For those who’ve never been to this Nebraskan city, you might be wondering, what is Fort Omaha? It’s not a castle, but it does have some interesting history. The Fort was built in 1863 and is comprised of six 19th-century structures. Fort Omaha is significant in US history and has earned many historical designations. It is located at 5730 N 30th St, Omaha, NE 68111. The Crook House has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Fort Omaha Guardhouse was designated a Landmark in 1982.
General Crook House is a beautiful Italianate style home completed in 1879, and is now the museum of the Douglas County Historical Society. Inside, you can see 19th century Victorian-style furniture, military exhibits, and the offices of the Historical Society. It’s located at 5730 North 30th Street, in the center of Fort Omaha. This historic site has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1969, and you can visit it for free.
The Fort opened as a mustering point during the Spanish-American War and served as a military balloon school. In World War I, it was the birthplace of American air warfare. Fort Omaha housed several balloon companies and experimented with new forms of military aviation. During World War II, Fort Omaha became a prisoner of war camp in Nebraska. The Italian Army interned here. The Fort was also used as a prison during the War in Europe.
The post was originally called Camp Sherman, named after Lt. General William Tecumseh Sherman. It was later renamed Omaha Barracks. In 1878, the Department of the Platte moved back to Omaha. Fort Omaha’s garrison consisted of ten companies of the 2nd Infantry. In 1896, the garrison moved to Fort Crook, south of Omaha in Bellevue, Nebraska.
For more information, visit the Fort Omaha Historical Center in Omaha. Located on Fort Street in Omaha, Nebraska, the Fort was originally built as a military fort. After WWII, it became a personnel center for the U.S. Navy. It remained in military use until 1974, when Omaha Metropolitan Community College began using the Fort. Today, the college respects the historic parade grounds and exterior brick buildings. Once again, you can enjoy the history of this historic site while learning something new.
A visit to the former fort is worth it. It’s located at the Metro Community College campus and many of its buildings are still standing with historical descriptions. You can walk the grounds and listen to the sounds of trumpets and taps as they retire the American flag. You’ll be able to hear these sounds throughout the fort as you stroll through the area. It’s a very interesting and educational place to visit in Omaha, NE.
Before World War I, Fort Omaha served as a testing ground for hot air balloons. During World War I, it became the Balloon School, under the leadership of Captain Charles Chandler. The balloonists trained here in map reading and charting troop movements. They then relayed their information through a switchboard. The Caquot balloon was the best of the stationary balloons and utilized tail fins to stabilize their flight, along with cables to tether the balloon to the ground.