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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An Older Post Office

I discovered another early frontier settlement and post office while going through some old maps called 'Blakesly'.  I found it on a 1884 map which represents a period when Bennington was only someone's dream.

It was located just south and a little west of the present site of
Bennington on old Military Highway.  Old Military was the first government road in Nebraska which was surveyed in 1857.  Prior to that it was a wagon trail commonly known as the "Mormon Trail." Military Road was named after its purposed user; the Military since it connected Fort Omaha with Fort Kearney in the West. 

Military Road started in Omaha, ran through Benson, Irvington and then to Elk City before dropping to the Elkhorn-Platte Valley and proceeding to Fremont.  Blakesly was referred to as a 'hamlet' in one reference which suggests it had several buildings.  It was located about half way between two larger settlements; Elk City and Irvington.

No additional information could be found at this time concerning the extent of the settlement but it is likely it had a general store, a blacksmith shop along with the Post Office.   Immediately to the
East was one of the earliest farms in the area, the Summerhill Farm and the rural school, District 26.  Quite possibly, this was all one scattered community.

Blakelsly and Hayes were literally early 'rest stops' where travelers could stop, get repairs, provisions and take care of their horses.  

Douglas County (1884)

Another mysteries, secretes and 'ghost towns' are in our neighborhood?  Know of any?  If so, let us know. 

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