“the oldest standing structure in Lincoln's original plat”
Dedicated as the Nebraska Statehood Memorial in 1968, the Kennard House is the oldest standing structure in Lincoln's original plat. At the 1869 italianate home of Nebraska's first Secretary of State, Thomas P. Kennard, you will learn about the excitement of creating a new state capital, and see the formality of Victorian lifestyles. The oldest residence in Lincoln has been restored to the 1870s with tours available year round. In 1869 Nebraska was a newly formed state and the capital city of Lincoln an isolated village on the prairie. To demonstrate their own confidence in the future of the prairie capital and to instill confidence in others, the three principal officials of the state government constructed imposing masonry houses. These three buildings of permanence were in a town otherwise uncertain of its future economy, even of its future physical existence. Of these three buildings, only the residence of Secretary of State Thomas P. Kennard still stands. It is the oldest house within the original plat of Lincoln. In 1966-68 it was dedicated as the Nebraska Statehood Memorial. Renovated and partially restored, it remains a monument to all the men and women who had the optimism and courage to build a future on the treeless prairies of Nebraska. The Kennard House hosts hundreds of Nebraska adults and school children each year who come to learn more about Nebraska statehood, the location of the capital, the story of the commissioner's homes, Thomas P. Kennard, life in 1870s Lincoln, Italianate architecture, the renovation of the Kennard House, and more. Special events are held each year at the house. In December the house is decorated for a Victorian Christmas complete with a tree decorated with candles, examples of toys and presents, and Christmas cards from the 1870s. A holiday open house is held every December.
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Thomas P Kennard House
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