A History of the Bemis Park Landmark Heritage District in North Omaha

The Bemis Park Landmark Heritage District is a jewel in the crown of North Omaha history. This is a summary of its history.

A History of Ak-Sar-Ben in North Omaha

Examining the rise and fall of North Omaha requires a long and complicated journey through politics, culture, economics and more. One of the important early anchors of the community demonstrated the ability of one organization to steer things astray.   Opening the Coliseum     Built in 1879, the Coliseum was located at 2226 North […]

A History of St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Parish and the Bryant Resource Center

North Omaha’s Saint Benedict Catholic Church has been a bastion of hope for the Near North Side for almost a century. Here’s their story.

A History of North Omaha’s Kountze Park, Once Called Malcolm X Park

Malcolm X Memorial Park sits in the heart of North Omaha’s Kountze Place. Discover why you don’t hear about it anymore.

A History of the 24th and Fort Intersection in North Omaha

This is a history of the buildings at North 24th and Fort Streets in the Miller Park neighborhood.

A History of Black Churches in Omaha

Omaha’s tradition of Black churches started less than a decade after the founding of the city in 1865. With de facto segregation the norm in the city by then, African Americans were denied seats in white churches. Not to be without a spiritual home, the city’s pioneer Blacks founded their own places of worship. Here is an introduction […]

A History of Zion Baptist Church in North Omaha

A leader among the bedrock institutions of North Omaha is Zion Baptist Church. One of the oldest congregations in Omaha, it was founded in 1884 and became the largest Black church in Omaha by 1900. It’s landmark building at 2215 Grant Street was designed by North Omaha native “Cap” Clarence Wigington, and its mission is still distinctly relevant more than 125 years after it was founded.

Dynamic Past, Hope-filled Future: North Omaha History, Volume Three Now On Sale!

(Olympia, WA: December 1, 2016) The final book of Adam Fletcher Sasse’s series, North Omaha History: Volume Three, is now available from CommonAction Publishing. In the third book of the North Omaha History Series, Adam Fletcher Sasse reveals a lot of the hidden, denied and neglected history of one of the oldest areas of Nebraska’s largest city. Highlighting the […]

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 North Omaha’s Joseph P. Guth

North Omaha’s has A LOT of unsung architectural heroes, and one of them is Joseph P. Guth. Guth moved from Germany to Omaha in 1884 and designed business blocks, breweries, factories and warehouses, fire stations, schools, houses and multifamily residences, churches and halls across the city for more than 40 years. Leo A. Daly was his […]

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 North Omaha’s J. F. Bloom and Company

Omaha has always been a good place to die.

Starting in the 1840s when the first trails were cut through the area, people were laid to rest all across the city. With cemeteries scattered across North Omaha, it made sense for a stonecutter to make his work in the community.

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 the 24th and Lake Historic District in North Omaha

North Omaha is screaming full of history, and the new 24th and Lake Historic District is a tremendous example of how that’s so. After its first developments in the 1870s, this intersection evolved to become a hotbed of the African American community; as well as the heart of the Jewish community; a farm supply area; and much, much more. In 2016, 38 buildings were included in a new listing on the National Register of Historic Places. This article is an introduction to the powerful, poignant past of a large jewel in North Omaha’s historical crown.

A History of the Minne Lusa Historic District in North Omaha

“Proud, powerful and transforming.” Asked to think of words to describe the Minne Lusa neighborhood, these came to my mind immediately. I was sitting with a friend in Omaha recently, talking about the changes in North O, and they asked me what I thought of it. I easily remembered summers riding bikes up and down Minne Lusa Boulevard, going to the Viking Ship regularly, eating ice cream and buying cassette tapes at Four Aces Pawn Shop. Even as a kid, I thought the neighborhood was special, with its giant houses on the boulevard and polite houses up and down the blocks, all with an overall feeling of respectful suburbanity. The following is a short history of the neighborhood that I write out of admiration for Minne Lusa’s beauty, my memories, and the people who fill the homes today.

A History of North Omaha’s Long School Neighborhood

The Long School neighborhood is located in North Omaha from Hamilton Street on the south to Erskine on the North; North 24th on the east and the North Freeway on the west, and it has a total of 30 blocks. Houses started getting built in the neighborhood as early as the 1860s. However, it wasn’t until Long School was built that things really got underway. This is a history of the neighborhood.

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 the Omaha Star

More than 65 years ago, a newspaper was launched to serve Omaha’s African American community. Coming from a legacy of several Black newspapers before it, the paper was launched by the visionary Mildred Brown and her husband Ed Gilbert. Losing its direct competitors within a decade, The Omaha Star became the city’s Civil Rights media champion, refusing to print negative news and constantly focusing on keeping it positive. The original banner was “Joy and Happiness”, and the only told good news.

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 Churches in North Omaha

In its first 75 years, North Omaha was home to no fewer than four Jewish synagogues, six Catholic parishes and 50 Protestant congregations. These churches reflected the community’s diversity, including ethnic churches where only Italian, German, Norwegian, Danish and other languages were spoke. Within 25 years of Omaha’s founding, there were also several Black churches in the neighborhood north of downtown. Following is a history of churches in North Omaha.

A History of St. Clare’s Monastery in North Omaha

This is the original Poor Clares Monastery built in 1904. It still stands at N. 29th and Hamilton Streets.   Located in the middle of the hustle and bustle is a spectacularly beautiful, formerly consecrated rental facility that few people in the entire city know about. For more than a century there was a monastery […]

A History of Black Hotels in Omaha

Built in 1915, the Broadview Hotel at 2060 Florence Boulevard operated for several decades. Much the same as today, Omaha was culturally segregated in the early 20th century. That included its hotels. Spectacular stories about wonderful early hotels didn’t include African Americans. Places like the Grand Central Hotel, the Cozzens Hotel, the Herndon House, and […]