Pictorial history of city proposed

Officials seek old photos, stories.

Unhappy-looking men are gathered outside Johnson’s Saloon on May 1, 1917—the night before all saloons in Nebraska closed because of prohibition.

Grand Island photographer Julius Leschinsky captured the photograph and others displayed throughout a book published by Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in 2007.


The book, Grand Island and Hall County, is similar to what Community Development Office director Anne Anderson proposes for Gothenburg in honor of its 125th birthday this year.


“I’d like us to put together a pictorial book like one of these to share people’s pictures and stories,” Anderson said. “It would tell the story of the people who settled the community, the people who lived and owned businesses and raised families here.”

Three people attended a meeting last Thursday to discuss what the community wanted to do to celebrate the community’s birthday.

Because there wasn’t much interest, she said they’ll incorporate some smaller activities into the annual Harvest Festival set for Sept. 16-18.

However a pictorial history, printed this year, could celebrate various dates of significance in the community, Anderson said.

The CDO director is asking residents to bring historical pictures and information to the Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce office that will be scanned and returned.

Photographs and information might include anything involving the community, businesses, schools, the home, churches, organizations, transportation, entertainment and sports and people.

“We’re looking primarily for older information and pictures up until 1985,” Anderson said.

After publication, the books would be sold.

Anderson said the CDO will work with the Gothenburg Historical Museum that has many old photographs that were donated.

She said she approached museum officials about producing a book a couple of years ago after noticing pictorial books about Grand Island and Kearney published by Arcadia Publishing.

“We’d be working on it with the museum,” Anderson said.

Because the Gothenburg Area History books are almost gone, she said it’s another reason to publish another book about the community.

For more information, contact the CDO office at 537-3505.

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