"Prairie Home of Novelist Willa Cather" Red Cloud by atufft
Red Cloud Travel Guide: 18 reviews and 77 photos
Though neither the cultural nor political center of the USA, Red Cloud, is very near its geographical center, located in south central Nebraska a few miles from the Kansas border.
The town is named after the famed Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief, although the center of his power was further northwest, starting near modern day North Platte. Settlers chartered the city in 1871, making it the county seat of Webster County. Today, Red Cloud is a pleasant if somewhat rundown rural community of 1,200 residents.
Neither US281 (north-south) nor US136 (east-west), the junction of these ribbon highways where Red Cloud is located, are major routes for truckers. But in my travels along the now infrequently used Kansas east-west "Pony Express" route US36, brown posted signs had made me aware of the famed home of Willa Cather. I had read My Antonia during my post high school "classical reading" period, and although I recall few details from the book's plot today, I have retained a terrific respect for this Pulitzer Prize winning woman writer. So, naturally, when geography and time presented itself, I took the opportunity to pay homage to the perhaps most famous of the prairie writers.
The Opera House has been turned in to a museum, and even when it's closed, there are brochures outside that direct visitors to the homes and other buildings featured in the Willa Cather writing. I walked my dog off-leash around this sleepy town shooting pictures of the late 19th century architecture.
Red Cloud is off the beaten path for most tourists, which is one of the reasons it's worthwhile visiting. The downtown... more travel advice
Though not especially rich in architecture, the pleasant neighborhood of quiet streets and sidewalks with expansive lawn... more travel advice
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