Arbor Lodge State Historical Park in Nebraska City, Nebraska, is the original estate of J. Sterling Morton—the founder of Arbor Day.
It was on this property in 1872 that J. Sterling and his wife, Caroline, initiated their vision for a greener, more tree-filled world—a challenge to people everywhere to plant trees so desperately needed. It is estimated that nearly one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872.
The showpiece of this 72-acre park is the historic mansion, with its 52 rooms and countless historic artifacts belonging to the Morton Family. The park also includes an arboretum, Italian terraced garden, log cabin, carriage house, walking trails, more than 200 varieties of lilacs and a charming whispering bench.
The park grounds are open year-round; a park permit is not required to enter. The mansion is open for tours and special events under the direction of the Arbor Day Foundation.