Opening the Sandhills

Opening the Sandhills (HM661)

Location: Gordon, NE 69343 Cherry County
Country: United States of America

N 42° 47.999', W 102° 0.787'

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Inscription
The first ranch in this area was set up on the Niobrara River about five miles south of here in 1877. E. S. Newman established his ranch to sell cattle to the government for delivery to the Indians at the Pine Ridge Agency to the north.

The sandhills, later to become the heart of Nebraska's cattle country, were shunned by Newman and his contemporaries who set up ranches on their edge. The cattlemen believed the region of shifting sand dunes, with few streams or other known sources of water, would not support cattle and was even dangerous for humans.

In the spring of 1879, Newman and his fellow ranchers were forced to enter the sandhills hoping to salvage a small portion of the stock that had drifted south of the Niobrara River in the severe winter storms. They found the cattle had both shelter and good grass and water in the hills. Since then Nebraska's sandhills have acquired a thicker and more stable covering of grass. This rolling country with its plentiful vegetation and its diamond-like lakes nestled between the hills has become one of the most productive cattle-raising regions in the world.
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Details
HM NumberHM661
Series This marker is part of the Nebraska: Nebraska State Historical Society series
Tags
Marker Number4
Placed ByNebraska State Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 at 12:06pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13T E 744252 N 4742931
Decimal Degrees42.79998333, -102.01311667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 47.999', W 102° 0.787'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 47' 59.94" N, 102° 0' 47.22" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)308
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 16124 US-20, Gordon NE 69343, US
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