Central City in Merrick County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Lone Tree, a giant, solitary cottonwood, was a noted Platte River landmark as early as 1833. Standing on the north side of the river some three miles southwest of present Central City, the tree was visible at great distance. Several travelers estimated they could see if twenty miles away. The tree was especially prominent since timber was rare on the Nebraska prairies except in stream valleys, where it received protection from prairie fires.
The Mormon Trail passed by Lone Tree, as did the Omaha-Fort Kearny stage route. The tree also gave its name to a stage station and a town, later renamed Central City. Ten to twelve feet in circumference, the tree's total height was about fifty feet; its lowest branches were about twenty feet above the ground.
Passing travelers often camped beneath Lone Tree and carved their initials on its trunk. This probably hastened its end, for the tree was dead by 1863. A severe storm in 1865 brought it to the earth. In 1911 residents of Merrick County erected a stone in the shape of a tree trunk on the site once occupied by Lone Tree.
Erected by Merrick
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Environment • Roads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Historic Trees, the Mormon Pioneer Trail, and the Nebraska State Historical Society series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1833.
Location. 41° 6.294′ N, 98° 1.209′ W. Marker is in Central City, Nebraska, in Merrick County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 30 and 15th Road, on the left when traveling west on U.S. 30. Marker is located at a roadside pullout backed by M Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Central City NE 68826, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Mormon Trail (here, next to this marker); 9-11 Memorial Clock (approx. 1.3 miles away); Heber Hord House (approx. 1.4 miles away); Chapman Cemetery GAR Marker (approx. 9.3 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Lone Tree. (Submitted on March 4, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail. (Submitted on March 4, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Army Engineers as Road Surveyors and Builders. (Submitted on March 4, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 4, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 676 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 4, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.