A History of North Omaha’s Calvin Memorial Presbyterian Church

Calvin Memorial Presbyterian Church was a short-lived attempt by a fleeting denomination to maintain a significant presence in North Omaha. Ultimately failing, they did succeed in ensuring the legacy of a gorgeous landmark that celebrates its 110th anniversary in 2020. This is a history of Calvin Memorial Presbyterian Church at 3105 North 24th Street in […]

A History of Public Housing in North Omaha

Public housing was introduced in Omaha in 1937 when the federal Housing Act was passed. This act made federal loans to the city for the construction of low-income public housing. In the 1930s, the City of Omaha first created an informal housing authority meant to address the housing needs of low-income European immigrants. Seeking to […]

A History of Duffy Drugs

Going back to 1886, the southwest corner of 24th and Lake has been vital to North Omaha! Its first Black-owned business didn’t happen until 1968 though. Find out more in this history of Duffy Drugs!

A History of the Salvation Army Hospital in North Omaha

From 1896 to 1978, the Omaha Salvation Army offered prenatal and birthing services for low-income, unwed and “unsuitable” pregnant women. This is a story of their facility.

A History of the Blue Lion Center

The Blue Lion is one of North O’s most iconic buildings, holding business, services and opportunities for a century!

A Timeline of the Omaha DePorres Club

This is a timeline of a 1950s-era civil rights group in Omaha called the DePorres Club.

A History of North Omaha’s Kellom Heights Neighborhood

This is a history of the Kellom Heights neighborhood, including the pioneer era, the school and its redevelopment.

A History of the Demolition of the Trans-Mississippi Expo

This is a history of the demolition of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition of 1898 and the Greater America Exposition of 1899.

A History of North Omaha’s Tic Toc Diner

Built around 1905, like many historical commercial buildings in North O, 4104 North 24th Street has had several lives since it was built. Most of it is focused on the iconic Tic Toc Diner. Here’s a low-down of the history of another of North Omaha’s greasy spoons… It was a pool hall, barber shop and […]

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 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 Biography of Beverly Blackburn and a History of the JFK Rec Center in North Omaha

The John F. Kennedy Recreation Center, also called the Blackburn Recreation Center after its founding owner Beverly Wead Blackburn Jones, was located at 4514 North 24th Street between 1965 and 1970. Mrs. Jones began her work with youth when she was 17 at the Kellom Community Center, and became the director in 1957 at the age of 20. In […]

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 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 the Carnation Ballroom in North Omaha

African Americans stepped up to create community for themselves. Since Blacks weren’t allowed to move away from the Near North Side neighborhood, that’s where the community arose. Black churches, restaurants, clothing stores, and entertainment venues filled the North 24th Street strip from Cuming north to Lothrop Streets, and along Lake Street too.

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 Biography of North Omaha’s Dr. Marguerita Washington

This story begins with the death. On November 2nd, 1989, Mildred Brown passed away. Easily the mother of North Omaha pride, Mildred co-founded The Omaha Star in the late 1930s and ran it by herself for almost 50 years. She promoted the community mercilessly, building pride, power and purpose through her paper, and her death was a massive loss to everyone in North Omaha, especially the African American community.

A History of Jim Bell’s Club Harlem In North Omaha

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 trying to get a listen. On any given Friday and Saturday night through the late 1950s, Jim Bell’s Club Harlem was one of the very best places to […]

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 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 […]

A History of Ghosts at Fort Omaha

The Gas Bag was the official newspaper of Fort Omaha in 1919. Fort Omaha was opened in 1878. Home to thousands of US Army troops over a century of service, many people lived and died at the Fort. Today, some of the buildings that still survive on the campus include the General Crook House and the Commissary, […]