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Spanning I-80 at Exit 275, the Archway offers a unique historical exhibit that brings American history to life and so much more.

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ABOUT US

Since it opened in the year 2000, the Archway has stood as an enduring tribute to the adventurers who traveled the Great Platte River Road though Nebraska and helped to build America. Over the years, we have welcomed and inspired over 1.5 million visitors with our story.

The Archway celebrates the American spirit of adventure.

Our Mission

The Archway preserves our history, shares our story, and inspires our visitors to participate in the American adventure of discovery, innovation, and leadership.

Staff Members

Kellie Risk
Guest Services/Volunteer Coordinator
krisk@archway.org
JoAnne Hoatson
Executive Director
jhoatson@archway.org
Amber Clement
Marketing/Event Coordinator
aclement@archway.org

What’s Happening

Need the latest on The Archway? With our newsletter, guests and supporters can read about the latest events The Archway hosted as well as upcoming events, recent press releases and announcements. Please contact Marketing / Event Coordinator Amber Clement (308.237.1000 | aclement@archway.org) with any questions.

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18 hours ago
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21 hours ago
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This Wednesday we continue sharing the story of the Oregon Trail! In part two we discuss the Whitmans, a missionary family that tried to convert Native Americans on the trail, and the many challenges this introduced…

A new part every Wednesday!
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2 days ago
Kearney Archway

Comment below with your answer for a chance to win tickets to the Archway!

Congratulations to last week's winner, Janene Hill! The average time spent traveling the Oregon Trail was ten hours.
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1848 (if you're not referring to the original one at Nebraska City!)

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Tri-City Food Fight

Start date: December 1, 2022
End date: December 31, 2022
All-day event
Location: The Archway
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Join the Tri-City Food Fight against the Stuhr Museum and Hastings Museum! Starting December 1st through December 31st, please bring donations of non-perishable food to the Archway and help to care for our neighbors in need. All donations are distributed to to local food pantries. Drop off your donations in the Archway lobby during regular hours Mon-Sat 9-5, and Sun 12-5.

Archie Camp – Secret Agent

Date: February 15, 2023
Time: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Location: The Archway
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Psst! Pssssst! Yeah, you! The super-secret spy meeting is about to begin. Join Archie’s team of Secret Agents in Training and you’ll learn how to make invisible ink, write codes, find fingerprints and other skills too secret to talk about right now. All agents in training will be provided snacks and lunch. Don’t miss your chance to become a super sleuth with Archie! Designed for K-5th grade students. Registration required.

Archie Camp – Yum Yums and Num Nums

Date: March 10, 2023
Time: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Location: The Archway
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All the great adventures this year have made Archie very hungry! It’s time to take a break and chow down on some great homemade snacks. We’ll learn to make frozen banana bites, apple doughnuts, no-bake cinnamon rolls and other yummy delights. You’ll be ready to amaze your family when you go home with a recipe book and chef’s hat! Of course, we’ll sample our creations for both lunch and snack time! Designed for K-5th grade students. Let’s get cookin’!! Registration required.

Archie Camp – Ahoy!

Date: April 6, 2023
Time: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Location: The Archway
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Ahoy!- Its almost time for Archie to set sail on his summer break. Come help Archie get ready to sail away. We will learn about the nature of water, tides and currents. We’ll build and race our own miniature boats while our friends at Kearny Paddle Sports demonstrate kayaks on the Archway pond. Don’t miss our last Archie Camp of the school year! As always, we’ll share lunch and snacks with Archie before saying bon voyage! Designed for K-5th grade students. Registration Required.

MOST RECENT NEWSLETTER

Experience the American Spirit of Adventure

Since prehistoric times, the path along the Platte River through Nebraska, once known as the Great Platte River Road, has served as a migratory route across the continent. From the Oregon Trail era to today, the Archway brings the story of the Great Platte River Road to life.

The heart of the Archway experience is our historical exhibit that pays tribute to the American spirit of adventure. Using life size figures and personal audio guides, the Archway tells the story of the building of America. At the Archway, you’ll walk with the pioneers over the Oregon Trail. Watch a rider switch horses at a Pony Express Station. Hear Mark Twain’s account of a cross country stage coach trip. Relive the driving of the “Golden Spike” that united the nation’s railroads. Visit a traveler’s campground to hear stories of life on “America’s Main Street,” the Lincoln Highway.

Spanning I-80, today’s coast-to-coast travel corridor, at Exit 275, the Archway celebrates the lives of all of the adventurers who follow the river’s path, those of the past, who helped to build our nation, and those of today, who will shape our future.

Archway Origins

The Archway was originally conceived by Frank Morrison, the 31st Governor of Nebraska, who served from 1961-1967. It was his dream to create an enduring monument to the adventurers who followed the Great Platte River Road and helped to build America.

Imagine the daring and determination of the people who first traveled the Oregon Trail, the high-spirited adventure of racing to California during the Gold Rush of 1849, the devotion of the Mormons who moved west in search of religious freedom, the entrepreneurial spirit that lead to the creation of the Pony Express, the industry that built the Transcontinental Railroad and the cooperative effort that lead to the creation of “America’s Main Street,” the Lincoln Highway and the Interstate Highway System. Individuals of vision and courage found ways to work together to turn their dreams into reality and to contribute to an enterprise that was much bigger than themselves. The Archway tells this evocative story and seeks to inspire current day adventurers to face today’s challenges with courage and tenacity in order to continue to build a nation in which we can all take justifiable pride.

The Archway’s Innovative Structure

The Archway’s historical exhibit, shop, theater and event room are housed in a dramatic structure that spans I-80 at Exit 275. The building’s exterior was designed to emulate a covered bridge. The colors on the arch’s surface represent those of a Midwest sunrise.

Talk about American ingenuity! The engineers in charge of building the Archway were faced with the challenge of erecting a 1,500 ton structure that would eventually be suspended above one of the most heavily traveled highways in the Midwest without impeding the regular flow of traffic.

They decided that the best way to accomplish their task would be to build the two supporting towers on either side of the highway and build the arch portion of the structure separately, at ground level, near the highway. When all of the elements were ready, the most complex segment of the project was implemented. First, using hydraulic jacks, the arch section of the building was lifted 22.5 feet in the air. Then, it was jacked horizontally on to heavy duty, self-propelled modular transporters that would carry the structure across the highway. The process of lifting the structure on to the transporters took eight days.

On August 16, 1999, a section of the interstate was closed and at 10:00pm, the transporters began their work of slowly moving the structure across the highway. By 6:00am on August 17, the arch segment was in place over concrete abutment walls that are 60 feet long, 25 feet tall and 2 feet thick.   The arch segment was welded into place and finishing work began. The Archway opened for visitors on June 9, 2000. Since that time, over 1.5 million visitors have toured the historic exhibit and have been inspired by the Archway spirit of adventure.

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