Step Back in Time at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park

  • Once a four-room home on a treeless prairie, Arbor Lodge is today a 52-room mansion surrounded by hundreds of trees, flowers, and shrubs.
  • The mansion's sun parlor features floor-to-ceiling leaded glass and an ornate Tiffany skylight.
  • Most of the mansion's furnishings are Victorian and Empire styles. Elegant, hand-carved woodwork is found throughout the home.
  • Today, J. Sterling Morton's mission to encourage people to plant trees lives on in Nebraska City and around the world.
  • A recent addition to Arbor Lodge State Historical Park, this tree-themed playground welcomes the youngest visitors to the park. Outdoor and sheltered picnic areas are also nearby.
  • Today, Arbor Lodge is more than a historical showpiece. It also serves as a one-of-a-kind backdrop for weddings and a unique space for private dinners and parties; to inquire about private special events at Arbor Lodge, please call (402) 873-8705. Photo credit: Ottemann Photography.

Arbor Lodge State Historical Park in Nebraska City, Nebraska, is the original estate of J. Sterling Morton—the founder of Arbor Day.

It was on this property in 1872 that J. Sterling and his wife, Caroline, initiated their vision for a greener, more tree-filled world—a challenge to people everywhere to plant trees so desperately needed. It is estimated that nearly one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872.

The showpiece of this 72-acre park is the historic mansion, with its 52 rooms and countless historic artifacts belonging to the Morton Family. The park also includes an arboretum, Italian terraced garden, log cabin, carriage house, walking trails, more than 200 varieties of lilacs and a charming whispering bench.

The park grounds are open year-round; a park permit is not required to enter. The mansion is open for tours and special events under the direction of the Arbor Day Foundation.

To schedule a group tour of the mansion, call

To plan a wedding or meeting at the mansion, call

Arbor Lodge State Historical Park is managed by Arbor Day Farm and owned by the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission redirect.

Ready to explore all that Arbor Day Farm has to offer? Plan your visit today.