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Lewellen in Garden County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Windlass Hill Pioneer Homestead
 
Windlass Hill Pioneer Homestead Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Christopher Light, July 17, 2007
1. Windlass Hill Pioneer Homestead Marker
 
Inscription. The stones surrounding this marker are the remains of the homestead dwelling of Reverend Dennis B. Clary, a pioneer Methodist Minister, who received final patent for his homestead Mar 22, 1899. Mr. Clary was born September 1st 1822, in Maryland and immigrated to Nebraska in 1885. Using a horse drawn cart fashioned from available materials he hauled stone to this site for a two room home. For years this was a land mark in Ash Hollow and marked the location of Windlass Hill. It was a popular stopping place for settlers traveling from the North Platte Valley area to the railroad at Big Springs, some twenty miles to the south.

The wagon road used at that time is still visible nearby. The Oregon Trail passed here and the area surrounding the house was used by early travelers to repair damage caused by the hazardous trip down Windlass Hill.

This site was used July 29-30, 1967, as the state setting for the “Ash Hollow Centennial Pageant” when a nearby sod house was reconstructed. Funds from the successful historical event provided this Marker.
 
Erected 1967 by Ash Hollow Centennial Assocation and Nebraska Historical Society. (Marker Number 130.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society, and the Oregon Trail marker series.
 
Location.
 
Soddie mentioned in the text Photo, Click for full size
By Christopher Light, July 17, 2007
2. Soddie mentioned in the text
This recreated Sod House is immediately to the north of the marker. The marker is just out of the picture on the left.
 
41° 17.028′ N, 102° 7.167′ W. Marker is in Lewellen, Nebraska, in Garden County. Marker is on U.S. 26. Click for map. The marker is located in the lower parking area for the Ash Hollow State Historic Parks, Windlass Hill area. Marker is in this post office area: Lewellen NE 69147, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ash Hollow (approx. 1.1 miles away); Ash Hollow Geology (approx. 1.2 miles away); The Battle of Blue Water (approx. 5.2 miles away); California Hill (approx. 15.2 miles away); Oregon Trail (approx. 15.5 miles away).
 
Interior of the Sod House Photo, Click for full size
By Christopher Light, July 17, 2007
3. Interior of the Sod House
 
 
Windlass Hill Photo, Click for full size
By Christopher Light, July 17, 2007
4. Windlass Hill
The Oregon and California Trails, used this hillside as a transition from the upper flat lands to the valley of the North Platte River. This is the head of Ash Hollow. There are no historical records of a windlass being used at this location, but the name has been in use since the early 20th Century. It probably originated some 50-80 years after the historic trail use ended.
 
 
Entry into Ash Hollow Photo, Click for full size
By Christopher Light, July 17, 2007
5. Entry into Ash Hollow
The pioneer homestead house and the marker are just to the right in the photo down along the highway. It is hidden by the Cedar Tree.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on September 14, 2007, by Christopher Light of Valparaiso, Indiana. This page has been viewed 6,895 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 14, 2007, by Christopher Light of Valparaiso, Indiana. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
 
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