Experience the rural lifestyle in the center of the United States

Over the years our citizens have shown resiliency not with “knuckles” but with “Nuckolls” as the county was named in 1859. Though we have royalty under our soil, agriculture reigns above ground with a near equal mix of corn, grain sorghum, soybeans and wheat along with a good measure of cattle, hogs, sheep and horses.

Each July residents celebrate their agricultural heritage at the Nuckolls County Fair and Rodeo held in Nelson. Rodeo action continues on Labor Day weekend, when the State High School Rodeo returns to the fairgrounds. While visiting Nuckolls County, you may get dust on your hiking boots while walking the Oregon Trail. From the late 1840s until about 1879 the trail was the equivalent of today’s interstate highways. The Pony Express route followed the trail across northeastern Nuckolls County. To learn more about the trail, visit the town of Oak where the trail passes down Main Street. Local tradition holds that Parson Bob raised Calamity Jane in a cabin along the Little Blue River just northwest of Oak. There, she met Wild Bill Hickok after his shootout with the McCandless gang at Rock Creek Station only a few miles to the east in Jefferson County. From Nuckolls County the two Old West characters fled to the Black Hills and into the pages of history.

If you want mud on your boots, explore one of our minimum maintenance roads and keep an eye out for the many kinds of wild animals and fowl that inhabit the area. Deer and wild turkeys are plentiful and the county is located in the central flyway, which offers an abundance of birds during their annual migration.

For those who want to cool off in the water, the area offers lots of opportunity. Canoe the Little Blue and Republican Rivers or soak in the municipal swimming pool in Lawrence, Nelson or Superior (Superior’s recently renovated pool is the seventh largest municipal pool in Nebraska). Or, visit nearby Lovewell Lake and State Park, only 10 minutes away in northern Kansas.

Interested in history?

Nuckolls County has it. In addition to the Oregon Trail there are museums in Oak and Superior. The Russ Snyder Museum in Oak celebrates professional baseball, particularly the professional career of Russ Snyder who played for five teams from 1959 to 1970. Russ played with the Baltimore Orioles when they won the World Series in 1966. The Nuckolls County Historical Society operates a complex of eight buildings including the first post office to serve Superior (a log cabin), the oldest church building in Nuckolls County and Marquardt Hall, which is filled with a large and unique collection of hand carved model airplanes. While at the museum and at the Superior Public Library check out the story of Evelyn Brodstone, the daughter of Superior’s first storeowner. She became the world’s highest paid businesswoman and a member of British Nobility. Superior’s annual Lady Vesty Festival honors her memory with a host of activities, including dances, a parade, and the annual alumni banquet. In Nelson, the Nuckolls County Court House and Cemetery Walkway are listed in the National Historical Registry. Nelson also has the Historic Carved Sandstone Faces located on West Fourth Street on the north side of the old Stansbury Building.

While at the Library, trace your family roots in the Nuckolls County Genealogy section.

If you like community celebrations, you're in luck!

Nuckolls County has several community fun days each year with a wide variety of homespun activities for people of all ages. Nelson hosts a day long July 4th celebration starting with a 1 mile or 3 mile walk/run, and breakfast in the park. Other activities in the park include washer board, horseshoe, sand volleyball, and a 3 on 3 golf tournament. Stick around for dinner and supper in the park and enjoy the evening fireworks show. The Nuckolls County Fair is held in July each year, at the Fair Grounds located just south of Nelson. Superior holds a three-day Victorian Festival each Memorial Weekend and a July 4th celebration with a 10K run, games and a fireworks show. Lawrence has a Fun Day every year during the summer that includes activities for all kids and adults. Every fourth year, Oak hosts a celebration based upon the Oregon Trail and the area’s rich heritage. This includes a reenactment tour of the Oregon Trail.

All of the towns in Nuckolls County were started during the late Victorian period and have great examples of Victorian architecture. Downtown businesses and ornately decorated homes are commonplace in both Nelson and Superior and the county seat, Nelson, is home to the stately Nuckolls County Courthouse, built in 1890. Superior has been designated by the Nebraska legislature as the Victorian Capital of Nebraska. The community has several building on the National Register of Historic Places. Pick up a tour guide pamphlet at the Chamber of Commerce office and spend an afternoon walking about the town absorbing the community history from the Victorian period.

Need a place to stay?

Superior and Nelson both have motels to accommodate travelers. If you are seeking a clean, quiet room to relax in, would rather indulge yourself with a room outfitted in Victorian luxury or want to experience unusual décor like a room featuring a porch swing, you can find it in Nuckolls County. A quiet country get-away for couples that also features a space specializing in amenities for hunters is also available right outside of Superior. If you RV, parks in Superior, Nelson, Lawrence, and Oak have RV parking with electrical hookups. Superior’s RV Park has water hookups and a dump station, while Nelson’s RV Park has water and sewer hookups and a dump station. Nearby Lovewell Lake State Park and Liberty Cove State Recreation Area have hundreds of camping spots ranging from primitive to full-service. The 1,600-acre state park also has showers, beaches, shelter houses, a full-service marina and grill, and cabins for rent by the day or week. The lake is a 3,000-surface-acre reservoir and is a hotspot for fishing enthusiasts, boaters, swimmers and skiers. Visit it in the right season you are apt to see eagles, turkey buzzards, pelicans as well as thousands of geese and ducks.

Interested in One-of-a-Kind Dining or Shopping?

Interested in Wine? Think lattes or gourmet muffins or wraps are only found in the city? You’ll find them here as well as delicacies that are unique to Nuckolls County. Throughout the county you will have your choice of chain restaurants or establishments that are the favorites of locals. Be sure to leave plenty of time to shop. We can boast of having some of the finest antique and gift shopping in the area, not to mention day spas and salons for rejuvenating. A recently established winery in Superior offers a close-up look at grape production, and wine making as well as samples of wine that are bottled on-site.

Each July, residents celebrate their agricultural heritage at the Nuckolls County Fair and Rodeo held in Nelson. Rodeo action continues on Labor Day weekend, when the State High School Rodeo returns to the fairgrounds. While visiting Nuckolls County, you may get dust on your hiking boots while walking the Oregon Trail. From the late 1840s until about 1879 the trail was the equivalent of today’s interstate highways. The Pony Express route followed the trail across northeastern Nuckolls County. To learn more about the trail, visit the town of Oak where the trail passes down Main Street. Local tradition holds that Parson Bob raised Calamity Jane in a cabin along the Little Blue River just northwest of Oak. There, she met Wild Bill Hickok after his shootout with the McCandless gang at Rock Creek Station only a few miles to the east in Jefferson County. From Nuckolls County the two Old West characters fled to the Black Hills and into the pages of history.

Nuckolls County has several community fun days each year with a wide variety of homespun activities for people of all ages. Nelson hosts a day-long July 4th celebration starting with a 1 mile or 3 mile walk/run, and breakfast in the park. Other activities in the park include washer board, horseshoe, sand volleyball, and a 3 on 3 golf tournament. Stick around for dinner and supper in the park and enjoy the evening fireworks show. The Nuckolls County Fair is held in July each year, at the Fair Grounds located just south of Nelson. Superior holds a three-day Victorian Festival each Memorial Weekend and a July 4th celebration with a 10K run, games and a fireworks show. Lawrence has a Fun Day every year during the summer that includes activities for all kids and adults. Every fourth year, Oak hosts a celebration based upon the Oregon Trail and the area’s rich heritage. This includes a reenactment tour of the Oregon Trail.

Looking for a place to put down roots and establish a new home?

Come grow with us. The living is good and the rates are reasonable. Residents of Nuckolls County enjoy excellent schools, top medical facilities and recreational amenities that appeal to families in every stage of their life. Safe, secure, and serene describe their lifestyle.

For up-to-date and more detailed information on what the people of Nuckolls County have to offer, please check out the following websites. Some addresses you may want to consider are cityofnelson.com, cityofsuperior.org, superiorne.com, lawrencene.com, nuckollscounty.ne.gov, nuckollscountyonline.com, and jewellcountyonline.com.

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Nuckolls County Courthouse in Nelson


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Nuckolls County Fair and Rodeo held in Nelson


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Lady Vestey Victorian Days in Superior


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Russ Snyder – Baseball Player


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The Kendall House, one of our many Victorians in Superior


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Lovewell Lake, just south of Superior


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Superior Estates Winery in Superior