebraska, Catherland is where the author Willa Cather grew up, and based several of her novels on, dealing with life on the prairie in the early 19th century. My photographs evoke a sense of place, and remind us of the stories the great Willa Cather told about this magical land, and the people who tamed it."
Cherry Corner Estates & Cather Second Home Guest House
May 18, 2017
On May 18 the Willa Cather Book Club will meet to discuss House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday. 1969 Pulitzer Prize-winner for Fiction and set at World War 2’s conclusion, this novel picks up the story of Native Americans in the Southwest that we began with Laughing Boy and established Native American fiction in mainstream literature. There are two meeting times available; 4:00 p.m. at Cherry Corner Estates and 6:30 at the Cather Second Home.
As a graduate student from Taiwan, the opportunity to attend the Willa Cather Spring Conference was a huge milestone for me in my academic life. Not only did I get a chance to visit and experience both Red Cloud and UNL in person, I was also thrilled to meet and learn from the generous community of Cather scholars. Wonderful events like these not only showcase and celebrate Cather's legacy, they instruct and inspire foreign students like myself.
Favorite Part of Red Cloud: The historic atmosphere
I spent a week photographing Red Cloud as an artist in residence at the Willa Cather Foundation. Being able to discover this magic town in such a unique way was an unbelievable experience. I was able to literally follow in Willa Cather's footsteps as I photographed. This beautiful little town has cast quite a spell on me and as an artist I think it is an essential stop for other creative people.
Favorite Part of Red Cloud: Small town friendliness and caring
There is so much excitement going on in our small town of Red Cloud right now! How fortunate we are to live among people whose interest is making our community grow. New businesses are flourishing and the things that are in the works are amazing! I am proud to call Red Cloud home! #redcloudproud