Friday, October 14, 2011


      It’s Tumbleweed Festival Time again in Haigler, Nebraska.

     The 4th annual Fall Haigler Tumbleweed Festival will be held Saturday, October 22, 2011, at the Haigler Museum grounds south of Highway 34 and Porter Avenue.  The tents and tables, hay bales, and scarecrows will be out.  Everyone is invited to bring their lawn chairs and attend this fun day of celebration.  There are no admission fees—just free will donations that will go towards the Haigler Cornerstone Museum project.

     Schedule of events include neighborhood garage sales from 9a.m.-noon MDT.  Maps will be available at “the station” on Hwy. 34.  Chocolate, jewelry, Party Lite and decorator sales will be held in the Senior Center.  A barbeque begins at 1 p.m. with hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, baked beans, and drinks.  Homemade pies and ice cream will be served at the Golden Inn Senior Center.  Live music performed by LaVoine Smith and the Garage Bunch from Burlington, Colorado will fill the air throughout the afternoon.   Other activities include treasure hunts, horseshoe pitching, carousel merry-go-round rides, ticket drawings for many prizes, and Maypole Awards. 

     Bring your decorated tumbleweeds to be displayed.  Cash prizes will be awarded.
     At 3:30 p.m., the Tumbleweed/Spook Parade for kids of all ages (including adults) will begin in front of the Country School House Museum.  No motorized vehicles—but bicycles, tricycles, wagons, walkers, and pull floats can be entered.  Prizes will be awarded.


     One of the latest projects in Haigler is development of the Haigler Cornerstone Museum.  From the Texas Trail Canyon cattle drives in 1876 to the first pioneer homestead in 1881, Haigler has always been an integral part of Dundy County, Nebraska.  Haigler was one of the original four Dundy precincts established on October 6, 1884.  The townsite of Haigler was established in 1886 and has become known as “The Cornerstone of Nebraska.”

          The Haigler Cornerstone Museum will be housed in the former Crabtree Repair building, located on Porter Avenue & Highway 34 (known as The Golden Rod Hi-Way in earlier days).  The building, now owned by Stan and LaNeta Carlock, is being donated for the museum project.  The Haigler Cornerstone Museum building sits north of the Country Schoolhouse Museum and museum grounds—so location is a perfect fit.  Though the initial project focus will be on the Cornerstone Museum building, it is hoped that financial resources will also enable preservation and restoration of the adjacent former Conoco gas station, former liquor store (to become a museum gift shop), the underground bootleggers hideout, and the old Haigler Jail (built in the early 1900’s).  These buildings are also owned by the Carlocks, and will be donated for the restoration projects.

     Passing on our heritage is a gift we can give to future generations.  Dundy County, Nebraska has a rich heritage.  Haigler has a rich heritage.  We are indeed fortunate to have printed words, pictures, and stories of this rich history and heritage.  The Dundy County Museum in Benkelman is a treasure of artifacts reflecting some of this heritage.  Though a few Haigler artifacts have been placed there in past years (because there was no Haigler Museum); the Dundy County Museum is running out of room.  Artifacts from the past are the links that bind today with yesterday.  Artifacts from the present will be the links thata bind today with tomorrow.  They need to be preserved.

     The idea for the Haigler Cornerstone Museum evolved during the preservation and restoration project of the one-room Country School House Museum, District 67 South, for Haigler.  It was during this 3 year project (completed in October, 2010), that it became quite evident the little one-room school house could not possibly hold all the artifacts people were giving.  Individuals would call or just show up with something to donate, or a story of some event that revolved around the old schoolhouse and/or Haigler—threads extending outward in all directions from that 114 year old building.  People, with a connection to Haigler, had something they wanted to give, to be preserved, to be displayed for future generations.  Thus, the Country School House Museum grounds were expanded to include not only the traditional playground equipment, but farm tractors, graders, corn shellers, wheat and corn planters, a buzz saw, and hand plows.  The giving continues.

     The answer to the question of “Where and how can these continuing donations of artifacts be displayed?”  became clear.  The large building north of the School House Museum would be donated and become the Haigler Cornerstone Museum.  Here there would be room for the 1800’s doctor’s and child’s horse drawn buggies, original safe from the Drovers State Bank of Haigler, old cash register from the Kamla Grocery Store, 1920’s kitchen cook stove, hoosier cabinet, telephone booth from the old Haigler Telephone Office, church pew from the Haigler Methodist Church, Victrola and records purchased in 1930 at the Haigler Sale Barn, piano, banjo, violin, trumpet, horse harnesses, plows, books, wedding gowns, hats, WWI, WWI, and Korean military uniforms, pictures, paintings, and items of Haigler history and memorabilia. 

    The mission of the Haigler Cornerstone Museum project is to collect, preserve, and display artifacts which reflect the history of Haigler and surrounding farming and ranching community—past, present, and future.  Work has already begun to make the needed repairs and improvements of the building.  The kickoff for the Haigler Cornerstone Museum project was held over Memorial/Alumni weekend in May, 2011.  Open house was held at the completed Country Schoolhouse Museum, and the proposed Haigler Cornerstone Museum main building.  Donations of $1,000 were received.    Total proposed budget is $40,000.  To date, almost $7,000 has been donated towards the project.  The Hansen Charitable Foundation has awarded an initial funding grant.  Other grants are being written, and fund drives underway. 

   The 4th annual Haigler Tumbleweed Festival free will donations will go towards this museum project.  The community is invited to come see the beginnings of the museum, view the donated items on display, and enjoy the activities of the Tumbleweed Festival.  Anyone wishing to donate dollars and/or displays may contact the Carlocks at 308-297-3226, email:, or mail:  PO Box 144, Haigler, NE 69030.

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