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Visitors had the chance to experience the history of Antelope County during a night at the museum on Tuesday.
The “Evening At the Museum” was held on Tuesday, July 3, at the Antelope County Museum in Neligh.
Dr. George Strassler, the former president of the Antelope County Historical Society, said that events like this are put on with the hopes that it will attract locals around Antelope County.
“This is a promotion intended to get people to come into their own museum,” he said.
Dr. Strassler said that the museum has allowed him to meet visitors from all over the world, but not as many from around the area.
“It’s a funny thing. We get a lot of people from out of town. From Canada, from Mexico. I’ve talked to people from all over the world at this museum. Can I get people who live in Neligh or in Elgin or Orchard to come through the door?” he said.
Strassler said he hears people saying they want to visit the museum and see the exhibits. This event, Strassler said, allows them to do just that.
“They always say, ‘Geez, I want to get down there some time. I ought to do that.’ Well, we are supplying the ought to do that!”
The Antelope County Museum, which opened in 2014, set out to “Preserve and collect the history of Antelope County.” Since its opening, the museum has expanded to include exhibits from each town as well as a schoolhouse, which was moved into town to sit across the highway from the museum in the spring of 2018.
Strassler said that they do not only seek out objects from the time period, but anything related to important events of the time period.
“We are constantly collecting items of interest. I refer not only to pots and pans but to newsworthy events which people will talk about in 50 years.”
The history that makes up Antelope County is filled with both good and bad. Strassler went on to say that the negative side of the history is just as important as the positive.
“No better example can be found today than the tragic murder of the local girl in Saline County,” Strassler said. “That is a part of the history of Neligh. Someone may say ‘Well, it’s a terrible thing. We don’t want to talk about that.’ But, we talk about the hanging of Nick Foley, Antelope County’s only lynching. Not all history is positive, but it is history.”
Strassler said that he hopes that visitors will come to the museum prepared with any and all questions they have about the county’s history .
“I just hope that people come to these events or come to this museum and bring their geology questions, their history questions, anything like that. We would love to help!”