Solon Borglum Historical Marker Near Cairo

Solon_Borglum_1902The Cairo Roots Museum in cooperation with the Hall County Historical Society and the Nebraska State Historical Society is planning to erect a historical marker five miles west of Cairo on the north side of Highway 2.

The marketer will be posted near the land where Solon Hannibal Borglum once lived and ranched.  It was there on his father’s section of land that he developed a love for the West, horses, and the cowboy way of life; and also a respect and admiration for Native Americans.

While living on the ranch he started taking art classes in Omaha.  It is documented from local newspaper accounts that Borglum carved a large image of a Native American in the Bluffs at St. Michael just west of the Borglum ranch.  That image was still visible as late as 1906.

In 1890 Solon Borglum’s brother Gutzon made a visit at the ranch on his way through Nebraska, and encouraged his brother to be an artist.  Gutzon had been studying art in California at the time and was on his way to Omaha to visit his parents.

Many years later, Gutzon Borglum became famous for sculpting Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Many believe he was first inspired to do such a monumental work after seeing his brother Solon’s carving in the Bluffs  a few miles west of Cairo.

Solon Borglum became world famous as a sculptor himself after studying art in Ohio and Paris.  he became known as the “Sculptor of the Prairie.”  he is known for his sculptures of cowboys, horses, Native Americans, etc.

The Cairo Roots Museum is seeking funding to erect the historical marker.  It will cost around $6,000.  The wording for the marker has been approved by the Nebraska State Historical Society and the Nebraska Department of Roads has agreed to provide a turnout on the north side of Highway 2.

solon borglum bookDr. Jean Lukesh has written Secret Brother the Story of Solon Borglum “Sculptor of the Prairie.”  Dr. Lukesh will be available to answer questions and autograph her book at the Follow the Rails Art Trail October 16 & 17th at the Cairo Community Center.  A donation box will be on site to collect free will offerings towards the purchase of the historical marker for Borglum site on Highway 2.  Details are available at

List of Activities at Cairo Community Center October 16 & 17

miletta vista Follow the Rails Art Trail

Cairo Community Center
Friday 2 pm- 7 pm and Saturday 10 am-7- pm

Download your Free Guidebook detailing the other 11 communities participating in this event.

Pawnee Art Center—will bring incredible Native American art and a speaker will be featured at this location.

La Mexicana Food Truck—featuring incredible Mexican food and handmade tortillas from their tortilla factory in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Simple Faith Farm—produces hand made soaps from goats’ milk and hand made items.

BillLoeffler—Blacksmithing demonstration and vending leather crafts, canes and knives.

Miletta Vista Winery—Wine tasting provided from the vineyards located near St. Paul, Nebraska.

Cairo Roots Museum—For more than 30 years, the Cairo Roots Society has collected and preserved historical objects and information related to Cairo and the surrounding area from the 1870’s to the present.

Dr. Jean Lukesh—Award winning author premiers her new book on the Borglum brothers road to Mt. Rushmore from Cairo, Nebraska.

ABC Daycare- ABC Child Care Center provides care to up to 72 children ages 6 weeks to 12 years.  ABC will be conducting a bake sale.  All funds raised will benefit the center.

Oak Creek Mercantile:
303 High Street
Hours:  Friday, 2pm to 7pm and Saturday, 10am-7pm

A unique collection of Nebraska historical artifacts and unique items for sale.

Valerie Vierk – Nebraska Author will be at the Oak Creek Mercantile during the event.



Follow the Rails Art Trail is Coming Bringing Food Trucks, Wine, and Art

follow the rails art trail logoFollow the Rails Art Trail is an event sponsored by Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway.  The Art and Culture show spans 272 miles of highway two between Grand Island and Alliance.  Eleven communities are participating in the Art Trail this year.

Cairo will host the event at the Cairo Community Center this year, October 16 &17.  Miletta Vista will provide wine tastings.   Pawnee Art Center will be presenting and displaying items from their gallery.  Jean Mohanna is gathering quilts for event.  Additional craftsmen and artist will be displaying their work.  Vendor space is still available in Cairo and in other towns along the Byway.

Follow the Rails Art trail is sponsored in part by Nebraska Junk Jaunt.

Contact Charity Adams at 308-379-9119 for more information on vending at this event or visit the web site at

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Youth Encouraged to Participate in Follow the Rails Art Trail Art Contest

follow the rails art trail youth contestThis is the fifth year for the annual ‘Follow the Rails Art Trail’ which traverses NE Hwy 2 from Grand Island to Alliance, known as the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway.  Follow the Rails Art Trail is a self-guided art and culture show featuring Nebraska artists and craftsmen.  Eleven communities provide venues to artists to demonstrate and display their work.  The event is October 16 -18th. 

This year the Follow the Rails Art Trail is adding a youth art contest component to encourage art appreciation among our area youth.   Area youth are encouraged to create their own art from round bales or small square bales.  Youth may participate as a part of their school or as individual groups with an adult sponsor.  

Bales will be placed along the Follow Rails Art Trail route to act as markers for travelers and bus tours during the event.   

Registration, rules and regulations, and prizes awarded to contest participants are located on the Follow the Rails Art Trail web site at  Questions about this event can be directed to Charity Adams 308-379-9119 or