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History, oddities at Seven Valleys Museum

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 11:14 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A local historical society in Custer County purchased a medical building in town back in 1970, and it continues to be used today as a fascinating museum.

We spoke with Donna Glendy with the Seven Valleys Historical Society in Callaway about the museum. “It wasn’t only a medical building,” Glendy said. “The room we are sitting in was the mortuary. The little room behind us is where they stored the hearse. Then, you went up 17 stairs to the doctor’s office, and that’s where it got the name the medical building.”

The front part of the building is divided into two areas. You’ll see a plate collection when you enter, along with a large display of pictures. You can then go straight into the Great Plains room. There, you’ll find arrowheads collected from the area around Callaway, along with items like Mammoth bones. In the room that used to be the mortuary, you’ll find quilts, children’s toys, and many old-time personal items. There’s a player piano and other types of musical instruments. In addition, you’ll find old-time record players. There are also telephones, and upstairs you’ll find several rooms, including one dedicated to the military. There’s a bedroom that features a wreath made of human hair. You’ll also discover a period living room, a dining room, a country store, a railroad room, and even a drug store display.

Why is it called the Seven Valleys Museum? Because it references the seven valleys around Callaway. “A poem helps me remember them,” Glendy said. “It’s James Turner Brown planted Rye in the Sand between the Loup and the Wood River valleys. That’s how you can remember the names of the valleys.”

A second building, the Annex, is located across the street from the Seven Valleys Museum.

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