Coryell Park Is Selected as One of Five Hidden Treasures in Nebraska
Auburn resident Mary Kruger nominated Coryell Park, located southwest of Auburn in Nemaha County, for a Hidden Treasure Award.
The award was sponsored by the Heritage Nebraska organization and the intent was to spotlight areas in the state of Nebraska that are true gems, but very few people know about. Coryell Park seemed to fit the criteria perfectly.
Kaleb and Debbie Bruggeman and Don and Mary Kruger accepted the award given to Coryell Park at the Hidden Treasure Awards Event at York earlier this summer.
Coryell is located six miles West of Auburn on Highway #136 and then three miles North on a county road. The Coryell family homesteaded the Coryell Park area in June of 1867. Their covered wagon served as the first Coryell home and commemorates the spirit and values of early Nebraska settlers.
Coryell is unique in that it is open to the public for use, free of charge. The Coryells’ only request was perfect decency, perfect behavior, no profanity, no vulgarity and no liquor.
The homestead was converted into a park in 1934, with the intent to provide recreation and culture to the area. The park continues to attract thousands of visitors from all over the country each year.
The park’s attractions include a Shrine that was constructed to house the Jerusalem stone and the church bell. The Jerusalem stone was purchased by the Coryells from what is known as Solomon’s Quarries, some 600 feet under the City of Jerusalem. (More information on this attraction is available at the site). The bell was purchased by the Coryells from the Baptist Church in Brock. The Treasure House exhibits art from many of the leading art galleries, as well as the famous world cruise doll collection from the 1930s, the cane collection of Mr. L.L. Coryell, and memorabilia of the Coryell 70 oil business. The Homestead Shelter was built in 1992 and provides for a large gathering place for visitors. The Chapel was donated to the public in 1936. The custom-made five-ply oak pews, cobblestones from Nemaha County limestone, clay-burnt tile and a memorial window, for Miss Lorraine Leland Coryell blend into a beautiful setting for many weddings throughout the year.
The Mausoleum was erected in 1949 and is the final resting place of the Coryells. The Asparagus Bed is just south of the Homestead Shelter and originated from an asparagus root that was brought in the covered wagon by Mrs. Coryell in 1867.
Mr. And Mrs. Kaleb Bruggeman are the caretakers of the park and live, year round, with their children in the Coryell home to the North side of the Park. Besides the summer and fall activities, the Bruggeman’s decorate the park with attractive Christmas lighting. The Park is maintained by a trust fund set up by the Coryells in 1942 and tax-deductable donations by park patrons. The park is open from April 15 to October 15 every year.
The Coryell Park is truly one of the best kept secrets and a real Hidden Treasure. Nemaha County is very lucky that the Coryell family created such a treasure.