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.
The North Omaha Gene Eppley Boys’ Club was the cradle of youth engagement for a generation of young men. This is a history of the facility.
This is a modern history of North 24th and Lake Streets in North Omaha. Several buildings and initiatives are detailed.
North Omaha’s Martha T. Smith Home for the Aged opened in 1913 as the Colored Old Folks Home. This is the history…
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.
The home at 2060 Florence Boulevard has a reputation as a mansion for the social elite; an apartment house; a brothel, a hotel and as apartments again. Here is a history of North Omaha’s Broadview Hotel.
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.
Omaha, Nebraska, was founded on white supremacy. Since then, both formal and informal forces throughout the city have worked continuously to impose, maintain and expand white supremacy throughout the city, state and nation. The stories of Mondo we Langa and Ed Poindexter are examples of what that looks like. Understood in the context of North Omaha history, it is easy to see they aren’t the only examples; however, they are among the most powerful.
Street signs at 20th and Lake in North Omaha, Nebraska. There are unsung intersections throughout North Omaha. These are places the past treated as important and meaningful, packed with businesses and enterprise, possibilities and the future. Unfortunately, almost every one of them met it’s demise when white flight kicked in and the community ran into […]
In a time of mobland gangsters, illegal booze, dirty gambling halls and open prostitution, several African Americans rose high enough in Omaha’s criminal underworld to become the crime lords of 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.
On Easter Day 1913, an F4 tornado that was a quarter mile wide hit North Omaha, killing at least 94 people. As of May 2016, is the deadliest Nebraska tornado of all time, and the 13th deadliest-ever tornado in the United States. It is one of Omaha’s most popular collective memories, and yet, few people seem to know about it. Here is a history of the 1913 Easter Sunday Tornado in North Omaha.
Located at 1400 Evans Street in North Omaha, the Tidy House Products Company was one of many small industries scattered throughout the community. A successful company, Tidy House had several products that helped you keep a tidy house. They included Perfex household cleaner, Dexol bleach, GlossTex laundry detergent, and Shina Dish dishwashing liquid. The company […]
The fine Second Italianate Renaissance Style home built by Nebraska Territory governor Alvin Saunders was located in North Omaha at 1510 Sherman Avenue / 2008 North 16th Street. Learn more about it in this article.
Adam’s note: I’m a little hesitant to share this story, but I’m going to. Bad things happen in communities, and this story is part of North Omaha’s history. I’ve removed family names out of respect for the families involved. This is Kellom School in 1914. It was located at N. 24th and Paul Streets. […]
For more than 15 years, the Environmental Protection Agency has been fighting lead poisoning in North Omaha as part of a citywide environmental cleanup focused on the 27-square-miles east of 72nd Street.
A history of the Ernie Chambers Court aka Strehlow Terrace Apartments in North Omaha, Nebraska.
Built: 1875 estimated Address: 1504 North 19th Street Architecture: Eastlake Style Demolished: 1900 estimated When Omaha was first starting up in the 1850s and 1860s, it was built with wood. Wood-frame stores, hotels, homes and boarding houses were all over. There were some soddies, too. One of the first people to help the city move […]
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 […]
The N. 24th and Lake intersection as it appeared in the early 1950s. Jim Bell’s Club Harlem was to the left of the intersection at 2310 Lake Street. The horns blared out the doors, crowds of Black and white jazz fans waited impatiently to cram in, and bunches of kids stood around the back door […]
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 […]
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 […]
Omaha’s Colored Commercial Club was an business referral, employment agency, and community building org for almost a decade. This is it’s history…
This is the story of A. J. Poppleton’s North Omaha estate called Elizabeth Place.
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.
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…
The Jewish people in North Omaha were tied together with the establishment and growth of the community for a century…
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.
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.
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 […]
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.
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.
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.
With a history extending to the 1840s, North Omaha is bound to have the oldest houses in Omaha today. Learn more about them here…
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.
Hidden deep in the heart of North Omaha is a jewel of a street, filled with abundant American foursquare houses, long yards and hints of its glory 100 years ago. This section of Wirt Street, from North 16th to North 24th Streets, was once home to some of the predominant names in the beautiful Kountze […]
Between 1870 and the 1950s, A LOT happened in North Omaha. This is a summary of the people, events, organizations and more that made history…
This is a guest post by Linda Williams, an architecture student in Omaha.
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 […]