By Lynne Ireland
Cowboys are the stuff of myth, legend, pulp fiction, Hollywood and history! This American icon is widely recognized around the world, and Nebraskans’ part in this story is revealed through historic gear, photographs, music and more at the “Nebraska Cowboys: Lives, Legends, and Legacies” exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln, Neb. Some of Nebraska’s best cowboy artifacts, borrowed from museums across the state, have been rounded up for the display.
“Nebraska Cowboys: Lives, Legends, and Legacies” will tell multiple stories: the Vaquero origins of American cowboys; brands and branding; cowboy gear and food; cowboy guns; and Nebraska saddle makers. Visitors can learn about cowboys unintentionally immortalized in penitentiary mug shots or by wooden markers that once stood over their lonely graves; see a rare plastic saddle manufactured in the 1940s by a company based in Lusk, Wyo., and Scottsbluff and be awed by an elaborate prize saddle won by PRCA rodeo champion Scott “Ote” Berry of Gordon.