A History of the Redick Mansion in North Omaha

The most famous mansion built in North Omaha is probably the Mayne Mansion, also known as the Redick Mansion. Clifton E. Mayne was a pioneer real estate investor and salesman in the city. In the 1870s, a farmer built a little house along Saunders Street leading north out of Omaha. He sold ten acres and his little farmhouse to Mayne in 1885.

A History of the Near North Side Neighborhood in North Omaha

As far as I’m concerned, the history of Omaha’s Near North Side neighborhood is the richest in all of Omaha. It has been home to working class families, poor people, and the wealthy; northern Europeans, African Americans, and eastern Europeans; Lutherans and Catholics, Jews and Black Muslims; slums, family homes, and mansions; looked like a pioneer town, had country gentleman farms, been a suburb, and had slums; professional offices, warehouses, manufacturing plants, local storefronts, printing presses, training centers, supermarkets and pop-up shops; giant churches and synagogues, and tiny storefront temples and more. So much has happened here, and clearly its story is still being written…

A History of the 1899 Greater America Exposition in North Omaha

OMAHANS HAVE BEEN MISINFORMED!   We like history. We want to be proud of the past. Sometimes, in order to be proud, we intentionally forget, ignore, or otherwise let go of the parts of the past that we’re not proud of. For years, the people of Omaha have been told that all of the buildings […]

A History of Fort Omaha

 Nestled between the Miller Park neighborhood and Sorenson Parkway is a 150 year old institution that’s been a powerhouse, a prison, a balloon school and a neglected surplus, and many other things. This is a short history of Fort Omaha. A group of officers at Fort Omaha in 1918. My Story As a whole, Fort […]

A History of the River Drive in Omaha

An Art Deco tree taken from the 1919 report where the majority of this article was drawn from. Imagine a smooth, easy drive on a Saturday afternoon in the fall all of it weaving along nineteen miles of the city’s waterfront. There are long, calm curves and tall, stately oaks lining the boulevard, with walkers […]

A History of the Omaha Presbyterian Theological Seminary in North Omaha

The Presbyterians were one of the congregations that grew along with Omaha. Arriving soon after the city’s founders, the first Presbyterian church in Omaha was opened in 1856. Over the next 25 years, more than 100 Presbyterian churches were founded in towns and cities across Nebraska. Their buildings became institutions for the faithful, for their communities and for the culture of the state. However, educating enough pastors to lead these flocks was becoming a challenge.

A History of the Viking Ship in North Omaha

Suburbs need social clubs, and social clubs need swingin’ good fun! North Omaha’s Viking Ship was that place for more than 50 years before turning into a quasi-community center. Here’s the history of the Viking Ship, aka Birchwood Club aka The Prettiest Mile Club.     Introduction   2582 Redick Avenue through the years: 1916 […]

A History of Hospitals in North Omaha

Today, North Omaha is a medical desert. With more than 40,000 residents in its boundaries, there is a stark absence of medical service providers of all kinds. Making it worse, the community is greatly underinsured. That leaves people who have no insurance and no money needing to travel to other parts of the city to get care. However, that hasn’t always been the case. There have been more than ten hospitals in North Omaha throughout its 150+ year history.

A History of Theatres and Movie Theaters in North Omaha

While it has absolutely no active movie theaters today, the North Omaha community has been home to at least 20 (!) movie theaters over the last century. This is a short history of those theaters. Its really incomplete, as information has been hard for me to find.

A History of Social Clubs and Social Halls in North Omaha

North Omaha has been the home to many fraternal lodges, community societies, political and social organizations and other groups. It has also been home to a lot of private clubs, nightclubs, dance halls and ballrooms. This article highlights North Omaha social clubs and social halls, and gives them context. Remember that North Omaha has been […]

A History of North Omaha’s Immanuel Hospital

Immanuel Hospital has been an institution in North Omaha for a long time. Originally located in the far northern part of the city of Omaha, it was intended to serve the burgeoning population in the section centered around N. 30th and Ames Avenue.

A History of the Citizens Civic Committee for Civil Liberties, or 4CL, in Omaha

“This town is sick… I’m not speaking of open sores, either — nothing as simple as the ghetto on the ‘Near North Side,’ where all but a handful of 30,000 Omaha Negroes live. No, our sickness is in the bloodstream — in our inner posture. We are an undemocratic city.” – Rev. James T. Stewart, […]

A History of the June 1969 Riot in North Omaha

While African Americans have known about police racism for more than a century, white people across the US are beginning to acknowledge the effects of legalized harassment, white privilege, systematic discrimination, the school-to-prison pipeline and other forms of white supremacy that constantly plunder communities and the entire nation of its potential, power and purpose. With a vibrant, vital, and obvious story, Vivian Strong must be remembered today.

A History of Redlining in Omaha

The history of North Omaha includes redlining starting during the 1920s, and being made illegal in the 1960s. This article explores that history, including the context in which it happened and some of the outcomes.

A History of Original Omaha University in North Omaha

Along the tree-lined streets and fine middle and upper class homes of Kountze Place in North Omaha, the staff of Omaha’s Presbyterian Theological Seminary decided in the early 20th century to start a new university. For 30 years, the neighborhood was home to the eventual University of Nebraska at Omaha. This is a short history of that time, starting from the beginning.

An Interesting History of Fort Omaha

This is an interesting history of Fort Omaha. Every school student in North Omaha is taught about the fort, that it existed and stuff happened there. But what they are taught and what the average Omahan knows pales in comparison to the actual history of the place. Here are five interesting facts about Fort Omaha. […]

A History of Streetcars in North Omaha

When the Trans-Mississippi Exposition happened in North Omaha in 1898, the city wanted to make sure all visitors knew how easy it was to get to the site. Using some promotional materials from that time, I’ve written a history of streetcars in North Omaha in the 1890s.

A History of the Fort Street Special School for Incorrigible Boys in North Omaha

Just like school districts everywhere, Omaha Public Schools has had a challenge serving disengaged students ever since students were mandated to go to school by compulsory school law. In Nebraska, that year was 1887. After a few decades, the Fort Street Special School for Incorrigible Boys was their answer to the challenge these students posed. […]

A History of the Miller Park Neighborhood in North Omaha

The place where I grew up, Omaha’s Miller Park neighborhood, rushes through my imagination a lot. I want to see it acknowledged, appreciated and accentuated every day. This article is my acknowledgment of the past and contribution to the future.

A History of the 1919 Lynching and Riot in Omaha

Omaha has many histories that need to be told. Places, people and events that happened over the last 160 years have been forgotten, neglected or repressed, and that’s what I am most interested in. The story of Will Brown is one such story. It represents the ugly, hateful history of this city that has driven […]

A Street of Dreams

African American patrons of a drug store on N. 24th Street in the 1940s. As this blog tells repeatedly, the history of North Omaha is richer, deeper and more meaningful than anyone gives it credit for. In 1994, NET helped reveal some of this history through a powerful documentary called “A Street of Dreams.” From […]

A Time for Burning

One of the most powerful documentaries to ever be made in Omaha is called A Time For Burning. Nominated for an Academy Award for documentary filmmaking in 1966, the film highlights then-barber/future Nebraska legislator Ernie Chambers. A graduate of the Creighton University Law School, he was elected Senator to the Nebraska Legislature in 1970. By […]

A History of the Black Association for Nationalism Through Unity (BANTU) in Omaha

One of the places that sparks my imagination greatly is when my varying interests overlap, and that’s why today’s post on BANTU particularly excites me. From the pioneering Civil Rights efforts of Dr. Matthew Ricketts In the 1910s and 1920s, Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) was active in Omaha, led by young Malcolm […]

A History of the 1913 Easter Tornado in North Omaha

The following video is a collection of pictures from the 1913 Easter Sunday tornado. This was a massive F5 tornado that ripped across the entire city. However, the vast majority of damage was done to North Omaha, and in particular the Near North Side. Most of the photos in the video are from the neighborhood, […]

A History of Carter Lake

Everything begins somewhere. For Omaha’s Carter Lake, it was as a fun-filled day in the water for all kinds of people. Following is the early history of the place. It includes a waterfront boardwalk, hotels, a resort, clubs and an amusement park.

A History of the North Omaha Riots

Because of when the riots happened and what they did, there are scars on North O that that haven’t healed almost 50 years later. Here’s a history of what happened.

A History of the Omaha Driving Park in North Omaha

One hundred years ago, getting a new buggy was a big deal. By 1910, jalopies criss-crossed North Omaha’s streets, jutting across the city and competing with the old horse-drawn wagons coming in from the country. But tucked away in the community’s memory was a gentile driving park that was located in North Omaha. Established as […]

A History of North Omaha, Part 1

Almost a thousand years ago early American Indians roamed the thick woodlands the lined the Missouri River bottoms in East Omaha. There were fishing ponds and hideaways, both excellent for keeping the small western villages of the Woodlands culture that dotted the area. On the plateau above the river was a prairie that looked more […]

A History of North Omaha’s Prospect Hill Cemetery

There are places in Omaha where ghosts, legends and history come alive. With mysterious burial sites, whispy hauntings and grand memorial trees, the pioneer graveyard called Prospect Hill Cemetery may be the most haunted of all. Read on to learn more…