Come and experience Welsh-American history and culture in Wymore, Nebraska.
COVID-19 INFORMATION: In compliance with state and CDC guidelines, the Welsh Heritage Centre is currently open BY APPOINTMENT ONLY if staff are available. Please call 402-432-3656 for details. We look forward to reopening on our regular schedule (Sundays through Labor Day) once we are permitted.
For more of the story, watch our mini documentary, Pobl y Paith/People of the Prairie: the Welsh in Nebraska
You can also view our film on YouTube or Vimeo .
NEW! Take a virtual tour of the Great Plains Welsh Heritage Centre
We’re excited to share this informal virtual tour of our museum and archives in Wymore, Nebraska with Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project board president Gwenith Closs Colgrove and Janey Williams Rudder, vice president and volunteer docent.
NEW! Enjoy a Virtual Visit to Our Historic One-Room Schoolhouse
Come along for a virtual tour of the historic District 81 Schoolhouse built in 1906. Board vice president Janey Rudder tells the history of the schoolhouse attended by the children of Welsh and German immigrants. Board president Gwen Colgrove and volunteer Dean Cole, who were among the last students to attend the school before its closure in 1960, recall their memories of growing up in the “Little Welsh Schoolhouse on The Prairie.”
We’ve Been Busy Updating Our Exhibits & Library
Since last year, the board and volunteers of the Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project have been hard at work updating the exhibits and facilities at the organization’s sites in Wymore, Nebraska: the Welsh Heritage Centre, the Historic Pleasant View Schoolhouse; and the Railroad Museum.
Volunteers have given two areas inside the Welsh Heritage Centre a fresh coat of paint, and rehung historic textiles for easier viewing, including a quilt sewn in 1910 to raise funds for the Welsh church in Denver. Exhibits have been refreshed with additional interpretive panels, and new items are now displayed, most notably: an original map of Wales printed in 1610; a 1930s dollhouse modeled on “Y Bwthyn Bach,” the Welsh-built playhouse presented to Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret; and furniture and portraits from Wales donated by Welsh-born Nebraska agronomist Rosalind Morris. The research library has also been reorganized and volunteers continue to preserve and catalog items in the archives.
Just a few blocks away from the Welsh Heritage Centre, volunteer staff have been updating exhibits at the Railroad Museum, which commemorates Wymore’s years as a depot for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad where some of the community’s Welsh Americans worked. In nearby McCandless Park, an interior restoration of the Historic Pleasant View Schoolhouse was completed in 2019, returning the classroom to its appearance in the early 1900s when many children of Welsh immigrants attended the one-room school.
To expand its outreach the project is planning to create and share a series of “virtual tours” on video. Please check our website or follow the Great Plains Welsh Heritage Centre on Facebook for further developments. Although many events, including the North American Festival of Wales and National Eisteddfod in Wales have been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the board and volunteers look forward to participating in future events and fully reopening the Great Plains Welsh Heritage Centre for visitors and researchers as soon as the situation improves.
Historic Stained-Glass Window Installed at Welsh Heritage Centre
The Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project recently installed a stained-glass window donated by former members of the Bethany Welsh Presbyterian Church near Carroll, Nebraska. Reframed by craftsman David Jones and backlit to display its colors, the window takes pride of place in the auditorium at the projects Welsh Heritage Centre in Wymore. Bearing the congregation’s Welsh name, “Bethania,” and the dates 1889 and 1917, the window commemorates the first Welsh Calvinistic Methodist church established at Carroll and was originally installed in the larger church built to replace it in 1918. Milton and Jacqulyn Owens, who attended Bethany, donated the window to the Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project after the church was demolished in 2011. Both also appeared in the mini-documentary Pobl y Paith/People of the Prairie: The Welsh in Nebraska produced by the Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project in 2017, in which they recalled the history of the Bethany church. The window now takes pride of place in our auditorium.