State historical society foundation seeks $1.8 million for Chimney Rock

State historical society foundation seeks $1.8 million for Chimney Rock
A rendering of the $1.8 million in planned improvements to the Abbott Visitor Center near Chimney Rock. NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOUNDATION

The Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation is asking for the public’s help in raising $1.8 million to fund improvements to the visitor center near Chimney Rock in Morrill County.

The planned project calls for the addition of an outdoor classroom and a trail to lead visitors from the Abbott Visitor Center to the landmark rock formation, allowing them to get closer to the monument. More improvements will be announced as they are finalized.

In a Friday announcement, the historical society foundation said it has already raised $1.4 million and is asking for donations from the public to cover the remainder.

“There is a lot of excitement surrounding this fundraising campaign,” Leslie Fattig, executive director of the historical society foundation, said in a press release. “Chimney Rock is such an iconic Nebraska landmark, we thought it was appropriate to announce this project on the anniversary of Nebraska’s statehood.”

The project, Fattig said, will allow the site to accommodate more visitors and enhance the site’s educational offerings.

Donations can be made online at or by calling 402-435-3535. Those looking to mail donations may send them to:

Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation Kinman-Oldfield Suite

128 N. 13th St. Ste. 1010

Lincoln, NE 68508

The 300-foot-tall Chimney Rock, located in the North Platte River valley, once served as a landmark along the Oregon Trail, California Trail and Mormon Trail as settlers bound for the West traversed them in the mid-19th century. The Chimney Rock Historical Site and the visitor center draw about 30,000 people each year.