“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Scotia in Greeley County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

Chalk Mine

Chalk Mine Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joan Shurtliff, October 5, 2014
1. Chalk Mine Marker
Inscription.  The fertile North Loup Valley provided food and construction materials for the early settlers of this region. When they came here in 1872 they were greeted by Jack Swearengen, a trapper, guide, and government scout. He lived near here in a dugout in the white chalk bluffs that rise above the valley. The highest hill became known as "Happy Jack's Peak" and served as a lookout-point to guard against surprise Indian attacks.

The hills took on added importance in 1877 when Ed Wright began to mine the chalk. With stone cut from the bluffs, Wright completed construction of a general store in 1887. This building still stands in Scotia, two miles north of here. Other pioneer residents soon began using chalk in the foundations of their buildings.

The mine stood idle for a number of years. It was reopened in the 1930's by a paint company of Omaha. The chalk was used in a variety of ways, not only in paint and whitewash, but also in cement, polishes and chicken feed. These formations of calcarious rock, which can be seen throughout the North Loup Valley, were permanently preserved here in 1967 when the mine area was purchased by
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the Nebraska State Game and Parks Commission for use as a way-side park.
Erected by Scotia Community Club; Nebraska State Historical Society. (Marker Number 144.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1872.
Location. 41° 26.495′ N, 98° 42.445′ W. Marker is near Scotia, Nebraska, in Greeley County. Marker is on State Highway 11 at milepost 58, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Scotia NE 68875, United States of America. Touch for directions.
More about this marker. The marker is located on the west side of the Highway 11.
Chalk profile in road cut. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joan Shurtliff, October 5, 2014
2. Chalk profile in road cut.
The white layer in this road cut is Niobrara chalk. It is from the late Cretaceous Age.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 12, 2014, by Joan Shurtliff of Seward, Nebraska. This page has been viewed 649 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 12, 2014, by Joan Shurtliff of Seward, Nebraska. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 26, 2024