Willa Cather Memorial Prairie, Red Cloud

#9 of 16 in Wildlife in Nebraska
Nature / Park · Hidden Gem · Wildlife Area
The Willa Cather Foundation was founded in 1955, through the efforts of a small group of volunteers in Red Cloud, Nebraska, led by Mildred R. Bennett. Today the Foundation is directed by a thirty-member Board of Governors that includes nationally recognized scholars, teachers, and business and professional people from throughout the United States. The Cather Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting understanding and appreciation of the life, time, settings, and work of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Willa Cather.

For the first 20 years of its existence, the Cather Foundation concentrated on preserving and restoring sites important to the life and works of Willa Cather. Today, six of the restored properties are owned by the Nebraska State Historical Society, but managed by the Cather Foundation. These sites are the Garber Bank Building, the Cather Childhood Home, the Grace Episcopal Church, the St. Juliana Catholic Church, the Burlington Depot, and the Pavelka farm, located fourteen miles north of Red Cloud. In addition, the Cather Foundation owns and manages the 1885 Red Cloud Opera House, the Baptist Church, the Harling House, and the Moon Block. Taken together, the Cather Foundation historic site has the largest number of national historic designated buildings devoted to one author in the United States. In addition, the Cather Foundation owns and manages the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie, a 608-acre tract of unbroken prairie located five miles from Red Cloud.

The Willa Cather Foundation offices are presently located in the newly restored 1885 Red Cloud Opera House. A bookstore within the Opera House carries all of Cather's works as well as many books written by others about Willa Cather. Art and educational exhibits regularly hang in the gallery, located on the main level of the Opera House. The Willa Cather Foundation is an Affiliate of the American Writers Museum.
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Willa Cather Memorial Prairie reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
23 reviews
  • Absolutely worth a visit. It is right at the state line, if heading south from Red Cloud it will be on your right but is hard to see from the road. If you reach Kansas you've gone too far. Simple...  more »
  • It's beautiful to view the prairie, but this little stopping place offers nothing more than a viewing area and some signage...I could not find any trail to go on (perhaps any trail was overgrown...  more »
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