The Mausoleum, Fairbury Nebraska, Heritage Highway 136The Mausoleum

GPS Coordinates: N40 04.619 W97 13.293
Fairbury NE, 68352

The Mausoleum, known as McDowell's Tomb, is located on the banks of Rose Creek, south of Fairbury in the Rose Creek Wildlife Management Area. The large, two-room tomb was hand-carved into a sandstone bluff by Fairbury resident Nelson L. McDowell, the son of J.B. McDowell, one of founding fathers of Fairbury. Nelson McDowell, a wealthy bachelor, spent nearly a decade of his life carving the mausoleum with a hammer and a chisel, with the intent of someday being buried there. Nelson L. McDowell died in a car-train accident in Fairbury on September 27, 1937, at the age of 80. Ironically, he was buried in the Fairbury Cemetery because the law at that time prevented him from being buried in the Mausoleum.

The tomb is accessible only on foot and measurable rainfall can make the path along the steep embankment slippery, so proper footwear is recommended. The soft sandstone is ideal for carving, and although many visitors have left their mark on the tomb in years past, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission requests that visitors respect this unique treasure and protect the integrity for future generations by not carving the walls.

The Rose Creek Wildlife Management Area is managed by the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission and is located 2 miles south of Fairbury on Hwy 15, 2-1/4 miles west, then 1-1/4 south. Deer, pheasant, dove, quail, rabbit, squirrel, turkey, waterfowl can be hunted on this 384-acre tract.