Rock Creek Trail Days returns to Rock Creek Station June 1 and 2

FAIRBURY – The annual ‘Rock Creek Trail Days’ is being held at the Rock Creek Station State Historical Park this weekend near Fairbury.

The event is going on June 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and both days have a packed schedule.

A number of historical interpretations will be taking place , from Pony Express runs, rope and rug making, hawk (ax) throwing, blacksmithing and plenty more.

There’ll also be a buffalo stew cookout on Saturday evening at 7 p.m., with tickets costing $9 for adults and $6 for children ages 13 and under.

Rock Creek Station Park superintendent Jeffery Barger says the entire weekend gives families a great chance to be outdoors and enjoy what the park has to offer.

“We get them out to see Nebraska in a big picture,” Barger said. “We can vary for whatever interest they want. We have six miles of hiking trails. If they’re into the fauna and all of that, we have lots and lots of natural prairie grasses and forbs and flowers.”

Rock Creek Station was a stage and Pony Express station established in 1857 that became notorious one fateful day in 1861. One July afternoon, James Butler Hickok killed David McCanles there, and began his bloody career as a gunfighter.

Development of Rock Creek Station as a state historical park began in 1980. Archaeologists investigated and excavated sites of two ranches dating back to the 1858-1860 time period. They determined building sites and recovered period artifacts. Some buildings have since been reconstructed.

Today, Rock Creek is a state historical park encompassing 350 acres of prairie hilltops, timber-studded creek bottoms, and rugged ravines.

Deep ruts, carved by the many wagons that traveled the Oregon and California Trails, remain visible at the park. The history and scenery draw visitors in from all across the state.

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