North Omaha History Podcast with Adam Fletcher Sasse


Each week, North Omaha historian Adam Fletcher Sasse takes listeners on a dynamic journey into Omaha history! His topics cover the people, places, events and more that shaped Omaha into the great city it is today. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to the shows using the links below – they’re FREE!  Want to support the show? Donate today!


North Omaha History Podcast Shows

Here is a list of each of the shows featuring North Omaha history available right now!

North Omaha History Podcast Patreon

Show #37: Florence Neighborhood

History of Florence, Nebraska by Adam Fletcher Sasse

The history of Florence begins with the tangled clopping of horse hooves and rattling of the sideboards on beat up wagons. The story of the town begins with people leaving, people coming back, a town booming, a town shrinking, and then getting annexed into Omaha and calming down. It’s a story that’s still being written every day, and lately things are on the up and up!


Show #36: Arlena Lodge, the Brandies Country Home

Arlena Lodge podcast show #36

After long, busy weeks in hot downtown Omaha offices, business leaders wanted to relax and enjoy the splendor of their wealth. Crammed against busy urban streets and filled with reminders of work, their swanky Gold Coast homes weren’t perfect settings. Instead, they built lavish country estates as getaways for their families. Far North Omaha’s bucolic settings included the rolling hills west of Florence. And that’s where Arthur Brandeis had Arlena Lodge.


Show #35: History of the Storz Brewery

A history of the Storz Brewery is available at

Before Gottlieb Storz, a few other entrepreneurs tried their hand at brewing beer in North Omaha. Afterwards though, Storz dominated. For more than 75 years, his family ran Omaha’s beer industry, and even though the brewery closed in the 1970s, it left a major mark on the city that still stands today.


Show #34: Walnut Hill Reservoir

Podcast about Walnut Hill Reservoir, North Omaha, Nebraska

The Walnut Hill Reservoir was built as part of the original Omaha Water Works in 1882. Working with gravity, the reservoir drew water from Missouri River near downtown, bringing it uphill to N. 40th and Hamilton Streets. Within a decade of construction, that system was changed so that water was drawn from the Florence Water Works to Walnut Hill and distributed from there. This is Adam Fletcher Sasse’s history of this Omaha landmark.



Show #33: Florence Lake

North Omaha History Podcast about Florence Lake in North Omaha, Nebraska


The waters of the Missouri River roared wild and free over its valley for thousands of years before Omaha was settled. Even after pioneers gathered on Capitol Hill for a picnic to found Omaha City in 1854, the Missouri still whipped around, flooding the area, shifting its channel and moving willy-nilly. During this time, a little nest of water in East Omaha was created. When European settlers saw it, they called it Florence Lake. Here’s Adam Fletcher’s story about this lost lake in Omaha.


Show #32: The Execution of Cyrus Tator

North Omaha History Podcast #32 The Execution of Cyrus Tator

Lynchings, shootings and hangings occurred in Omaha City before the Nebraska Territory was founded in 1854. The Omaha Claim Club, made up of the city’s founding fathers, was notorious for using intimidation, threats, and drownings in order to enforce their will. In 1860, the US Supreme Court made their actions illegal, so they had to find other means to enforce their notions of justice. In 1863, the Nebraska Territory held its first legal execution in North Omaha.


Show #31: Greater America Exposition of 1899

Podcast about the Greater America Exposition of 1899 by Adam Fletcher Sasse for

For years, we’ve been told the buildings of the 1898 Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition were demolished right after the event ended in the fall of that year. But they weren’t destroyed! Instead, after all the success Omaha had with the Expo, a group of investors decided they needed to keep the buildings up and start another grand event. Working together, they raised enough money to buy the buildings.


Show #30: Native Americans in North Omaha

Podcast about Native Americans in North Omaha by Adam Fletcher Sasse for

A lot of different groups of people lived in the Omaha area before Europeans started stealing the land. Thousands of years ago, big game hunters dominated the area, while later people were farmers and hunters living along the Missouri River. For instance, according to the Nebraska State Historical Society, the area from Creighton University to the river was an Otoe earth lodge village around 1700. Archeologists have found that tribes have lived in this region for at least 10,000 years.

Show #29: Omaha’s River Road

River Drive Podcast

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 and bikes moving along a nice sidewalk that goes that entire distance. At evening, you turn to go home, your way lit by warm street lamps along with the glow of fireflies. This episode explores these days on Omaha’s River Drive.

Show #28: Hospitals in North Omaha

Podcast on Hospitals and Health 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 under insured. 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. Listen in to learn more.

Show #27: Theaters in North Omaha

North Omaha History Podcast Show #27: History of Theaters in North Omaha

While there are no active movie theaters in North Omaha today, there have been at least 25 movie theaters over the last century. There are few records of the earliest theaters. A reader of Adam’s blog pointed out they were mostly a sheet on a wall with a few dozen folding chairs. But Adam went through old advertisements in the Omaha Bee newspaper, as well as city directories from the 1910s and 1920s. Listen in to learn more.

Show #26: The Mansions of North Omaha

Mansions of North Omaha Podcast with Adam Fletcher Sasse Listen to Show #26!

North Omaha has been home to several large mansions and estates, especially in its early years. Built in the grand tradition of wealthy families, they were intended to broadcast success and ensure comfort. These fine homes belonged to real estate moguls, rich businessmen, and old Eastern inheritors that moved west. Some were elegant and restrained, while others simply oozed money. None of these mansions were built to be accessible as they all sat on regal country estates.

Show #25: Historic North Omaha Ghost Stories

North Omaha Ghost Stories by Adam Fletcher Sasse for the North Omaha History Podcast.

In a place as old as North Omaha, there are bound to be a lot of  ghost stories. Adam has researched stories about the Ghosts of Fort  Omaha, the Lady in White, Carter Lake’s Burning Lady, the Immanuel  Deaconess Tunnels, the Chapel at Forest Lawn Cemetery, the Ghosts at  Hummel Park and North Omaha’s Missing Cemeteries. Here are some ghost stories!

Show #24: Omaha University

"A History of North Omaha's Omaha University campus" for the North Omaha History Podcast Show #24 by Adam Fletcher

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, and this is the story.

Show #23: Streetcars in North Omaha

Horse-drawn streetcars; a battle at 30th and Ames; streetcar barns, rails and cables; and a LOT more related to streetcars is revealed in the new North Omaha History Podcast on streetcars!

Horse-drawn streetcars; a battle at 30th and Ames; streetcar barns, rails and cables; and a LOT more related to streetcars is revealed in this podcast on streetcars in North Omaha!

Show #22: A Tour of North Omaha’s Wirt Street

This is the North Omaha History Podcast featuring a Tour of Wirt Street

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 Place development. It was also home to more than simple foursquares. In addition to the stout middle class houses, there were some exquisite examples of high style in Omaha history. Adam Fletcher Sasse give us a tour.

Show #21: The Fort Street Special School for Incorrigible Boys

North Omaha History Podcast 21

The Fort Street Special School for Incorrigible Boys was opened in 1887. Where was it and what became of it? When and why did it close? Why did kids want to go there? How much documentation remains? Listen to learn more…

Show #20: Miller Park Neighborhood

History of Miller Park North Omaha History Podcast

Adam grew up in the Miller Park neighborhood. It’s a beautiful neighborhood with a variety of architectural styles in the homes, churches the school. Listen in as Adam shares the history of Miller Park.

Show #19: North 24th Street

North Omaha History Podcast History of North 24th Street North Omaha Nebraska

Today, Omaha suburbs routinely bill themselves having a “street of dreams” in order to sell houses. However, for more than 50 years there was one place in the city people thought of when they heard that phrase. Hopping businesses, swinging clubs and streams of human traffic came and went from these blocks. Here’s some of the history of North 24th Street, Omaha’s REAL street of dreams. Adams weaves an interested yarn.

Show #18: Fontenelle Park

Podcast about Fontenelle Park, North Omaha, Nebraska

Adam give us the history of beautiful Fontenelle Park in North Omaha. Which world series was held there? Did the Omaha Cardinals call it home? What has become of Fontenelle Park today?

Show #17: Florence Boulevard

The history of Florence Boulevard, North Omaha, Nebraska
The Prettiest Mile in Omaha Boulevard was renamed Florence Boulevard, and the rest is history…

Once called “Omaha’s Prettiest Mile Boulevard,” Florence Boulevard was built over the old Winter Quarter Wagon Road and was the first roadway in Omaha with electric lamps. Why was it called “Omaha’s Prettiest Mile Boulevard” and what about all those tunnels? Adam Fletcher Sasses tells the story.

Show #16: The Early History of Carter Lake

Early History of Carter Lake podcast
The Early History of Carter Lake includes the Carter Lake Club and much more!

For more than 50 years, Carter Lake was Omaha’s playground. A streetcar brought Omahans to the Omaha Municipal Beach, four resorts, the Omaha Auto Speedway, Bungalow City and more! Come back in time to Cut-Off Lake aka Lake Nakoma aka Carter Lake.

Show #15: Florence Water Works

Listen to a history of the Florence Water Works and the Minne Lusa Pumping Station on the North Omaha History Podcast
Listen to a history of the Florence Water Works and the Minne Lusa Pumping Station on the North Omaha History Podcast!

The Florence Water Works once had a beautiful campus with ornate buildings, a mansion and a small community to house it’s workers. Adam Fletcher Sasse unpacks this and tells us how Omaha used to get it’s water at the neighborhood level.

Show #14: Kiddieland and the Pleasure Pier

Podcast Kiddieland and Pleasure Pier

Adam tells us about a popular 50s attraction in Carter Lake: Kiddieland and the Pleasure Pier. It could hold up to 20,00 people! When did it close? What’s left of it? How do you find the remains?

Show #13: Schools in North Omaha

North Omaha History Podcast about the history of Schools in North Omaha, Nebraska.
Click here to listen to the North Omaha History Podcast about the history of Schools in North Omaha!

Starting in the 1840s, Adam walks us through schools among the Mormons in Cutler’s Park, Winter Quarters and Florence. In the 1860s we hear about Saratoga, then DeBolt in the 1870s. Adam shares the story of Omaha’s first African American teacher, explores the original University of Omaha and explains how at least 10 North Omaha school districts were folded into Omaha Public Schools!

Show #12: Racism in Omaha Part 2

racism podcast

We continue our study of the History of Omaha Racism. the city of Omaha tries to abolish slavery in 1859. The Birth of a Nation plays in Omaha. An Episcopalian priest is jailed for looking Asian, and the history of the Jewish community in Omaha.

Show #11: Racism in Omaha Part 1

Adam Fletcher Sasse shines a light on Omaha  Racism by expertly telling the story of the treatment of non-whites over  the past 160 years. Early racism, lynchings, the Greek Town riot and  segregation are included.

Show #10: Riots in North Omaha

Podcast riots

Adam tells us the story of the North Omaha riots of the 1960s. Were they consequences, or causes of the decline of North Omaha? What did George Wallace, the Black Panthers and Ernie Chambers have to do with the riots? Adam weaves the yarn.

Show #9: The Town of Saratoga

North Omaha History Podcast show #9 on the Saratoga neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska
Click here to listen to the North Omaha History Podcast show #9 about Saratoga!

Adam Fletcher Sasse takes us back in time to the town of Saratoga, Nebraska that was at 24th & Grand in Omaha. What happened to Saratoga? Is there anything left? What’s the legacy and what about Sulphur Springs? Anything left of the Saratoga dock on the Missouri River? Is the Grand Hotel still there? Find out.

Show #8: Prospect Hill Cemetery

Listen to the North Omaha History Podcast on Prospect Hill Cemetery!

Adam walks us through Omaha’s oldest cemetery – Prospect Hill. Where is it and who’s buried there?

Show #7: North 16th Street, pt II

Listen to the North Omaha History Podcast shows 6 and 7 about the history of North 16th Street in Omaha, Nebraska.

Adam continues his tour of N16th St as it transitions from luxury mansions to plush apartments that still stand to this day. He also gives us a tour of the Storz brewery and the center of commerce that was at 16th & Locust.

Show #6: North 16th Street, pt I

Adam Fletcher Sasse drives us down North 16th Street, starting in the 1850s when it was a country road leading to the old town of Saratoga. We get a bird’s eye view of the mansions that once lined this grand way – also known as Sherman Avenue.

Show #5: Omaha’s Jack Johnson Riot

Listen to the North Omaha History Podcast show #5 about the Jack Johnson riot of 1910 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Adam Fletcher Sasse takes us back to the turn of the last century and exams the roots of riots and civil unrest in Omaha. He starts by examining the notorious bout of world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson vs. James Jeffries in Reno Nevada in 1910, and explores what’s happened in Omaha before and after that.

Show #4: Kountze Place

Listen to the North Omaha History Podcast show #4 about the history of the Kountze Place neighborhood in North Omaha, Nebraska.

Adam Fletcher Sasse tells us about the Omaha neighborhood laid out in 1882 by banker Herman Kountze. Omaha’s bankers, lawyers, doctors and business leaders lived in Kountze Place at the turn of the last century. It was a commuter suburb, reachable only by streetcars. Learn about the the mansion and attractions at Kounze Place.

Show #3: Early Community Leaders in North O, Part 1

North Omaha leaders by Adam Fletcher Sasse
North Omaha leaders include Mildred Born (1905-1989); John A. Singleton (1895-1970); Tanya Cook (1964); Whitney Young (1921-1971); and many, many others.

In this episode, Adam Fletcher Sasse talks about early leaders in the Omaha community, including, believe it or not, Brigham Young! Also, learn about the founders of Florence, Saratoga, and Sulphur Springs, as well as the Kountze brothers.

Show #2: Early African American Leaders in Omaha

Adam Fletcher Sasse takes us back to the 19th century to let us know about Omaha’s earliest African American leaders including Silas Robbins, Dr. Matthew Ricketts, the Singleton family, John Grant Pegg and into the 20th century with Clarence Wigington and Mildred Brown.

Show #1: Fur Trading in Omaha

North Omaha History Podcast Show #1 on Fur Trading in Omaha, Nebraska
The North Omaha History Podcast show #1 is about Manuel de Lisa, Jean Pierre Cabanne and more related to fur trading in Omaha, Nebraska.

In our first episode, Adam Fletcher Sasse explains how Omaha’s fur trading roots still affect the community today. He explains Fort Lisa and Cabanne’s Post and how Bellevue came to be a fur trading center. All of this happened before Omaha was founded!


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