Arthur Bowring Ranch State Historical Park
The history of Sandhills ranch life is on display at Arthur Bowring Ranch State Historical Park, a 7,202-acre ranch located three miles north and east of Merriman off Highway 20. Former U.S. Senator Eve Bowring managed the ranch until her death in 1985 at age 92. Her wish was to preserve the ranch as a turn-of-the-20th-century working cattle ranch and living history museum.
It’s a great opportunity to see ranch life up close. A visitor center houses artifacts and memorabilia of early ranching days. Corrals, barns, bunkhouses, and even a sod house are open to the public.
The park also boasts a collection you might not expect on a ranch. Eve Bowring was a world traveler and passionate collector of antique china, silver, and glass. Her amazing collection is displayed inside the ranch house.
A replica sod house illustrates how early many early settlers to the sandhills lived. This way of life is celebrated during Sod House Saturday Night. Spend a Saturday evening enjoying a barbecue supper, volunteers participating in an open mic and parking lot dance. Bring family and friends to enjoy good food, fun and Western hospitality.
The Visitor Center contain displays devoted to the extraordinary lives and careers of Arthur and Eve Bowring, as well as the history and geology of the Sandhills and the Nebraska cattle ranching business.
Hours & Admission
Hours – Please call and check if you are making a special trip. Hours of operation may vary to what is listed here.
May 28 (Memorial Day Weekend) – Sept. 6 (Labor Day): Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday
Sept. 7 – May 27: Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday
Park Grounds: Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., year round
Admission: Adults (13 & up),$2; Children (3-12), $1; Under 3, free
A valid vehicle Park Entry Permit is required.
While in the area, don’t miss Cottonwood Lake State Recreation Area, a half-mile east of Merriman on Highway 20 and a half-mile south. Fishing, boating, and tent camping are available. A state park permit is required.