If you’re searching for ghost towns in Nebraska, we’ve got you covered! Below are 7 different ghost towns you can explore across Nebraska along with their status and exact GPS coordinates.
We rate ghost towns in Nebraska based on their status. Here’s how our system works:
- Abandoned: Is abandoned with ruins and structures in a decayed state. Great for urban explorers.
- Historic: Preservation efforts have been made and sometimes plaques installed. Great for everyone.
- Barren: Almost nothing remains of the town. Ideal for metal detectorists.
- Commercial: Is commercially owned with amenities, restaurants, and stores. Great for families.
- Semi-Abandoned: Abandoned areas with a small population in the area.
- Privately Owned: Tours might be available but not open to the general public.
This town is located in the sparse Sandhills region of western Nebraska. Before World War I, it had a single store, a church, and a schoolhouse.
The city was once the central hub of potash production in the United States. During World War I, potash was imported from Germany and France. However, the discovery of potash in Antioch reduced the shortage in the United States.
The price of potash dropped from 150 US dollars per ton to 10 US dollars a ton. After the war, potash production stopped in Antioch and its remaining factories went into decline.
Today, Antioch is one of the most well-known ghost towns in Nebraska, as it sits visibly right off highway 2. If you’re traveling by be sure to swing by and photograph what’s left behind.
Monowi was first settled in 1903 when the Mason, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley Railroad cut across the area. The railroad kept the town alive, with its most prosperous year being 1930 when 150 people called Monowi home. After the 30s the town was in decline with only two people living in town by 2000.
Today Elsie Eiller is the only remaining resident who is mayor, maintains the library, and secures funding for the traffic lights in town. Monowi is home to a few abandoned structures and the Monowi Tavern where travelers might be able to get a drink if Elsie is behind the bar.
3. Rock Bluff
Rock Bluff, Nebraska, is a small village located in Cass County, a few miles east of Murray. In 1856, it was a thriving river town. The town was famous for the Naomi Institute, which was instrumental in getting Nebraska statehood. In the mid-19th century, the town boasted several landmarks, including a stone Methodist church that cost $2,000. It also boasted a sawmill, two groceries, and a drugstore. It even boasted a newspaper, the Cass County Sentinel.
The school building is still standing in the town. It was originally the home of a pioneer college, and was built by Joseph Diven Patterson in 1870. It is the oldest building in the town and is now owned by the Cass County Historical Society. It is located at 646 Main Street in Plattsmouth. If you would like to tour the building, you can schedule an appointment with the museum.
Belmont was settled in 1885 and grew after the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad was built near town in 1888. The town was a tough place to live, suffering economic hardship during its inception and for the following decade. During World War I, the local economy kicked off only to be halted once again following the Great Depression.
Belmont is one of the most overlooked ghost towns in Nebraska, with various abandoned buildings, old school houses, and of course, a cemetery.
5. St. Deroin
The town was originally named for a French fur trader, Joseph De Roin. He was born in Bellevue, Nebraska and established a trading post near the Missouri River. In 1858, he was murdered by a rival gang for owing a man six dollars, which is 180 dollars in today’s money. It was also a popular stopping point for steamboats. The town had a hotel, flouring mill, schoolhouse, and other small businesses.
However, by the 1920s, St. Deroin had become a ghost town. While you’re there, you should visit the schoolhouse, general store, and log cabin to get a feel for the town’s history.
Minersville sprung up in 1856. Its name was first Bennett’s Ferry, but the town was officially renamed after its valuable coal deposits were discovered. There were over a thousand people living in the town, and there were many local businesses and buildings.
However, the town’s decline accelerated after a 1913 traffic shaft collapse killed six young drivers and buried hundreds of miners. As the mines declined, the town’s population shrunk, and its post office was closed in 1923.
Today, there are a few ruins left behind and some old grain silos in the area but almost nothing left of the original town.
In western Nebraska, you can find the charming little ghost town of Marsland. This town was founded in August 1889 after the construction of the Belmont Tunnel, and its population was approximately 800 at its peak. Several years later, the town was abandoned, and today, only nine people live there.
There are a few scattered abandoned buildings located across Marsland as well as a few residents who live on the land. Marsland is right off of Route 71, so if you’re in the area be sure to check it out.
Go out and explore!
That concludes our list of ghost towns in Nebraska but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.