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Archway displays 20th-century artifacts from Buffalo County

(NTV News)

The Kearney Archway is displaying one local man's artifacts dating back to Fort Kearny and the Lincoln Highway.

Tools and artifacts from the Western trails and postcards from the early 20th century that bring Buffalo County to life are all on display.

"One of the things I like to tell people all the time is, you know, everything you see at The Archway happened right here. That's why The Archway is here," said Mark Foradori, Archway marketing coordinator.

A local collector is helping enhance the story of what happened right here in central Nebraska.

"I wanted the people to have a real connection with the archway and this area," said Don Dingman, a local collector. "And having a real artifact is something that you can make a connection with."

Foradori said the artifacts make it easier to understand the story.

"You know we are really good at telling the story but we don't have many authentic artifacts so adding these to the exhibit really helps people connect to the history," Foradori said.

Now, The Archway has two display cases in the museum.

The Western trails display case contains artifacts from Fort Kearny bringing the history of the Oregon Trail to life.

"We have ox shoes. We have cannon balls. We have some native american spear points and heads found on the Fort Kearny site. We have a nice bone, handle hoof pick that was made by a soldier back in the 1850s." Foradori said.

The Lincoln Highway case displays 19 real photo postcards that show life in buffalo county during the early 20th century.

"I just like that personal touch to when I collect things," Dingman said. "I try to get the story with it, too. Then I love bringing it home and spending days, weeks researching those items."

"One of our goals here at the Archway is to become a stronger cultural asset to the local community," Foradori said. "We've done a lot over the years to attract people here to get people to stop in Kearney because we are right on I-80 but we would also like to get more involved with local people and this is one of the ways we can do that."

If you're interested in seeing the artifacts, they'll be at The Archway until the end of the summer.

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