Fort Kearny State Historical Park

A map of Nebraska depicting the major highways.


Fort Kearny - Kearney, Nebraska

Fort Kearny was established by the U.S. Army in 1848 to protect the growing traffic along the Oregon Trail from the threat of Indian attacks. This military post was strategically located at a junction where various eastern feeder trails merged, forming one broad trail. Those routes joined at Fort Kearny and became one broad and vast trail following the Platte River 330 miles west to Fort Laramie.

J. Goldsborough Bruff recorded his impressions on June 17, 1849, "I visited the Fort . . . . This place is as yet merely the site of an intended fort; it has some adobe embankments, quarters of adobe & frame, and a number of tents & sheds. Is on the bank of the Platte, where Grand Island makes a narrow branch of the river between it and the shore."

Although none of the original sod and adobe buildings have survived, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has reconstructed two of the fort buildings.

Last updated: February 10, 2020

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

National Trails Office - Regions 6, 7, 8
Oregon National Historic Trail
1100 Old Santa Fe Trail

Santa Fe, NM 87505

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