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John G. Neihardt Center
John G. Neihardt lived in Bancroft from 1900 to 1920. It is where he began his
epic poem, The Cycle of the West. The Nebraska State Historical Society
built and maintains the John G. Neihardt Center, which includes several exhibits in
addition to Neihardts one room study and a prayer garden he designed. The prayer
garden contains symbolism from the vision of the Oglala Lakota Holy Man, Black Elk, who
Neihardt wrote about in Black Elk Speaks. The John G. Neihardt Foundation
provides many local activities, including:
- John G. Neihardt Spring Conference -- a scholarly examination of his subjects and
themes held the last Saturday in April.
- Neihardt Day -- an outdoor festivity on the grounds of the Center the first
Sunday in August, celebrating Nebraskas Poet Laureate.
- Special programs and exhibits throughout the year focusing on the history,
literature, music, culture and tradition of the plains.
The museums hours are 8-5 p.m. (closed over the noon hour) from Monday through
Saturday and 1:30 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information phone (402) 648-3388.
Other nearby attractions relating to the Plains Indians include:
- The Susan LaFlesche Picotte Center in Walthill, Nebraska, 17 miles from Bancroft
- Black Elk Neihardt Park in Blair, Nebraska, about 50 miles from Bancroft
- The Country Pub Steak House, 409 Main St., has noon specials Monday-Friday
and features an evening special throughout the week. Come enjoy prime rib
on Wednesday, chicken and ribs buffet on Thursday, fish fry on Friday, steak
on Saturday and a Sunday buffet from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Now open for breakfast
Monday through Saturday at 6 a.m. The Pub is open 8 a.m.-1 a.m. and there
is seating room for 110 for private parties and banquets. Contact Deanna
Soll at 402-648-7458 for more information or to make your reservation.
- Sweetie Pies, PO Box 314, Main St., includes a bakery and cafe. Open
Tuesday through Saturday. Contact Mrs. Isaac at 402-648-3493.
- Bancroft Floral & Gift, 302 Main St., phone 402-648-7979.
Fresh flowers for all occasions, blooming and green plants, silk arrangements,
balloons, candy and cards for all your special days are featured in this unique
Recreation and Parks
The Bancroft park has playground equipment, tables, shelters, ball fields,
and a camping area with four hook ups. Annual celebrations include the John
G. Neihardt Day in August and Harvest Fest in September. Several ball tournaments
are also held throughout the summer.
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