Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nebraska Sandhills

Wagon trails and explorers in the 1800s reported a sand dune covered North-Central Nebraska. Today these dunes are all uniquely covered in a tundra-style grassland. It is truly a beautiful land that is largely untouched from its natural state. Most people don’t know about the Sandhills of Nebraska or how much land they actually cover. You see plenty of cornfields across most of the state, but in the north central region its sandy hills all around. We just spent the weekend driving all over the region and stopped at a landmark in Harrop. It states:

In 1908 John Harrop, originally from Roca, Nebraska, filed a homestead claim just west of the Calamus River about thirteen miles north of Taylor in Loup County. Harrop acquired 640 acres under the Kinkaid Act of 1904, which had been passed to encourage settlement in the Nebraska Sand Hills. By 1912 Harrop operated a mercantile store and the Harrop post office at his home. In the mid-1920s Harrop and his son Roy, an Omaha attorney, were leaders in organizing the Calamus Irrigation District. This public operation planned to build a dam on the Calamus River to provide irrigation and promote the growing of crops such as sugar beets. In 1927 Roy Harrop platted and dedicated a townsite named Harrop about one mile south of here, and a few buildings were constructed.

Meanwhile opposition to the irrigation project led to a series of court battles and in 1929 the Nebraska Supreme Court dissolved the irrigation district. John Harrop died in 1932, along with his dream for the town and the irrigation project. Today nothing remains of the remains of the Harrop townsite.

Loup County Historical Society
Nebraska State Historical Society

It was an overgrown 4H project that must have been very awesome at some time.

This little know fact place in Nebraska highlights the 20,000 Square Miles of sandhills. Read up on it and know more about Nebraska then even many Nebraskans:


1 comment:

jrchaard said...

very interesting little nugget.