History Tours

Fountain to Fountain Tour (Hastings Historic Housing Districts)
The "Fountain to Fountain Tour" is a tour of Lincoln Avenue, which lies within the Central Hastings Historic District. The Central Hastings Historic District is one of two residential areas in Hastings that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP); the other is the Heartwell Park Historic District. The "Fountain to Fountain Tour" begins at the fountain in Alexander Park at 7th Street and Lincoln and ends at Fisher Fountain in Highland Park at 12th Street. Along the way you will learn about the history of Hastings through stories of the people and industries that have impacted the community. These stories will be based on the architectural history of the time period in which each of these houses was built. Five additional tours have been created based on existing architecture in the community.

A 48 page full-color tour book for self-guided tours is available at the Hastings Museum and the Visitor Center for purchase. It includes photographs, descriptions, maps, and connections between the 6 citywide historic tours. Guided tours are provided by a representative from the Hastings Historical Society upon request. A sample of the information provided in the tour book can be found at www.AdamsHistory.org.

Historic Downtown Architectural Tours
One of Hastings' greatest forms of wealth is its rich history. In 1872, the St. Joseph and Denver City Railroad crossed the Burlington Railroad line and Hastings was formed. By 1910, the citizens of Hastings were producing more bricks and cigars than any other Nebraska city. Hastings also has a very strong architectural history. Downtown you will see changes in style and taste spanning over the 110 year period between 1870 and 1980. Although many of the oldest buildings have been replaced or remodeled, representative buildings can still be seen today in Hastings' vibrant downtown.

Plaques can be found throughout the area telling the story of
Hastings' history through architecture. Guided tours are available upon request as well as brochures for self guided walking tours.

Hastings Museum of Natural & Cultural History
Open 7 days a week May – August (Closed Mondays September – April)
In addition to a full-dome planetarium and a digital 3-D theatre the museum has many species of animals set in their natural habitats including the world's largest display of Whooping Cranes. The museum also chronicles the history of the early inhabitants of the Nebraska plains and an exhibit showcasing Edwin Perkins and his invention of the famous soft drink, Kool-Aid. The museum also features, Lock, Stock & Barrel: The History of Weapons on the Plains an exhibit including over 500 firearms. Another favorite of tour groups is the "Traveling in Style" exhibit which highlights antique vehicles. From horse-drawn buggies to horseless carriages, this exhibit provides an intriguing look at the vehicles that have moved us for more than a century.

With so many exhibits, planetarium shows and films in the Super Screen Theatre the Hastings Museum has something to entertain every member of your tour group. Group rates and guided tours are available upon reques

Oregon Trail Tour
The original Oregon Trail, America's first interstate highway, crossed through Adams County because it was on the most direct route between the bend of the Missouri River at Independence and South Pass at the southern end of the Wind River Mountains in southwestern Wyoming. Pioneers braved the exhausting mud, choking dust, relentless wind, bruising hail storms, burning sun, and numbing cold on the trail.

Over 15 historic markers throughout the county recognize places and people of significance to the history of the Oregon Trail. Detailed information about these markers can be found at www.AdamsHistory.org. The Adams County Historical Society offers a historical overview, map of the trail, route maps, and guided tours upon request.

WWII Naval Ammunition Depot
Igloo-shaped, earth covered bunkers stand dormant along US Highway 6 just a short drive east of Hastings. Rich in historical significance, these bunkers protected ammunition produced here during World War II. The Naval Ammunition Depot known locally as "the NAD," was the largest of four ammunitions depots in the country and was known for supplying 40 percent of the Navy's ammunition supply at one point during WWII. Central Community College, Hastings Industrial Park East and the USDA Meat and Animal Research Center are currently located on the 35,000 acres formally used by the NAD. Samples of the munitions produced at the NAD can be seen at the Hastings Museum.

A more detailed history of the site can be found at www.AdamsHistory.org. A local NAD historian is available for step-on tours and presentations for a fee. Interpretive materials such as, self-guided tour/historical brochures and DVD's are also available.

 

  • Places to eat

    Hastings’ restaurants offer delicious and fun-filled dining experiences.

  • Places to stay

    Hastings’ offers comfortable, friendly lodging for business travelers and families.

  • Things to do

    From festivals and outdoor activities to shopping and dining, there’s plenty to do.

  • View map

    Making a trip to Hastings? Our visitor info map makes it easy to get where you are going.

Photo Tour

Explore Hastings' downtown, beautiful parks and historic sites in our photo gallery.
View All

CLOSE