A Generational Idea
It all started with a dream, a passion, and God given craftsmanship dating back to 1969. In 1969, Gerald Anthony Mick and his wife Patricia moved away from the original homestead near the Platte River to a small acreage harboring minimal vegetation for acres. Besides a few large Eastern Cottonwoods and Eastern Red cedars on the property and enough thistle, buffalo bur, and sandburs to choke full grown mules, the acreage looked pretty bleak.
Grandpa broke the ground in early 1970 when he began staking and building what would soon become his family’s home. When I sat down to ask grandma how it all started as far as the house was concerned, she said, “Jerry sat me down one evening and asked what I wanted in my house. I told him, ‘Well, I would like an A frame house with large support beams and something that resembles little house on the prairie, or even a small Cottage.’ He responded, ‘Do you know how much wasted space there is in the loft of an A frame house?’ Sure enough grandpa made my dreams come true and then some.”
On April 30th of 1997, Gerald Anthony Mick opened what is today known as OxBow Pioneer Memorial Park. I was about 3 or 4 at the time and living in Sheridan, Wyoming. My father and I were on a trip back to Nebraska in search of a home, while my mother was still back in Wyoming with my two sisters waiting for a house to open up in Nebraska. I went to the grand opening of OxBow Pioneer Memorial park and can remember it as if it were yesterday. Of course I didn’t know what really was happening, but I remember hundreds of cars lined the property to see the ruts the covered wagons made a couple hundred years ago. Men and women showed up on horses and buggies from all over Nebraska. Grandpa made speeches about our Nebraska history, took photos, and sipped on dark black coffee resembling motor oil all day long.