New signage has been installed at the historic Plum Creek Cemetery in northwest Phelps County. The 4 x 6 foot, two-sided informational board tells the story of the Plum Creek area, which is one of the most historical places in Nebraska.
The Holdrege Area Genealogy Club, the Phelps County Historical Society and Dan Christensen of the Nebraska Prairie Museum coordinated efforts on the signage project. Patti Simpson said the project could not have been completed without financial support.
Central Nebraska Public Power & Irrigation District and Holdrege Area Genealogy Club made donations to the project. The Women’s Giving Group and the Phelps County Visitors Committee awarded grants.
Plum Creek Cemetery’s history dates back to the 1840s, as it was a well-known stopping place for pioneers and travelers along the Oregon Trail/Overland Trail. This land was later homesteaded by Caleb Dilworth. He is credited with the development of Phelps County.
The Plum Creek Indian Massacre occurred here on August 8, 1864. The Pony Express ran through this until telegraph lines were built in 1861 for the Plum Creek Station and the Plum Creek Fort which were located just north of the cemetery.
For those who wish to visit this historic area, the Plum Creek Cemetery is in the northwest corner of Phelps County. One of the easiest ways to get to the cemetery from Holdrege is to drive to Bertrand, Nebraska, turn north on the black top ‘A’ Road and drive to 748 Road. Turn right (east) and follow the black top about one and a half miles to the cemetery site. Or, from I-80, turn south at the Overton exit and travel about one mile south to the stop sign at 748 Road. Turn right (west) and drive on the black top about three and a half miles. The cemetery is well-marked.
The second edition of the book “Plum Creek, The Rest of the Story,” will be published later this year. It provides over 50 pages of more recently found information. The information includes pre-1900 newspaper articles from across the United States and detailed information from Indian Depredation papers filed by massacre survivors for financial claims against the U.S. Government. For more information on anything about Plum Creek, contact the Nebraska Prairie Museum at 308-995-5015.