A History of North Omaha’s J.J. Pershing Drive and Monument

On Veterans Day, 1941, there was a giant parade for the dedication of a new monument to honor the life of John J. Pershing, General of the Armies during World War I. The City of Omaha named a new roadway leading from Abbott Drive to River Drive after him, as well. This is the story

A History of the Fort Omaha Balloon School in North Omaha

Drifting high above North Omaha for 12 years, dirigibles and balloons that were lighter than air showed how Fort Omaha was central to US Army experimentation. This article shares the short history of the balloon school that showed so much promise early on.

A History of the 26th and Lake Streetcar Shop in North Omaha

Imagine a time when riding a streetcar was interesting, respected and almost a little glamorous. On the dusty, granite-covered streets of Omaha, that time was during the 1870s and 1880s. That new technology needed fanciful buildings to go along with the times, and the streetcar barn at 2606 North 26th Street in North Omaha was one of those buildings.

A History of the North 30th and Ames Commercial District

The intersection of North 30th and Ames Avenue was an important suburban crossroads in North Omaha as early as the 1890s and going all the way into the 1960s. Then, with white flight in full force and North Omaha divestment underway, the intersection started to struggle. Today, it continues to flounder, but many businesses stay open, overcoming the negative, challenging and demeaning perceptions many Omaha’s have about the community.

A History of the Central Park Neighborhood in North Omaha

Tucked away in North Omaha is a historic neighborhood that gets little attention. However, the people who’ve lived there have vibrant memories and meaningful stories that lasted a lifetime. The Central Park neighborhood extends from North 33rd to North 48th Streets, from Ames Avenue to Sorenson Parkway. Located west of the town of Saratoga, it was never an incorporated town like its neighbors in Irvington or Benson. A lot of the oral histories of the area talked about it being a rural community, surrounded by farms and fields, orchards and more. Rising from cornfields and hills, the Central Park neighborhood has a long history starting in the 1880s. Here are details I could find about the neighborhood.

A History of North Omaha’s Elks Hall and Iroquois Lodge 92

Starting in 1905, the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World, also called the black Elks, met in North Omaha. They were determined to help foster positive social connections, build community and foster growth within Omaha’s African American community. Almost 100 years later, it keeps going.

A History of North Omaha’s Belt Line Railway

Almost a decade ago, I stumbled across stories of a railroad that looped around Omaha. Different sources told crazy realities, including conflicting ownership, court cases, and the rise and fall of several neighborhoods in North Omaha. I was fascinated that I saw this track all the time when I was growing up, but I never knew its story, so I started researching. I read articles and pamphlets, books and maps. After that, I started an article on Wikipedia to share what I’d found. Well, as you know, that’s never enough for me. With some recent encouragement from John Peterson, a fine Omaha history writer, I am going to expand here on what I’ve researched and learned about the Belt Line Railway in North Omaha.

A History of North Omaha’s Cuming Street

Now seen as the front door to Omaha, Cuming Street has also served as the city’s farthest edge; as the growing, mighty muscles of industry and business; and as its dirty, neglected backside. This article highlights the history of Cuming Street, from its beginnings through to present day.

A History of the Omaha Municipal Beach

Located at 809 Carter Lake Drive North, Municipal Beach was a success, and for decades on every good swimming day all summer long a thousand people swamped Omaha’s Municipal Beach to enjoy sun, fun and good times. It was located there from 1919 through to the 1950s, enjoying massive popularity, an influx of money from the US federal government, and a place in many older peoples’ memories still today.

A History of North Omaha’s Miller Park

The Miller Park in North Omaha has a long history. There is no single right way to write about it, and if, after you’re done reading this entire article, you disagree with the way I’ve written this history, I invite you to write your own version.     To start with, it is important to […]

A History of the North Omaha Radar Station

The North Omaha Radar Station has a long history. Located at 11000 North 72nd Street, it was built in 1950 as the Omaha Air Force Station. With exactly 40 acres on the intersection of North 72nd and McKinley Drive, it was part of a Cold War-focused radar network and was officially closed in 1968. That […]

A History of 16th and Locust Historic District in North Omaha

The N. 16th and Locust Street intersection was a beehive of commercial activity for more than a century. The Locust overpass of the MoPac Railroad was a key. Learn more.

A History of East Omaha’s Florence Lake

Along the wild timeline of the Missouri River, a little nest of water was created in East Omaha, Nebraska. When European settlers saw it, they called it Florence Lake. Here’s a short history of its appearance, some appreciation, and its disappearance.

A History of North Omaha’s Walnut Hill Reservoir

Located immediately north of Mercer Park, the Walnut Hill Reservoir is bound by Hamilton Street and the Walnut Hill neighborhood on the west, North 38th Street on the east, Nicholas Street on the south, and Mercer Park Drive on the east. Walnut Hill is cut in half by the curvy Park Road, which extends from Mercer Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard. “Walnut Hill Reservoir” is chiseled into a concrete panel between the steps at North 38th Street.

A History of North Omaha’s Kellom Pool

The Near North Side neighborhood was packed with people for more than a century. People need places to hang out and cool off in Omaha’s hot summers, and in the late 1940s the City of Omaha Parks Department decided to build a swimming pool to serve the community. By this point, the Logan Fontenelle Housing […]

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 North Omaha’s Logan Fontenelle Housing Projects

Once upon a time, there was a massive public housing project located at the intersection of North 24th and Paul Streets in the Near North Side neighborhood. Originally named the “Northside Village Public Housing Project,” the name was officially changed in honor of the famous Omaha tribe leader Logan Fontenelle.

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.

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 24th Street in North Omaha

North 24th Street in North Omaha, Nebraska, used to be a regular street of dreams. Home to immigrants and entrepreneurs, it hosted generations of families that made it. Then in the 1960s, several riots struck at the heart of the community. It hasn’t recovered in the 50 years since.

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 Florence Water Works and Minne Lusa Station in North Omaha

The Florence Water Works was once home to one of the most magnificent buildings in the entire city of Omaha. Despite being obliterated in the 1950s, the water around it keeps wetting the whistle…

A History of Schools in North Omaha

If walls could talk, North Omaha’s schools would be much noisier, much more colorful, and much more complicated than anyone wants to hear. For more than 150 years, schools throughout the community have served students of all ages. With a deep history including segregation and school violence, its can be hard to remember all the positive people and events that emerged in the community’s schools. Following is my ever-growing history of the old schools in North Omaha.

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 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…