Nebraska’s Coolest Ghost Towns: A Guide to History and Adventure

If you’re looking for a unique adventure in the Midwest, consider exploring the ghost towns of Nebraska. These abandoned settlements give a glimpse into the state’s past and offer plenty of opportunities for exploration and photography.

What is a Ghost Town?

A ghost town is a term used to describe a town or settlement that has been abandoned and left to decay. These towns were usually established during mining booms, railroad construction, or homesteading movements. Once these industries declined or moved on, the towns often experienced a decline in population and eventually became abandoned.

Why Visit Ghost Towns?

Visiting ghost towns can be a thrilling experience for history buffs, photographers, and adventure-seekers. You can explore the historic buildings, take photographs of the abandoned structures, and learn about the region’s past. However, remember that ghost towns can be dangerous and you should take precautions when visiting.

Some of Nebraska’s Best Ghost Towns

If you’re interested in exploring Nebraska’s coolest ghost towns, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best spots to visit.


Ong is located in Clay County and was named after Judge Amos B. Ong. The town was established in 1879 but never had a population of more than 150. Ong was originally an agricultural community, but the Great Depression forced many residents to seek work elsewhere. Today, you can explore the old bank and school, as well as other buildings that have been preserved.

Swede Home

Swede Home is located in Howard County and was founded by Swedish immigrants in the late 1800s. The town was originally called Svea but was changed to Swede Home. The town had a population of around 350 in the early 1900s. Today, you can explore the church and schoolhouse and take photographs of the abandoned buildings.


Lewellen was founded in 1883 and is located in Garden County. The town was originally a railroad station but quickly became a hub for homesteaders. Today, you can explore the old hotel, jail, and post office.


Atlanta is located in Phelps County and was founded in 1885. The town was once a thriving agricultural community, but by the 1940s, many of the residents had moved away. Today, you can explore the abandoned houses, the old schoolhouse, and the lone church that still stands.


Brownville is located in Nemaha County and was established in 1854. It was once a major river town and had a population of more than 700 in the late 1800s. However, floods and the decline of steamboat travel led to the town’s decline. Today, you can explore the old homes, businesses, and churches, as well as the Brownville Museum.

Tips for Visiting Ghost Towns

If you’re planning a visit to a ghost town, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, be respectful of the property and the history. Do not remove any artifacts or disturb the buildings. Additionally, be aware of potential hazards such as unstable structures, rusty nails, and broken glass. Finally, make sure you have enough water, food, and supplies for your trip, as many ghost towns are in remote areas.

In Conclusion

Nebraska’s ghost towns offer a unique blend of history and adventure. Whether you’re interested in exploring abandoned buildings or taking photographs of historic sites, these towns offer something for everyone. Remember to be respectful of the history and take precautions for your safety when visiting these fascinating sites.

Scroll to Top