Spend an afternoon exploring the downtown square in the seat of Butler County. The David City Downtown Square is a central hub of retail, dining, art, and education. Many historic buildings still adorn the square today, including the Historic Thorpe Opera House. At the heart of the square is the Butler County Courthouse. This modern, single story building was constructed in 1964, after the three-story brick courthouse was torn down. Much of the older architecture can still be seen in the facades and rooftops of the downtown businesses.
Explore the many shops the downtown area has to offer – antiques, collectibles, flowers, gifts, home improvement, automotive and hardware items can all be found around the square. For the art enthusiast, spend a few hours on a guided tour of Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art’s latest exhibit. Enjoy lunch at one of the restaurants within walking distance. Take some time to work off some steam at the downtown fitness centers, or if the weather is nice, take a stroll along the brick-laid city streets. Finish off the evening with a drink and maybe even some live entertainment at one of the squares Bar & Grills.
And of course, visitor information can be found by stopping by the Butler County Chamber of Commerce Office, located on the southeast side of the square. The Chamber is open Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm, and can help with business and tourism information, lodging questions, and community event information.
For those travelers that will be in Butler County for an extended period of time, find some rest and relaxation at the Rose Motel. They offer a variety of rooms, with wifi, cable, coffee, and refrigerators. Located in David City, the motel is within a close distance to gas stations, restaurants, and just a short drive from the downtown square.
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Appropriately located in the former Burlington Depot, the Butler County Historical Society Museum features pieces of History thoughout the Community.
Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art is the only museum in North America dedicated strictly to Agrarian Art. The museum is ideally located in the boyhood home of world-famous artist, Dale Nichols, and has acquired a large following since it opened its doors in 2007.
The museum features a number of exhibits throughout the year, and recently kicked off their national touring ‘Dale Nichols: Transcending Regionalism’ exhibit and book project. The exhibit and book will be featured in 3 museums in the US, and has already won several awards and recognitions.
Bone Creek Museum is a non-profit organization, and is supported by charitable gifts and donations. Tours are available, or you can spend a quiet afternoon enjoying the many impressive works of art at your own pace.
Take a closer look at Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art! Visit their website now!
Originally built in 1889 by prominent David City Banker, William B Thorpe for his musically gifted daughter, this historic Opera House has been the venue for musical performances, theatrical performances, minstrel shows, hypnotists, dances, sporting events, and local school events. After sitting vacant for a number of years following the 50s, and was then purchased and beautifully restored in 1976. It was added to the National Registry of Historic places in 1988.
Since its re-opening, the Thorpe has brought a variety of events to its stage. It is currently used for local high school theatrical performances, community events, and social gatherings. Plans are under way for a major renovation of the building to improve the structure and accessibility, as well as preserving the history and grandeur of the original Opera House.
Take a closer look at The Thorpe Opera House! Visit their website now!
This 85-acre park, located in the county seat of Butler County, has seen great growth and change from the original 12-acres of park land that was donated in 1889. The main entrance of the park features two twenty-foot concrete pylons dedicated as a memorial to World War I Veterans. Directly past the entrance is a large athletic field, site of football games and track meets for local sports teams.
In addition to updated playground equipment, the park features a basketball court, tennis court, sand volleyball pit, Aquatic Center and Golf Course. There are 3 ponds situated on the south side of the park, and a trail that runs along the edge. Benches are set up along the trail for folks to sit and enjoy the scenery, and to watch the various animals that call David City Park Home.
The updated David City Aquatic Center opened for business in the summer of 2001. It is a 5,700 + square foot pool and 23,000 square foot bathhouse that can hold up to 500 people. The large water park slide, diving boards, and fountains makes the David City Aquatic Center one of the premier city pools in Northeast Nebraska.
For Golf enthusiasts, David City Golf Club is open to the public with very minimal fees. This is a 9-hole course that offers the only island tee box in the state. The Club House offers a pro-shop, golf cart rentals, and a restaurant.
And for the historic building lovers, the Schweser House (built in the 1940s), Caretakers Cottage (built in 1941) and Municipal Auditorium (built 1941-1943) all offer a look at the various popular building construction modes of the time. The Auditorium and Schweser House are still in use today for public gatherings and social events.
Take a closer look at the David City Park! Visit their website now!
The Shinn’s Ferry Historical Marker stands today near what used to be the original County Seat of Butler County, the town of Savannah. When first traveling across the Great Plains in the mid to late 1800s, thousands of wagons and passengers crossed the Platte River en route to Fr. Kearney at Shinn’s Ferry.
Moses Shinn and his son Dick began operating the ferry in 1859. Reported to be a religious man, it is said that Moses held daily services for travelers using the ferry. A replacement was used when the original ferry was accidentally destroyed, and then a bridge was constructed at Schuyler in 1872, marking the demise of Shinn’s Ferry.
No trace of the town of Savannah or Shinn’s Ferry remain today, but visitors can see the monuments erected by the Butler County Historical Society, just one mile east and two and a half miles south of where the original county seat once stood.