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Overview

Once known as Fairview, McCook was established in 1882 and given its new name in honor of Civil War Gen. Alexander McCook. An old West boomtown, McCook became a thriving railroad and commercial center. In the late 1800s, the largest buffalo herd in the world existed northeast of McCook, largely due to the efforts of a man named Buffalo Jones who struggled to keep the mighty bison from extinction. The founder of the Tennessee Valley Authority and father of the Rural Electrification Administration, George W. Norris, was a resident of McCook. Serving 40 years in the United States Congress, Norris is credited with bringing electricity to many ...

Once known as Fairview, McCook was established in 1882 and given its new name in honor of Civil War Gen. Alexander McCook. An old West boomtown, McCook became a thriving railroad and commercial center. In the late 1800s, the largest buffalo herd in the world existed northeast of McCook, largely due to the efforts of a man named Buffalo Jones who struggled to keep the mighty bison from extinction. The founder of the Tennessee Valley Authority and father of the Rural Electrification Administration, George W. Norris, was a resident of McCook. Serving 40 years in the United States Congress, Norris is credited with bringing electricity to many rural areas. His home is now a State Historic Site. A walking city, McCook has a wonderful Heritage Square Historic Walking Tour spanning a ten-block area near downtown. Brick streets are lined with striking structures as well as humble prairie homes. Although it is not open to the public, stroll past the Sutton House at the corner of Norris Avenue and West F Street. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the home reflects the famed architect's prairie style architecture that blends a building with its natural surroundings. As far as natural beauty, McCook is blessed to rest at the center of four Southwest Nebraska reservoirs and state recreation areas with outdoor recreation and activities galore. As a nice touch, McCook offers free camping sites (only nine of them) at Karrer Park on the east edge of town. The free tourist camp has modern restrooms and showers, picnic areas with tables and grills, electrical hookups and a nice walking trail.

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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Jackie Finch for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Late May or early June for the Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival