Journey Through Time Exploring McCook Nebraska on Route 6


McCook Nebraska may seem like a small dot on the map, but it holds a rich connection to one of America’s most historic highways—Route 6. This charming town nestled in the heart of Red Willow County is more than just a pit stop; it’s a treasure trove of history and culture waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a travel enthusiast, a local explorer, or a history buff, McCook offers a unique experience that bridges the past and present along one of the country’s oldest and longest highways.

In this Route 6 Happenings post, we’ll take a deep dive into the relationship between McCook and Route 6. From its historical roots to its modern-day attractions, you’ll discover why this quaint town is a must-visit destination. We’ll also explore how Route 6 has shaped McCook’s identity and economy, while offering practical tips for your next visit. Buckle up as we hit the road to uncover the fascinating story of McCook, Nebraska, and Route 6.

The History of Route 6

Route 6, also known as the “Grand Army of the Republic Highway,” holds a special place in American transportation history. Established in 1926, this transcontinental highway originally stretched from Provincetown, Massachusetts, to Long Beach, California, covering nearly 3,652 miles. It was the longest highway in the United States at the time, and it played a crucial role in connecting the East Coast to the West Coast.

The highway gets its name from the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans from the Civil War. This name symbolizes not just a physical route but also a tribute to the soldiers who fought to preserve the nation. Over the years, Route 6 has been a lifeline for commerce, tourism, and everyday travel, weaving through bustling cities and quiet towns alike.

The significance of Route 6 goes beyond just transportation. It represents a slice of Americana, capturing the spirit of adventure and exploration. Many travelers have traversed this highway, discovering the diverse landscapes and cultures that make up the United States. Today, while many parts of Route 6 have been bypassed by modern interstates, the highway still retains its historic charm, attracting those who seek to relive the golden age of American road trips.

McCook’s Role in Route 6

McCook, Nebraska, holds a unique position along Route 6. This town became a focal point not just by geographical happenstance but through a series of historical events and developments that tied it intrinsically to the highway. McCook’s strategic location made it an essential stopover for travelers and a hub for commerce and trade.

One of the town’s most notable landmarks is the historic Keystone Hotel, which has stood as a testament to McCook’s vibrant past. Built in 1929, the hotel served as a luxurious resting spot for travelers navigating Route 6. Today, it remains a symbol of the town’s rich heritage and its enduring connection to the highway.

Another significant attraction is the Frank Lloyd Wright Sutton House, an architectural marvel that draws many visitors. The house was designed by the iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1905. It showcases Wright’s Prairie School architectural style and adds a touch of cultural significance to the town. The house is open for tours, offering a glimpse into early 20th-century design and lifestyle.

McCook’s connection to Route 6 is also marked by the Red Willow County Historical Museum. Located in the old Carnegie Library building, the museum houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the town and its role in the broader tapestry of Route 6. From vintage photographs to historical documents, the museum provides valuable insights into how McCook has evolved over the years.

Experiencing McCook and Route 6 Today

Visiting McCook today offers a unique blend of historical exploration and modern conveniences. Whether you’re embarking on a cross-country road trip or just looking for a weekend getaway, McCook has something for everyone.

Start your day with a delicious breakfast at Sehnert’s Bakery and Bieroc Café. Known for its freshly baked goods and hearty meals, this local favorite is the perfect spot to fuel up before you start your adventure. Be sure to try their famous kolaches—a sweet pastry that’s a hit among both locals and tourists.

After breakfast, take a stroll along Norris Avenue, the town’s main thoroughfare. Here, you’ll find a variety of shops, boutiques, and galleries that offer unique souvenirs and locally made products. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Prairie Chicken Sculpture, a quirky landmark that pays homage to Nebraska’s native wildlife.

If you’re a nature enthusiast, head over to Kelley Park. This scenic park offers walking trails, picnic areas, and a lovely pond where you can relax and enjoy the great outdoors. It’s a wonderful spot to take a break and soak in the beauty of McCook.

For lunch, consider stopping by The Loop Brewing Company. This local brewery offers a fantastic selection of craft beers and a mouth-watering menu that includes burgers, pizzas, and more. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy some local flavors.

End your day with a visit to the Fox Theatre McCook, a beautifully restored historic theater that hosts a variety of events, from movies to live performances. It’s a great way to cap off your visit and experience a piece of McCook’s cultural heritage.

The Legacy and Future of McCook and Route 6

The legacy of Route 6 in McCook is not just a thing of the past—it continues to shape the town’s future. The highway has played a vital role in boosting the local economy by attracting tourists and fostering community development. Many local businesses thrive thanks to the steady stream of visitors traveling along Route 6.

Efforts to preserve and promote the historical significance of Route 6 are ongoing. The McCook Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations actively work to maintain the town’s heritage while also promoting modern amenities and attractions. These efforts ensure that McCook remains a vibrant destination for future generations.

One notable initiative is the annual Heritage Days Festival, which celebrates McCook’s rich history and its connection to Route 6. The festival features parades, live music, food vendors, and various activities that bring the community together. It’s a wonderful opportunity for residents and visitors alike to celebrate the town’s heritage and enjoy a fun-filled weekend.

Looking ahead, McCook is poised to continue its growth as a key destination along Route 6. With ongoing investments in infrastructure and tourism, the town aims to attract even more visitors and provide them with a memorable experience. The future of McCook and Route 6 is bright, promising continued prosperity and cultural enrichment.


McCook, Nebraska, and Route 6 share a unique and enduring relationship that has shaped both the town and the highway. From its historical roots to its modern-day attractions, McCook stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Route 6. Whether you’re a travel enthusiast, a local explorer, or a history buff, McCook offers a wealth of experiences that highlight the best of American history and culture.

We encourage you to visit McCook and experience the charm of this historical route firsthand. Explore its landmarks, enjoy its local flavors, and immerse yourself in its rich heritage. Share your experiences with us and help keep the spirit of Route 6 alive. Your adventure awaits!

Thank you for joining us on this journey through McCook, Nebraska, and Route 6. We hope to see you on the road soon!

Journey Through Time on Route 6 in Nebraska

Journey Through Time on Route 6 in Nebraska: Discover the Heart of America

Introduction: Unearthing the Treasures of Route 6

Ever wondered what it feels like to travel back in time while driving through the heartland of America? Route 6 in Nebraska offers just that—a unique journey through a tapestry of historical, cultural, and scenic wonders. As one of the oldest transcontinental highways, Route 6 is more than just a road; it’s a living museum that connects communities, tells stories, and invites travelers to explore the soul of Nebraska.

In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the captivating history of Route 6, from its origins and development to its modern significance. Expect to uncover hidden landmarks, hear personal travel stories, and learn about ongoing preservation efforts. Whether you’re a road trip enthusiast, a local traveler, or a history buff, this guide will inspire your next adventure on this historic highway.

The Historic Journey: Origins and Development

The Birth of Route 6

Route 6, also known as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, began its journey in 1926. Originally, it stretched from Provincetown, Massachusetts, to Long Beach, California, making it the longest U.S. highway at its peak. In Nebraska, Route 6 carved its path across the state, connecting small towns and vibrant cities.

Paving the Way

During the early 20th century, Route 6 played a crucial role in connecting rural communities to larger urban centers. It provided vital access for farmers, merchants, and travelers. The development of Route 6 was a significant engineering feat, involving the construction of bridges, paving of roads, and the establishment of roadside services like gas stations and motels.

The Role in Connecting Communities

Route 6 wasn’t just a road; it was a lifeline for many Nebraska communities. It facilitated trade, enabled easier travel, and fostered economic growth. Towns along the route flourished as travelers stopped to rest, refuel, and explore. The highway became a symbol of progress and connection, weaving a network of communities across the state.

Landmarks and Points of Interest

Iconic Attractions Along the Way

Route 6 is dotted with numerous landmarks that offer a glimpse into Nebraska’s rich history. One must-visit spot is the Harold Warp Pioneer Village in Minden, an expansive museum showcasing American innovation. Another iconic stop is the Nebraska Prairie Museum in Holdrege, where visitors can immerse themselves in the state’s agricultural heritage.

Lesser-Known Gems

Beyond the well-known attractions, Route 6 hides several lesser-known gems. The quaint town of Hastings boasts fascinating murals that tell the story of the town’s history. In Arapahoe, the C.A. Story Log Cabin is an intriguing glimpse into pioneer life. These hidden treasures provide a deeper, more personal connection to Nebraska’s past.

Natural Wonders

Route 6 isn’t just about man-made landmarks; it’s also home to stunning natural beauty. The Platte River, which runs parallel to the highway in parts, offers scenic views and recreational opportunities. Travelers can enjoy birdwatching, fishing, or simply relaxing by the riverbanks. The expansive fields and open skies of Nebraska create a picturesque backdrop for any road trip.

Personal Stories and Travel Experiences

Anecdotes from Locals

Traveling Route 6 wouldn’t be complete without hearing from the people who call it home. Locals like Mary, a lifelong resident of Hastings, share stories of growing up near the highway. “Route 6 was our main road,” she recalls. “I remember biking to the local diner with my friends every summer.”

Traveler Tales

Seasoned road trippers have their own tales to tell. John, an avid Route 6 explorer, shares his experience: “Driving through Nebraska on Route 6 is like stepping into history. Each town has its own charm and story. One of my favorite memories is camping near the Platte River and watching the sunset—it was magical.”

Cultural Insights

Personal stories also reveal the cultural richness of the Route 6 corridor. From annual festivals celebrating local heritage to unique culinary delights found in small-town diners, these experiences highlight the diverse and vibrant culture along the highway. Travelers are often surprised by the warmth and hospitality they encounter.

The Road Ahead: Modern Importance and Future Potential

Current Significance

Today, Route 6 continues to be an important artery for Nebraska. While modern highways and interstates have taken over some of the traffic, Route 6 remains a beloved route for those seeking a slower, more scenic journey. It offers an alternative to the rush of modern travel, inviting people to take their time and savor the experience.

Preservation Efforts

Communities along Route 6 are actively involved in preserving its historical and cultural significance. Local historical societies and organizations work tirelessly to maintain landmarks, restore old buildings, and promote the heritage of the highway. These efforts ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy and learn from this historic route.

Promoting Local Tourism

Route 6 holds immense potential for boosting local tourism. By highlighting the unique attractions and stories along the highway, Nebraska can attract more visitors eager to explore its hidden gems. Promoting Route 6 as a travel destination can stimulate economic growth in small towns and contribute to the preservation of local culture and history.

Conclusion: Embark on Your Route 6 Adventure

Route 6 in Nebraska is more than just a road; it’s a journey through time. From its historic origins and iconic landmarks to personal stories and modern significance, the highway offers a rich tapestry of experiences for travelers. Whether you’re a road trip enthusiast, a history buff, or simply someone looking for a scenic drive, Route 6 promises an adventure like no other.

So, why not plan your own road trip along this historic highway? Explore the hidden treasures, meet the locals, and immerse yourself in the unique culture of Nebraska. The road is waiting, and the journey is yours to discover.

Ready to hit the road? Download our Route 6 travel guide and start planning your adventure today! #Route6Adventure #NebraskaRoadTrip #ExploreNebraska

Why Shoemakers Travel and Service Center in Lincoln Nebraska Should Be on Your Road Trip Radar for Unique Experiences

Why Shoemakers Travel and Service Center in
Lincoln, Nebraska Should Be on Your Road Trip Radar for Unique Experiences!

Deciding whether to take a side trip on your road trip can often come down to what unique experiences you’re seeking. Gretna, NE, is in itself a delightful destination with its own local charm. Now, on to the question at hand – should your trip include a detour to Shoemaker’s Travel Center?

Here’s the lowdown on Shoemaker’s:

  • Local Eats: If your taste buds are screaming for some home-style, road-worthy grub, you’re in luck! Shoemaker’s is famous for its diner that serves up hearty meals. It’s a fantastic spot to mingle with locals and enjoy flavors you can’t just find anywhere.
  • Quirky Attractions: Shoemaker’s piques the curiosity with its distinct trucking memorabilia. It’s not your everyday stop; it’s a place with a story, something you could chat about around your next campfire.
  • Historical Landmarks: While it may not be a landmark in the traditional sense, Shoemaker’s does offer a slice of Americana and transport history. It’s a living relic celebrating the life of the road – truckers, travelers, and drifters alike.

Given that you aren’t wrestling with the clock, why not venture off the beaten path? Whether it’s to indulge in a slice of pie, snap a few unique pictures, or simply stretch your legs surrounded by a bit of history – Shoemaker’s Travel Center might just be a worthwhile jaunt.

No need to rush – take that side road, explore with abandon, and create stories to tell. After all, isn’t that what road-tripping is all about? Remember to check their hours and any COVID-19 guidelines to ensure a smooth experience. Happy travels!

#RoadTripRewards #LocalFlavor #OffbeatAdventures #TravelTales #HistoryOnTheRoad


Nebraska Landmarks

Iconic Landmarks Along Route 6

Traveling through Nebraska? Don’t miss out on these Nebraska Landmarks that capture the spirit of the Old West and the innovation of the pioneers. Check out our list and start planning your Route 6 adventure today!

    • Golden Spike Tower

    • Get an eagle’s eye view of the world’s largest railroad yard from the Golden Spike Tower. Discover railroad history and see the intricate ballet of trains.

    • Ready for an awesome visit? Head over to for all the info you need!

    • Don’t forget to share your views with us using #GoldenViews #TrainspottingInNE

    • Great Platte River Road Archway

    • Ever wondered how the West was won? Step into history as you walk beneath the stunning Archway monument spanning Interstate 80.

    • Plan your trip at and experience a slice of American history!

    • Remember to tag your moments #ArchwayAdventures #PathThroughHistory

    • Stuhr Museum

    • Go back in time at the Stuhr Museum, where you can explore hands-on exhibits of the pioneers’ life. A perfect spot for history buffs and families!

    • Check out to catch up on upcoming events and exhibits.

    • Use #StuhrMuseumMagic to share your best pioneer impersonation!


Nebraska Links

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Nebraska Links a list of communities on or near US Route 6

Arapahoe City of Arapahoe
  Arapahoe Chamber of Commerce
  Google Maps – Arapahoe, Nebraska 68922
Ashland Ashland
  Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum
  Ashland Gazette
  Google Maps – Ashland, NE 68003
Atlanta Atlanta
  Atlanta in Phelps County, NE
  Google Maps – Atlanta, Nebraska 68923
Axtell Axtell
  Google Maps – Axtell, Nebraska 68924
Bartley Bartley, Nebraska – Wikipedia
  Google Maps – Bartley, Nebraska 69020
Boys Town Boys Town
  Google Maps – Boys Town Nebraska
Cambridge City of Cambridge, Nebraska
  Google Maps – Cambridge, Nebraska 69022
Culbertson Culbertson
  Village of Culbertson
  Google Maps – Culbertson, Nebraska 69024
Dorchester Dorchester Times
  Google Maps – Dorchester, Nebraska 68343
Edison Edison
  Google Maps – Edison, Nebraska 68936
Emerald Emerald
  Emerald Populated Place Profile / Lancaster County, Nebraska Data
  Google Maps – Emerald, Nebraska 68528
Enders Enders
  Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area
  Google Maps – Enders, Nebraska 69027
Exeter Exeter
  General Information – Exeter, Nebraska
  Recreation and Tourism – Exeter, Nebraska
  Google Maps – Exeter, Nebraska 68351
Fairmont Fairmont
  History of Fillmore County
  Fairmont Army Air Field
  Google Maps – Fairmont, Nebraska 68354
Friend City of Friend
  Friend Historical Society/Warren Opera House
  Google Maps – Friend, Nebraska 68359
Funk Funk
  Google Maps – Funk, Nebraska 68940
Grafton Grafton
  Google Maps – Grafton, Nebraska 68365
Greenwood Welcome to Greenwood, Nebraska
  Google Maps – Greenwood, Nebraska 68366
Gretna Gretna, NE – Official Website
  The Gretna Area Chamber of Commerce
  Google Maps – Gretna, Nebraska 68028
Hamlet Hamlet
  Hamlet — Hayes County
  Google Maps – Hamlet, Nebraska 69040
Hastings City of Hastings, NE
  Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce
  Visit Hastings Nebraska
  Google Maps – Hastings, Nebraska 68901
Heartwell Heartwell
  Heartwell — Kearney County
  Google Maps – Heartwell, Nebraska 68945
Holbrook Holbrook
  Holbrook — Furnas County
  Google Maps – Holbrook, Nebraska 68948
Holdrege City of Holdredge
  Holdrege Chamber of Commerce, NE
  Nebraska Prairie Museum
  Google Maps – Holdrege, Nebraska 68949
Imperial City of Imperial, Nebraska
  Imperial Chamber of Commerce
  Imperial, Nebraska – Wikipedia
  Google Maps – Imperial, Nebraska 69033
Indianola Indianola
  Indianola, Nebraska – Wikipedia
  Google Maps – Indianola, Nebraska 69034
Inland Inland, Nebraska – Wikipedia
  Google Maps – Inland Nebraska 68954
Juniata Juniata, Nebraska – Wikipedia
  Juniata — Adams County
  Google Maps – Juniata, Nebraska 68955
Lamar Lamar, Nebraska – Wikipedia
  Google Maps – Lamar, Nebraska 69023
Lincoln City of Lincoln, NE
  Lincoln Chamber of Commerce
  Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau
  Google Maps – Lincoln, Nebraska 68516
McCook McCook, NE – Official Website
  McCook Economic Development Corporation
  McCook Chamber of Commerce – McCook Nebraska
  Google Maps – McCook, Nebraska 69001
Milford Milford, NE
  Google Maps – Milford, Nebraska 68405
Minden Minden, NE – Official Website
  Minden Opera House
  Minden Chamber of Commerce
  Pioneer Village – Minden, NE
  Google Maps – Minden, Nebraska 68959
Omaha City of Omaha
  Greater Omaha Chamber
  Visit Omaha, Nebraska
  The Durham Museum
  Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
  Google Maps – Omaha, Nebraska
Oxford Oxford
Palisade Palisade, Nebraska – Wikipedia
  Palisade — Hitchcock/Hayes Counties
  Palisade, Nebraska
  Google Maps – Palisade, Nebraska 69040
Saronville Saronville, Nebraska – Wikipedia
  August 14, 2020 Saronville, Nebraska tornado
  Google Maps – Saronville, Nebraska 68975
City of Sutton Sutton 
  Sutton Nebraska Area Chamber of Commerce
  History of Sutton Nebraska
  Sutton — Clay County
  Google Maps – Sutton, Nebraska 68979
Wauneta Wauneta
  Wauneta — Chase County
  Google Maps – Wauneta, Nebraska 69045
Waverly City of Waverly
  Economic Development – City of Waverly
  Waverly, Nebraska – Wikipedia
  Waverly — Lancaster County
  Google Maps – Waverly, Nebraska 68462