Wessels Living History Farm - York Nebraska

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About York, Nebraska

The Wessels Living History Farm is located just south of the vibrant community of York, Nebraska. Below is a QuickTimeVR movie taken frmom the southwest corner of town square with the county courthouse in the background. [You can explore downtown by clicking and dragging your mouse in the direction you want to go.] You can also see one of the major city parks in this VR movie.

The City of York was founded in 1869 by the South Platte Land Company, and was named after York, England, and York, Pennsylvania. The city grew as the county seat and farm trading center, and was incorporated in 1875. Since the turn of the 20th century, York's population has gradually increased from 5,132 to more than 8,000.

Located on the "Nebraska City Cut-off" of the famous Oregon Trail, York was a stopping place for many early-day travelers. By 1872, the town was flourishing with commerce. The Burlington Railroad built a line to York in 1877. In 1882, the York Foundry was started. The York Public Library was established by the Women's Club in 1885, and York College was founded in 1890.

York is a major crossroads -- U.S. Highway 81 and Interstate 80 run border to border across the state and meet in York. U.S. Highway 81 is the Pan American Highway and is being upgraded to a four-lane, divided expressway which reflects its continued north-south importance. Additionally, the Burlington Northern Railroad mainline traverses the City of York.

York is 1,633 feet above sea level. Approximately 85 percent of the area is upland and level to gently rolling. The solid, predominately Hastings silt loam has a good water holding capacity and provides the area with some of the richest agricultural land in the state. Drainage by three streams (Blue, Beaver, and Lincoln) is excellent.

The York area looks forward to continued agricultural, industrial, and economic growth. The City of York has a diverse economic base including manufacturing, meat processing, agribusiness, trucking, professional services, medical, wholesaling, retailing and convention/travel-related industries. York County ranked in the top three Nebraska counties in the production of corn for grain during the last five years. The area is blessed with stable agriculture production due, in part, to an abundant source of irrigation water supplied by the Ogallala Aquifer.

Wessels Living History Farm
Farming in the 1920s
Farming in the 1930s
Farming in the 1940s Farming in the 1950s Farming in the 1970s Learner Resources
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Contact For photos and primary sources, Nebraska Studies web site.
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