North Omaha History Podcast

In each episode, 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 episodes using the links below. Want to support us? Become my patron on Patreon!

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North Omaha History Podcast Episodes

Here is a list of each of the episodes featuring North Omaha history available right now.

Episode #88: The History of Ames Avenue

This is Episode #88 of the North Omaha History Podcast called "The History of Ames Avenue" by Adam Fletcher Sasse.

A fast roadway across North Omaha has provided more than 150 years of growth and opportunities for neighborhoods and institutions in the community. Here’s a review of some of that history, including the story of Jenna Street and more!

Episode #87: A History of Industry in North Omaha

This is a new podcast episode called "A History on Industry in North Omaha" by Adam Fletcher Sasse and Steve Sleeper for

From the beginning of the community in 1856, there have been countless light, medium, and heavy industries in North Omaha. Food production, railroads, vehicle manufacturing, and many other industries have all been important, and many others. This is a history of industries in North Omaha.

Episode #86: A History of Higher Education in North Omaha

"A history of higher education in North Omaha" podcast by Adam Fletcher Sasse with Steve Sleeper

Did you know that North Omaha has been home to SEVEN higher education institutions in its history? It was 1863 when the Town of Saratoga, now located in North Omaha, went to the Nebraska Territorial Legislature and secured a charter for the first-ever University of Nebraska. Even though their efforts amounted in nil, their legacies did not!

Episode #85: A History of the Belt Line Railway in North Omaha

The 84th episode of the North Omaha History Podcast focuses on "A History of the Belt Line Railway in North Omaha."

This episode explores the history of the Belt Line Railway that used to whip passengers and products throughout North Omaha. Exploring the right-of-way, old depots, and usages for the railroad, we uncover where its been and what happened to it.

Episode #84: A History of Streets in North Omaha

The 83rd episode of the North Omaha History Podcast focuses on "A History of Streets in North Omaha."

Avenues, streets, boulevards, highways, parkways and many other roadways connect North Omaha. Who are they named for, how were they built and where are they going? This episode covers the history of streets in North Omaha.

Episode #83: A History of North Omaha’s KOWH

North Omaha History Podcast episode #82 "A History of North Omaha's KOWH" by Adam Fletcher Sasse with Steve Sleeper for

KOWH was a soul music radio station in Omaha owned by African Americans including Bob Gibson and Gale Sayers. It was on-air from 1970 to 1979 and our producer Steve loved listening to it in the day. Listen in as Adam fills us in on everything KOWH-FM.

Episode #82: Oldest Houses in North Omaha

North Omaha History Podcast Episode #82 Oldest Houses in North Omaha by Adam Fletcher Sasse with Steve Sleeper

The oldest neighborhoods in the North Omaha community are Florence and the Near North Side, which is immediately north of North Downtown and south of Pratt Street. Other outlying houses and buildings may exist, but are largely hidden by the newer developments around them. Here are ten of the oldest buildings in North Omaha, all built more than 125 years ago.

Episode #81: Historic Sites in North Omaha

Adam shares a great rundown of historic structures, parks, and streets in North Omaha, including locations on the National Register of Historic Places, official Omaha Landmarks, and more!

Episode #80c. History of Restaurants in North Omaha—LIVE!

North Omaha History Podcast Episode #80: A History of Restaurants in North Omaha

RECORDED LIVE. Fast food, Italian food, soul food, diners and cafes, barbecues, ice cream stores, caterers, and many, many other types of food fill North Omaha history. These businesses have been run by African Americans, European and Asian immigrants, Hispanic and Latinx people, and white people who moved to the community from across the United States. They have also been run by generations of North Omahans who handed businesses down through generations. This episode was recorded live in front of an audience in December 2021.

Episode 80b: North Omaha’s Hospital History—LIVE!

History of Hospitals in North Omaha by Adam Fletcher Sasse for

RECORDED LIVE! There have been at least a dozen hospitals within North Omaha. They were religious and non-secular; charities and businesses; segregated and mixed race. Some were run by African Americans, others by Jews, and others still by Scandinavians. Today, there is only one left. Recorded live in Omaha in front of an audience in December 2021.

Episode 80a: Omaha’s Cuming Street History—LIVE!

This is a 1940s era pic of N. 27th and Cuming Street in Omaha, Nebraska

RECORDED LIVE! 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 is a history of Cuming Street in North Omaha. Today, there is only one left. Recorded live in Omaha in front of an audience in December 2021.

Episode 79c. The Life of Rev. Dr. John Albert Williams

Rev. John Albert Williams (February 28, 1866 – February 4, 1933)
This is a portrait of Rev. John Albert Williams (February 28, 1866 – February 4, 1933) of Omaha, Nebraska.

A church minister, newspaper editor, NAACP leader, community activist, and family man, the Rev. John Albert Williams (1866-1933) was a singular leader in a simpler time who faced complex problems and made North Omaha a better place. He was widely recognized in North Omaha, in the Episcopal Church and among his family; however, today his name is nearly lost to Omaha history.

Episode 79b. The Life of Harrison Pinkett

Harrison Pinkett (1882-1960), North Omaha, Nebraska

Over more than a 50-year period, one lawyer’s name stands out in the African American history of Omaha. He defended his community constantly, unrelentingly, and powerfully as a journalist and advocate who commanded troops during the Great War. Continuously earning the begrudging respect of his white legal colleagues in Omaha, he was also a founding member of several Black empowerment organizations and involved in many of the city’s important events. Adam has a biography of Harrison J. Pinkett.

Episode #79. The Life of Edwin R. Overall

Edwin R. Overall (1835–1901), North Omaha, Nebraska
The Life of Edwin Overall is episode #79 of the North Omaha History Podcast by Adam Fletcher Sasse with Steve Sleeper.

Oftentimes, great leaders take their place in history. However, this right hasn’t been given to many African American leaders, especially in Omaha. One man single-handedly roused a generation of political activism, social consciousness, and deliberate action to improve the conditions of newly liberated Black people who settled in Omaha when it was a very young city. This is the life of Edwin Overall.

Episode #78. James C. Mitchell, Founder of Florence

The founder of Florence was a pioneer store owner from the Iowa side of the Mississippi River. Then he crossed the Missouri River to stake out his future town. After he died, his wife kept his body in a glass-covered casket in a backyard mausoleum at their Florence house for a year. Here’s the story of James Comey Mitchell, the founder of Florence.

Episode #77. Monmouth Park

One neighborhood in North Omaha had a hospital, a half-dozen churches and businesses galore, and a long history. Then it all seemed to disappear. This is a history of the Monmouth Park neighborhood.

Episode #76. Rodney S. Wead

Podcast: The North Omaha Life of Rodney S. Wead

For more than 150 years, North Omaha has experienced powerful leadership within the community. Some leaders have appealed to African Americans, some to white people, and some have created bridges to support all North Omahans. From the 1950s through the 1980s, one man was regularly credited with the latter. This is a biography of community leader, entrepreneur and educator Dr. Rodney Wead.

Episode #75. Dan Desdunes

Dan Desdunes was The Man. For more than 20 years, he was the leader of Omaha’s powerhouse music scene. He also launched several musicians’ careers, volunteered around the community, and was well-thought of throughout his life. But even before he got to Omaha, Desdunes made waves ripple in Louisiana. This is a biography of North Omaha’s Dan Desdunes.

Episode #74. Courtland Beach

Imagine a warm summer evening at the turn of the century. Look out on Carter Lake and see the lightning bugs flickering and listen to the cicadas roaring. Picture yourself strolling along a boardwalk wrapped along the edge of the lake, wearing fancy clothes and just basking in the natural opulence. Walking by clubs and docks with sailboats bobbing in the darkness, you see cottages and restaurants all crowding the edge. Then you see a brightly lit amusement park. This is a history of Cortland Beach, Omaha’s finest summertime resort from 1889 to 1905.

Episode #73. 24th and Lake Historic District

History of 24th and Lake

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.

Episode #72. Historic Neighborhoods in North Omaha

Podcast about Historic Neighborhoods in North Omaha by Adam Fletcher Sasse and Steve Sleeper

North Omaha sits on the shoulder of a city that keeps growing, but leaves this community alone. Routinely forgotten about, the community is largely neglected by investors and developers who see it as dead space. Perched uncomfortably on the precipice of downtown Omaha, the rest of this growing metro looks at North Omaha’s foibles and history mercilessly. Instead, Omaha is slowly devouring the southern boundaries of North Omaha in an apparent effort to gentrify the neighborhood for the benefit of Creighton University and the growing NoDo area. This podcast is a scan of many of the historic neighborhoods throughout the community.

Episode #71. The History of the Central Park Neighborhood

North Omaha History Podcast Episode #71: The History of North Omaha's Central Park Neighborhood

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. Adam has lots of detail in this episode.

Episode #70. A History of the Mormon Bridge

Mormon Pioneer Memorial Bridge, North Omaha, Nebraska
This is a banner ad from the May 31, 1953, Omaha World-Herald for the dedication of the Mormon Pioneer Memorial Bridge.

In the 1840s, crossing the raging Missouri River was a harrowing struggle. Men, women, and children in schooners, on foot and riding horses, had to get across the water in a way they would survive that would keep all their supplies and possessions intact. It took 100 years to build a permanent structure across the water. Adam explores the bridge, the ferries, the politics, the economics, and more of the Mormon Bridge.

Episode #69. A History of Social Clubs and Social Halls in North Omaha

This is a graphic for North Omaha History Podcast episode #69 on Social Clubs and Social Halls in North Omaha.

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. Its long history includes serving as the city’s African American cultural, religious and social hub, along with its Scandinavian roots, business ties, and other connections. There are also neighborhood social clubs, fraternal organizations and halls throughout the community.

Episode #68. A History of the Omaha View Neighborhood

History of Omaha View North Omaha History Podcast

With more than two dozen houses that are 130 years old, a major metro area park and a mysterious lost community hidden in a forest, the history of the Omaha View neighborhood, Adams Park and the Plum Nelly community is very tantalizing.

Episode #67. Vehicles Made in North Omaha

A History of Vehicles Made in North Omaha podcast by Adam Fletcher Sasse

As a light industrial mecca, North Omaha offered businesses a place to try dozens of ideas and launch a number of industries. One of the earliest came from demand, technology and aspiration, and it was vehicle manufacturing. Companies called Stroud, Douglas and Omaha Cars, along with Ford, all manufactured in the community. This is a short history of vehicles made in North Omaha.

Episode #66. St. Phillip Episcopal Church

St Philip Episcopal Church, North 21st Street, North Omaha, Nebraska
This is a 1945 pic of St Philip Episcopal Church on North 21st Street by Nicholas. The rectory was located next door. There is nothing on this site today.

An African-American minister and his wife built a congregation in North Omaha that is credited with raising the community and fighting segregation. St Phillip the Deacon Episcopal Church and it’s pastor John Albert Williams, his wife Lucinda.

Episode #65: 30th and Ames

Podcast on a History of 30th and Ames in North Omaha Nebraska by Adam Fletcher Sasse for

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. This is a history of an under-acknowledged historic district.

Episode #64: A History of the Omaha NAACP

A History of Omaha NAACP, Episode #64 North Omaha History Podcast

Began in 1915 and officially chartered in 1918, the Omaha NAACP has been the vanguard in fighting for African Americans for the last century of Omaha’s existence. Adam Fletcher Sasse guides us through the NAACP from its founding to the present day.

Episode #63: North Omaha’s Italian Neighborhood

North Omaha's Italian Neighborhood is featured in episode #63 of the North Omaha HIstory Podcast by Adam Fletcher Sasse with Steve Sleeper.

Omaha is a city of immigrants, and among the diversity are Italians who came for jobs, homes and connections. More than Mister C’s or an Italian sandwich shop at 30th and Ames, there is a rich heritage in the community that’s almost entirely lost. Adam teaches us the history of Italians in North Omaha.

Episode #62: History of Ames Plaza

"A History of Ames Plaza" Episode #62 North Omaha History Podcast

In the 1940s and 50s, the region north of Ames Street and east of 42nd Street grew rapidly. The area had been farms. but during the post-World War II housing boom, all those fields were planted with neighborhoods, schools and families. Those folks needed grocery stores, barber shops and clothing stores. North Omaha’s first shopping center opened in the early 60s.

Episode 61: Truck Farms in East Omaha

"A History of East Omaha Truck Farms" is a new episode of the North Omaha History Podcast by Adam Fletcher Sasse for

Often forgotten and neglected by Omaha, there’s an area that was home to hard-working folks who, for more than a century, made their living growing food. It was in the areas known today as the Sherman neighborhood, the old town of East Omaha, Birchwood, and everything on the Nebraska side of Carter Lake. This episode is all about truck farms in East Omaha.

Episode 60: The Life of James M. Parker

North Omaha History Podcast Episode #60 is about James M. Parker, a founding father of Florence, Nebraska.

James Monroe Parker is one of the most important people in the history of Florence. His business and his farm are two of the most visible historical landmarks in Omaha today, even though only one is acknowledged for its importance.

Episode 59: Cemeteries in North Omaha

North Omaha History Podcast on Cemeteries in North Omaha

Did you know that North Omaha has at least eight historic cemeteries? Serving religious and ethnic populations as well as the general public, these are the final resting places of thousands of people from the 1840s through today. Adam has some great stories about these cemeteries.

Episode 58: The Lynching of Will Brown

"The Lynching of Will Brown" Podcast #58 by Adam Fletcher Sasse

In the last decade, the lynching of Will Brown has received a lot of attention in Omaha and beyond. However, many of the facts in the story have been lost to time and others muddled away. For years, Adam has searched for little-known details about Brown’s lynching and he shares what he learned in this podcast episode.

Episode 57: A History of “Little Vietnam” in North Omaha

A History of "Little Vietnam" in North Omaha for the North Omaha History Podcast with Adam Fletcher Sasse

Once 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. Starting in the late 1970s, these projects were unofficially known as “Little Vietnam”.

Episode 56: A History of the Salvation Army Women’s Hospital in North Omaha

North Omaha History Podcast, Salvation Army Women's Hospital.
North Omaha History Podcast episode with Adam Fletcher Sasse and Steve Sleeper about the Salvation Army Women’s Hospital.

Starting in 1896, the Salvation Army ran numerous facilities in North Omaha. Adam walks us through all those facilities.

Episode 55: A History of the Sherman Apartments

Episode #55 of the North Omaha History Podcast featuring Adam Fletcher Sasse and Steve Sleeper is entitled "A History of the Sherman Apartments."

Some places hold the memories of North Omaha’s past more eloquently than others. While some of North Omaha transitioned from country estates to suburban bliss, from commuter haven to neglected hood, one building has stood steady in the community throughout almost everything. It’s called The Sherman.

Episode 54: A History of East Omaha

This is a North Omaha History episode exploring the history of East Omaha.

The town of East Omaha was south of the Eppley Airport, west of Abbott Drive, and north and west of the Missouri River. Originally home to industrial dreams and suburban growth, several factories were built there, railroads were installed and workers moved into a surrounding factory town. However, flooding and benign neglect took their toll, and the City of Omaha kicked out all the residents.

Episode 53: A History of Duffy Drugs

A History of Duffy Drugs Podcast, North Omaha, Nebraska with Adam Fletcher Sasse

The southwest corner of 24th and Lake was home to the farthest north drug store in Omaha and the first female pharmacist in Omaha! Then it became Duffy Drug, the Soul House, Roosevelt’s Game Room, and more! Listen to this history of Duffy Drug for details.

Episode 52: A Bio of Malcolm X in Omaha

Omaha Star article, May 14, 1970 celebrating Malcolm X Day in Omaha
Omaha Star article on May 14, 1970 celebrating Malcolm X Day in Omaha.

Malcolm X was born in 1925 as Malcolm Little in Omaha to Earl and Louise Little, but lived in Omaha less than a year. His story in the city is longer though, where leaders have never managed to memorialize him with a building, street, park, library or museum.

Episode 51: Higher Education in North Omaha

Did you know that North Omaha has been home to FIVE higher education institutions in its history? It was 1863 when the Town of Saratoga, now located in North Omaha, went to the Nebraska Territorial Legislature and secured a charter for the first-ever University of Nebraska. Unfortunately, their efforts amounted to nill—but their legacy did not! 

Episode 50: 26th and Lake Streetcar Barn

North Omaha History Podcast on the 26th and Lake Streetcar Barn (1905-2019) by Adam Fletcher Sasse with Steve Sleeper

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 maintenance shop at 2606 North 26th Street in North Omaha was one of those buildings. But then a few weeks ago, they tore it down!

Episode 49: Lost Towns

North Omaha History Podcast on Lost Towns in North Omaha, Nebraska with Adam Fletcher Sasse and Steve Sleeper

There are several lost towns and villages located inside present-day North Omaha. Over time, they’ve been annexed, absorbed and otherwise soaked into the fabric of the city of Omaha and largely forgotten. Only Florence and Benson have retained distinctive identities as dedicated former towns. The rest are almost wholly missing from the public record.

Episode 48: Black Newspapers

North Omaha’s African American culture has grown and changed dramatically since its founding in 1854. One of the main drivers of the culture for more than a century has been the Black media. From the time Omaha’s first Black newspaper was published in 1889 through Shanelle Williams’ continued use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media today to build the African American community in Omaha, Black media has continued to transform the North Omaha community and the city at large.

Episode 47: History of Railroads

north omaha railroads podcast
Railroads in North Omaha, Episode 47 of North Omaha History Podcast by Adam Fletcher Sasse with Steve Sleeper

The Belt Line railway was once a passenger service, then an industrial line for 75+ years. Today, there’s nothing left of it besides an empty rail bed. The railroad heading up the modern-day Sorensen Parkway was the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad. Another railroad headed north from the Webster Street Station north to Florence and points beyond. It was the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway, aka the Omaha Road.

Episode 46: Scandinavians

Swedish Mission Church, North Omaha, Nebraska

In the 1860s, the Union Pacific established its shops north of downtown Omaha, and Scandinavians came to work there. The largest populations to settle in Nebraska were in North Omaha. Scandinavians also had homes in other parts of Omaha, but between 1860 and 1919, the vast majority lived north of Dodge and west of North 30th Street.

Episode 45: Reed’s Ice Cream

Reed's Ice Cream, North Omaha, Nebraska

Reed’s Ice Cream was a popular business that opened in Omaha in 1930, and operated into the early 1960s. Their signature bungalows were strategically spread throughout the community, and heavily anchored in several North Omaha neighborhoods. So, what happened to Reed’s?

Episode 44: History of Eppley Airfield

In 1927, a lawsuit tried to prevent the City of Omaha from opening an airport where Eppley Airfield is today. The judge ruled against that restriction and the City declared the area as the new Municipal Airport. Hangars were built right away, and a national American Legion event immediately drew huge crowds. This led to it being referred to as the American Legion Airfield for a short time. The airport boomed in 1929, and Adam explains what happened!

Episode 43: History of Minne Lusa

This is a history of the Minne Lusa Historic District for the North Omaha History Podcast with Adam Fletcher Sasse.

In 1907, the Royal Amusement Company developed plans for 40-acres of today’s Minne Lusa neighborhood. Royal paid $65,000 to an architect named J. B. Mason to design six buildings, including a pavilion, a 2-story dance hall, two dining halls, a boat house, club house and a roller rink. The amusement park never came to exist. But Minne Lusa became the biggest subdivision in Omaha at that time.

Episode 42: History of Hummel Park

Hummel Park Podcast

In 1930, 200 acres of land on the southwest  corner of River Drive and Ponca Road were donated to the City of Omaha  to become a park. It was named after Joseph B. Hummel, the long-time  superintendent of Omaha’s Parks and Recreation Department, and one of  the most influential parks advocates ever in Omaha. Learn all about Hummel Park, including Manuel Lisa’s time there.

Episode 41: History of North Omaha Bottoms

North Omaha History Podcast Show #41 by Adam Fletcher Sasse.

Imagine its December 2, 1863, and you’re standing in the cold with major dignitaries like A. J. Poppleton, Augustus Kountze, Ed Creighton, John Redick and A. J. Hanscom. Everyone’s here to break ground on the much anticipated Union Pacific railroad, which will provide the first transcontinental railroad in the U.S. You’re in Carter Lake, at the end south of Locust, in an area that doesn’t exist anymore.

Episode 40: History of Fort Omaha

North Omaha History Podcast Show #40: A History of Fort Omaha with Adam Fletcher Sasse

Nestled between the Miller Park neighborhood and Sorenson Parkway is a 150-year-old institution that’s been a powerhouse, a prison, a balloon school and neglected surplus. But at one time, it was the main destination for all troops and stores for the western side of the Missouri River. 

Episode 39: Walnut Hill Neighborhood

A History of Omaha's Walnut Hill Neighborhood

One of the first suburbs in Omaha is the Walnut Hill neighborhood. Bounded by Cuming Street on the south, Northwest Radial Highway and Saddle Creek Road on the west, N. 40th Street on the east, and Lake Street on the north, the Walnut Hill neighborhood has a lot of unique features and a rich history.

Episode 38: St. Clare’s Monastery

Podcast on North Omaha's St. Clare Monastery

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 for Catholic nuns located at N. 29th and Hamilton Streets. This is the history of one of North Omaha’s hidden holy grounds.

Episode 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!

Episode 36: Arlena Lodge, the Brandies Family 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.

Episode 35: 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.

Episode 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.

Episode 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.

Episode 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.

Episode 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.

Episode 30: Native Americans

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.

Episode 29: 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.

Episode 28: Hospitals

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.

Episode 27: Theaters

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.

Episode 26: Mansions

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.

Episode 25: 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!

Episode 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.

Episode 23: 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 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!

Episode 22: 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.

Episode 21: 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…

Episode 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.

Episode 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.

Episode 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?

Episode 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.

Episode 16: 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.

Episode 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.

Episode 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?

Episode 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!

Episode 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.

  • 19 minutes

Episode 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.

  • 23 minutes

Episode 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.

Episode 9: Saratoga

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

Episode 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?

Episode 7: North 16th Street Part 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.

Episode 6: North 16th Street Part 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.

Episode 5: 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.

Episode 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.

Episode 3: Early Community Leaders in North Omaha 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.

Episode 2: Early African American Leaders in Omaha

Historic Black leaders in Omaha from the 1900s
Historic Black leaders in Omaha from the 1900s include George Wells Parker (1882-1931); Dr. Matthew Ricketts (1858-1917); Ophelia Clenlans (1841-1907); Alfred S. Barnett (1858-e.1905); Ella Mahammitt (1863-e.1903); Silas Robbins (1857-1916), and; Edwin R. Overall (1835-1901).

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.

Episode 1: Fur Trading

North Omaha History Podcast Show #1 on Fur Trading in Omaha, Nebraska
The North Omaha History Podcast episode 1 is about Manuel 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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