LINOMA BEACH . . yesteryear . . 1926, and today 2013 !
What began as a real estate development project by the owners of a sand-gravel quarry,
soon to be depleted, and the owner of a lumber company, along . . then Highway US 38 . . .
known as the Detroit-Lincoln-Highway . . . then & now US 6 . . .
in 1924, has evolved into many memories for the generations of residents of Ashland NE,
where folks from Lincoln, Omaha and far beyond
have learned to swim, courted, camped, spent their weekends,
family vacations, enjoyed wonderful lobster dinners,
and have danced the night away, etc. . . by Nebraska's lighthouse !
Highway US 38 ran across the Platte River . . north of the where the current Highway US 6 runs now,
past the "Rifle Range", as it was known then . . the National Guard camp now, south on 14th Street,
west on Silver Street and south on a road west of town, across Salt Creek & then on southwest.
After numerous floods of the Platte River and Salt Creek, resuting in the rebuilding of several bridges,
the highway and the railroad relocated their bridges and routes to the current route seen today.
We will be doing a 'page' on 'Bridges of Ashland' soon
It has now become a site listed on the National Register of Historic Places, because of the iconic lighthouse, erected in 1939.
Located along . . what is now Historic US Highway 6 . . since 1927
it has begun a brand new life in 2010, with new local owners
who hope to restore it to original beauty and beyond.
FIRST . . a bit of the history:
Linoma Realty Company, co-founded by Lawrence G. Simpson
of the Chicago Lumber Company of Omaha
and Harry E. Schellberg of Lyman - Richey Sand Company,
established a "pleasure resort" in 1924
at Linoma Beach between Lincoln and Omaha (hence the name) as one of its main projects.
The resort amenities included a beach, cabins, cafe, dance pavilion, bus and train rides to and from
the beach, and evening entertainment including membership to the Ben Ahamo dance club
(believed to have been started by Linoma Realty Company).
Linoma Beach also offered bathing suits to rent.
Circa 1925 Ramsay Chapman managed Linoma Beach,
and in 1926 Jerry Farrar oversaw operations.
Though the beginning and end dates of each manager's tenure are not apparent,
Gary Life Sandy was the manager for the remainder of Linoma Beach's glory days (until 1931).
During the off-season, Milo Snodgrass cared for Linoma Beach by guarding and maintaining the property,
and collecting money from those who took ice from the lake.
Additionally, Linoma Realty Company leased land for people to build cabins, arranged many of the dances
and entertainment acts for the dance hall, and leased the cafe for restaurateurs to manage.
The cafe was first operated by Alfred Jones in 1924.
It is important to note that Mr. Jones was an African American.
The Linoma Realty Company may have been ahead of the times by hiring him,
a minority, in a prominent position at the resort.
This collection relates to the Linoma Realty Company, a real estate agency land brokerage company and to its management of Linoma Beach, a resort complex located on an inlet of the Platte River.
The records include correspondence, newspaper clippings, financial records, handbills
and posters advertising scheduled entertainers, product literature, drawings, blueprints, and legal documents.
Other companies associated with the collection include: Chicago Lumber Company of Omaha,
Inland Development Syndicate, Lyman-Richey Sand Company and Beacon View.
Based on the documentation it can be assumed that prior to 1924,
the Linoma Realty Company was called Inland Development Syndicate.
grateful acknowledement to the Nebraska State Historical Society for the information provided, above.
^ ^ ^ ^ ^
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Please enjoy the " History of Linoma Beach "
. . above & below . .
We're going to take an intermission to share
WHAT IS HAPPENING AT LINOMA for 2013 !
following new owners of Linoma Beach in 2010, and extensive renovation by them ;
LINK > " Insurance Issues close Linoma Beach "
It was announced on May 16th 2013 that
insurance issues necessitated the closing
of public beach access for the foreseeable future
( see the article from the Ashland Gazette
(link above) of 16MAY1013 for more detail)
Linoma Lighthouse LLC, the owner / manager of the property
has a webpage to learn more, make reservations for campsites, etc.:
LINK >Linoma Lighthouse LLC
stay tuned to this page for UPDATES & announcements
scroll on down for more HISTORY of LONOMA BEACH
PHOTOS below are from several collections:
Photos of LINOMA BEACH above - left - on the edge of Historic US Highway 6, (then US 38) - circa 1925
- right - a Photo believed to have been taken in 1950 - a new 1950 Pontiac according to captions
Where ASHLAND kids learned to swim . . for many years ! !
We have found some photos, showing kids that were taken to swimming lessons at Linoma
The photos are dated 1949 - however ; they were NOT in Gazette archives of 1949 . .
The photo with the "smudge", identies part of the kids
we are searching for names of others ?
We have found out that Willard "Coffee" Spech, as the kids called him,
from Spech Produce; located where the current Dairy Cone is now,
used to make 6 trips daily transporting kids to & from swimming lessons.
We have also learned that Louie Hauschild, owner of Hauschild Trucking,
did transport in later years.
Lloyd Martin was Chairman - he was Marilyn (Kolb) Wright's Uncle.
Do you recognize any of the "kids" in this picture ? ?
"Pictured above are members of the 1954 Ashland swimming classes sponsored each year
jointly by the American Legion Post 129 (Ashland) & the American Red Cross.
In the lower picture are the 70 beginners and also the instructors standing in the back row.
The upper photo includes 31 intermediate swimmers, four swimmers and eight
who are in the advanced swimming class for a total of 113 registered from Ashland.
Lessons were given Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week at Linoma Beach.
There were no charges of any kind, either for the beach or for the instruction.
Blaine Ward of Lincoln, qualified Red Cross instructor, was in charge.
He was assisted by Stan Ebner and John Wilkinson of Lincoln, Miss Claire Conley of Nebraska City,
& Mrs. Lyle Gearhart of Ashland. Raymond Starkey helped the first week until he left for Naval training.
Miss Karen Campbell and Miss Alice Ann Raikes also assisted with the beginners.
On Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays swimmers from Sarpy County including the towns
of Gretna, Papillion and Springfield, were at the beach for lessons. There were 17 from Gretna,
68 from Papillion and 49 from Springfield. On Fridays, when all the towns were there,
the number reached a grand total of 247. Friday, july 2, 1954, marks the end of four weeks
of swimming instruction for this season. Credit is due to all cooperating groups that made the
program possible and Linoma Beach for making its facilities available at no cost. "
reprinted with grateful acknowledgement from The Ashland Gazzette, July 1, 1954 acrchives.
Do you recognize any of the "kids" in this picture ? ?
The advertisement, below, was placed in Ashland's centennial publication;
First 100 Years - Ashland NE - 1857 - 1957
The photo above & the advertisement was taken in 1957.
Ken and Flossie (Chambers) Gaines lived on site & managed Linoma Beach for many years.
Flossie was the youngest of the Chambers family of Ashland. Her sister
Merna owned Chambers Hardware, opened in 1922 at 123 North 14th, for many years
Some other photos collected from various sources
Photo above of Jim Hemke, husband of Shirley (Raikes) Hemke, take in 1960
Shirley (Raikes) Hemke writes that her Father,
Forrest L. Raikes, owned a cabin at Beacon View Cottages.
The MURAL at the right was created in the new SHOEMAKERS TRAVEL CENTER in Lincoln
located on the SOUTH side of Historic US 6 at West 148th Street
For you old-timers . . 148th Street was the western access to Lincoln Air Force Base
Historic US 6 in that area is also known as "West "O" Street.
other photos, below, dates unknown
As we begin the story . . the history of LINOMA BEACH
. . We are very grateful for the information provided:
Stories & pictures that were made available by current Ashland residents,
former residents and their families . . some from folks far far away.
Some of the stories have been featured in articles by Suzie Nelson of The Ashland Gazette
We gratefully acknowledge The Ashland Gazzette and Suzi Nelson for her contributions, as well as
the NE Sate Historical Society & many others who have helped make this page of history possible
While LINOMA BEACH is actually in Sarpy County, it is very much a part of Ashland History
as the stories and remembrances described on this page will show in great detail.
Linoma Beach was opened in 1926 by co-founders Lawrence Simpson and Harry Shellberg.
Simpson was in the lumber business and Schellberg owned Lyman-Richey Sand Company.
The name, LINOMA, was chosen because of the proximity . . about 1/2 way . . between Lincoln & Omaha.
(see complete history of Linoma Realty - Inland Development Syndicate, above.)
They created the “pleasure resort” as one of the main projects
of their development company, Linoma Realty.
Cabins were developed on the North side of the railroad tracks
- in an area known as Beacon View Cottages.
The lake began as a sand and gravel pit more than 100 years ago.
Lyman Richey bought the land in 1907 and quarried there for eight years
creating small lakes fed by underground springs.
In 1924, the Gazette described the bathhouse as follows:
“A model 'sanitary bath house' was constructed.
Plate glass mirrors, electric lights and many conveniences furnish the bathhouse."
An existing farmhouse was converted into a restaurant.
A veranda that surrounded the structure, pictured above became the dance floor.
Chicken dinners were offered for 25 cents.
The area was easily accessible by car or train.
The Detroit-Lincoln-Denver Highway, then US Highway 38 wound its way
through downtown Ashland (now 'Historic Us Highway 6 ) and brought visitors by the carload !
Lawrence Simpson, one of the developers, felt train access was necessary
and he convinced the railroad to stop at Linoma.
A platform was built and as many as three trains a day stopped on Saturdays and Sundays.
The lighthouse was not built until 1939.
Its original function was as a gasoline filling station and landmark for travelers.
In the May 24, 1939 Gazette, the lighthouse was described as a building “octagonal in shape”
built of steel lattice and stucco and illuminated by flood lights. . . and yes, the 'lighthouse' worked !
Shirley (Raikes) Hemke recalls that " it flashed dot-dot-dash for 'V for Victory' for World War II, "
“The building will boast a tower which will rise 100 feet above the parking area,” the article stated.
“This tower will have a circular stairway and present plans are that it will be open to the public
as an observation tower from which may be seen fine views of the Platte valley.”
In research for this page, we learned from several Ashland residents that
"my Dad", "my Grandpa", "my Uncle" actually worked on the construction of the lighthouse.
FOUR of the articles describing the past & the future of LINOMA BEACH
were published by the Ashland Gazette in 2010
We wish to thank Suzi Nelson and the staff of the Ashland Gazette
for these stories of significant history
We have reprinted them here with grateful acknowledgement to the Ashland Gazette
LINOMA BEACH - US Highway 6 @ the Platte River
between ASHLAND & GRETNA NE
A HAPPENING & FUN PLACE since the 1920's
This page much more will be added SOON!
If you have information and or pictures, we would appreciate your submissions !
Please send them to: