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A hidden treasure that calls Neligh home is celebrating their 15th anniversary over the July 4th weekend.
The Pierson Wildlife Museum, located next to the Antelope County Museum in Neligh, will be celebrating 15 years alongside Old Mill Days this July 4th weekend. Admission will be free to the public over the weekend, and coupons for $1 off admission are posted in many Neligh businesses.
The museum houses many preserved animals from all over the world taken by Dr. Kenneth Pierson starting with the first animal he had preserved: a Great Horned Owl taken by Pierson in 1939. Notable attractions in the museum also include the “Big Five”, a Black Rhinoceros, an Elephant, a Lion, a Cape Buffalo, and a Leopard. The Black Rhinoceros is now endangered and can no longer be hunted, making the Pierson collection one of the rarest in the world.
The Pierson Wildlife Museum & Learning Center was first opened on July 4, 2002. The collection was able to be housed and preserved in Neligh thanks to a massive volunteer effort by many members of the community. Volunteer work was responsible for the renovation of the exhibits inside the building as well as keeping up the building itself. The museum came also after a long effort by the “Keepers of the Vision”, a group of people who headed the museum project and help to educate the public about the collection. Gloria Christiansen, a member of the Keepers of the Vision, said that they take a lot of pride in preserving the collection for future generations.
“We are proud to be the Keepers of the Vision for his collection. We hope it’s here for many years to come. We hope that people keep coming and we ask the public to help keep the museum alive,” she said.