A year-long celebration is planned

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to put your thinking caps on. We need ideas -- lots of ideas -- to help make plans for celebrating the 125th anniversary of McCook.

The occasion is drawing near. McCook took shape in 1882, soon after the Chicago, Quincy & Burlington Railroad selected a site between Indianola and Culbertson, near the tiny settlement of Fairview.

Bolstered by hundreds of railroad jobs, the new town of McCook grew quickly, topping 1,000 population in the first year, and growing into the region's center for commerce and culture in the years that followed.

Throughout the town's history, every 25 years have been marked with large celebrations: the Silver Anniversary in 1907; the Golden Anniversary in 1932; the Diamond Jubilee in 1957; and the Centennial in 1982.

Now, it's time to start planning for the 125th Anniversary Celebration in 2007.

Talk about the upcoming observance has begun among members of the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce and the McCook Heritage Days Committee.

"We are thinking about the 125th as a year-long event, with all segments of the community taking part, Harsh said. "Our hope is that when groups plan events they tie them in with the celebration."

Jerda Garey, chair of the Heritage Days celebration, sounded a similar theme. "We're hoping to set up a web site to list all 2007 events as part of the 125th celebration," Garey said.

Adding to the celebration will be the fact that several businesses will be celebrating special anniversaries in 2007. Two of the enterprises -- Barnett Lumber of McCook and Lord's Hardware of Indianola -- will join McCook in celebrating their 125th anniversary, while the McCook National Bank, established in 1907, will be observing its centennial year.

Sehnert's Bakery, founded in McCook by Walt and Jean Sehnert in 1957, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. This follows the golden anniversary of Hershberger's Music Co., which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

"2007 also will be a special occasion for my class," Garey said. The class, which graduated from McCook High School in 1957, will be holding its 50th reunion.

Your ideas are needed to make the 125th Anniversary a special observance for McCook. You are encouraged to send your suggestions to the McCook Chamber of Commerce. You may call 345-3200; write Box 337, McCook, NE 69001 or e-mail the chamber at info@aboutmccook.com.

McCook's 125th Anniversary is a great opportunity to celebrate. If we start now and work together, 2007 will be a grand observance of McCook's past, present and future.

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