Walking Tour Series: The Murals


Coronado Comes to the Plains - 1541 by Ernest Ochsner

Francisco Vásquez de Coronado explored the American Southwest and the Great Plains from 1540 to 1542. Coronado's journey gave the European world their first knowledge of these unexplored lands. Coronado and the Spanish were probably the first Europeans in the region.

Mallet Brothers Cross Nebraska - 1739 by Sidney King (1906-2004)

The Mallet Brothers were French explorers who were some of the first Europeans to see the Great Plains as a fertile area. They were also the first to cross Nebraska from north to south.

Lewis and Clark Expedition 1804-1806 by Ernest Ochsner

Though the Mallet Brothers were the first to claim this region, Lewis and Clark were the first to study the Great Plains.

Fur Trade Exploration by Sidney King (1906-2004)

Europeans had been trading with the native peoples for many years in Canada and farther east. Many of the goods traded between the native peoples and Europeans were used by the traders; however, the goods might also be shipped back to Europe or traded with another tribe.

Indian Buffalo Hunt by Sidney King (1906-2004)

This mural, which hangs over the door through which you enter the rotunda, is one of the most familiar images of Native-American life. The American Bison, or Buffalo, was one of the primary sources of food and other supplies for native peoples.

The Deepwell Ranch by Sidney King (1906-2004)

The Deepwell Ranch is a significant site in Hamilton County history. The ranch was a "rest stop" for passing wagon trains. The ranch's location has been definitely located, but not marked. The well, measuring 65 feet deep, was the first on the Hamilton County and was dug completely by hand.

Pawnee Indian Village by Win J. Mumma (1935-2003)

The Pawnee were the predominant group of Native-Americans in this area. Their culture was agriculturally orientated, rather than a nomadic way of life.

The Indian Farewell by Sidney King (1906-2004)

This mural depicts the sad transition from one culture's dominance on the Plains to another's.

Before you begin your Journey through Yesterday by entering the boardwalk through the covered wagon, look up. The gorgeous visual artistry of the murals depicting the early days of our region is capped by a breathtaking "celestial sky" (also painted by Sidney King). The stars are luminous. You'll see the Sagittarius Constellation, Vail Nebula, and exploded star, the birth of a star, and the Horses Head grouping as well as the Milky Way and Nebula in Aurora.

Let the journey begin.

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The Plainsman Museum 2020   ~  210 16th Street ~ Aurora NE ~ 402-694-6531 ~ plainsman@hamilton.net

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