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Happy 150 Years Aurora, NE! - A'ROR'N Days 2021

On June 19, 1871, a company led by Robert Miller and Nathan Thorpe met under the famous twin cottonwood trees that grew near Lincoln Creek. It was during this meeting under the shade of these trees that "Aurora" was selected as the name for the new town. One hundred and fifty years later, Aurora has grown from a settlement of just a handful buildings to a city of about 4,500 inhabitants. To commemorate this year's milestone for the town's existence, and to celebrate the progress our town has made throughout the years, the A'ROR'N Days committee took this opportunity to make the theme of this year's festival all about "celebration!" Naturally, the Plainsman Museum also took part in marking this historic year.

Here is how we celebrated Aurora's 150th Anniversary during this year's A'ROR'N Days!

Commemorative T-Shirts - April to June

In honor of Aurora's 150th Anniversary, the Plainsman Museum sold commemorative t-shirts as a memento for the occasion. The t-shirts were designed by Kathryn Larson, and printed by Dog Pound Designs of Aurora High School. Online sales for the t-shirts began in April, and ended just before A'ROR'N Days in June. T-shirts were also available briefly for in-person purchase at the Plainsman Museum, and at The Old Homestead Market & Floral.

A special "thank you" to Brenda Klawonn at Aurora High School for her assistance in printing the t-shirts!

"Welcome Home!" - Reopening of the Bates House, June 15

The Bates House

After many months of hard work, the Bates House was able to be reopened in time for A'ROR'N Days! The exhibit officially reopened June 15 - about a week before A'ROR'N Days began - and we at the museum were so happy to have this historic home once again open to museum visitors. The home was built in the 1870's by Gen. Delevan and Lana Bates, and was located at 903 9th Street in Aurora. In 1998, Anita & Jeff Powers of Grand Island, NE donated the home to the Plainsman Museum, and it was moved to museum grounds for permanent exhibition. In the last couple years, further renovations were made to the house, and we are very proud of the improvements that have been made.

A special "thank you" to everyone who made the most recent renovations possible:

Structural Renovations:


- Bernard K. & Norma F. Heuermann Foundation

- Robert and Bethel Kolar Charitable Trust

- Dr. James and Mabel Woodard Trust

- Myrl and Bessie Mather Foundation

- Butch and Nancy Furse

- Mike and Glenda Hawthorne

- Bud Pence


- Val Oswald

- Lynne Nylander

Interior Design:

- Bob & Roberta Cool

- Tina Larson

"Aurora. Look No Further." - Film Special, June 24-27

"Aurora. Look No Futher." was the 150th anniversary film special made at the request of the City of Aurora, and in collaboration with B&B Productions. Further support was given by Hamilton Community Foundation. The film was shown at the 12th Street Cinema during A'ROR'N Days for free admission. While the two showings for June 24 had to be canceled due to technical difficulties with the theater's sound system, the 12th Street Cinema was able to have things back up and running for the remaining showings, which continued without further incident. The film received good reviews, and an online version will be posted to the museum website and Facebook page once it is ready.

A special "thank you" to the following individuals for making this film possible:

- Brian Kreikemeier - B&B Productions

- LaRayne Topp - Script Writing Assistant

- Tina Larson - Plainsman Museum Executive Director

- Mayor Marlin Seeman

"Artists Among Us" - Quilt Show, June 24 - 26

This year, the Nimble Thimble Quilt Guild once again held their annual quilt show here at the Plainsman Museum during A'ROR'N Days. This year's show was entitled, "Artists Among Us," and featured dozens of quilts made by local artists. In addition to the quilts on display, the show also featured members of the quilt guild holding workshops showing their tips and tricks for quilting, a country store selling quilt-related items, and a special Quilt of Valor presentation honoring several local veterans. Thank you to all of the quilt guild members for your hard work on the quilts, and to our veterans for your service.

Honored Veterans:

Curt Carlson, Jim Kaura, Butch Lewin, Gary E. Ross and Marlin Seeman

Thank you to the members of the Nimble Thimble Quilt Guild and the Plainsman Museum Staff & Volunteers who helped make this event possible!

A'ROR'N Days Parade - June 26

Once again, the Plainsman Museum took part in the A'ROR'N Days parade! Our entry into the parade this year featured a 1939 Allis-Chalmers Model RC Tractor donated by Russ Barth, an antique John Deere grain wagon refurbished into a covered wagon by Bob Cool, and a restored 1928 Maxwell car.

The Maxwell car was restored by the following Plainsman Museum Shop team members:

- Gary Bayne

- Don Bish

- Walt Jacobs

- Dale Saddler

Our entry placed 1st in the Antique category, and the following volunteers participated in the parade:

- Tina Larson

- Christie Schulze

- Jay Schulze

- Kathryn Larson

- Elizabeth Larson

- Don Bish

Thank you to all of the Plainsman Museum Staff & Volunteers who helped put together our entry for this year's parade!

Here's to Another 150 Years of Aurora History!

Let Us Continue Our "Journey Through Yesterday"

Today and Every Day!


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