Lincoln’s origin story doesn’t involve an Indian uprising or a whisky-soaked shootout. The town was founded as Lancaster in 1856, and the reason was salt.
Early settlers gathered here to mine salt from a nearby basin. When that proved unprofitable, they did what Nebraskans are known for, and adapted, finding another way to survive on the sometimes brutal Great Plains.
They took up farming, renamed the settlement Lincoln in 1869, and today the community embodies a mix of city and country with an emphasis on friendliness.
“We’re a capital city, home to the University of Nebraska, but we have a rural feel,” says Jeff Maul, executive director of the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau. “You’ll find helpful people on every corner and can go anywhere and feel like it’s your hometown.”
One of the most popular attractions is the State Capitol building. It consists of a square base measuring 437 feet on each side, with a 400-foot tower rising from its center. The interior features marble-columned chambers with vaulted polychrome tile ceilings, marble mosiac floors and murals of the state’s pioneer and native cultures.
“The building is a storybook telling the history of Nebraska through its architecture and mosaics,” says Maul.
To see another imposing structure, visit the Thomas P. Kennard House. The oldest remaining building on the town’s original plat was built in 1