If you are a history buff or simply a new resident to Douglas County intrigued about the history of this area, there is a fantastic virtual place to get your fill of the past. The Douglas County Historic Preservation webpage lets you peruse the history of Douglas County from the comfort of your own home.
There, one can learn about the fascinating history dating back hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of years. This is a great option for those with small children, senior citizens and/or those with disabilities who cannot easily move around a big museum. Instead they can take a “tour”, but at their own pace.
The formal history of Douglas County can be traced back over a century and a half on the site. Settlers first came here in the late 1850’s as word spread about the discovery of gold and other natural resources. However, people inhabited the area long before then and can be traced back further to prehistoric times because of tools and artifacts that were discovered.
But if you have the ability and want to explore, a self-guided tour of Douglas County’s early beginnings can be done by simply printing out the Heritage Hunt Brochure, jumping in your car, and driving to the 15 different area historical sites. Likewise, a Douglas County Historic Resource Map can be accessed, which includes the locations of settlements, railroads, cemeteries and stage stops.
The tour is a great idea for groups and families because it can be used as a learning tool for children when they are out of school for the summer.
Another important piece of information you will find on the website is landmark information. County landmarks are an integral part of any town, city or county, because they preserve the historical, cultural, or architectural integrity of buildings. And with the recent boom in development in Douglas County, preserving our historical landmarks is an essential piece of understanding how we developed.
Other important content can be found at the actual Virtual History Museum, which includes several different exhibits to click on and “tour.” For example, by clicking on the Gold Rush to Settlement: 1858-1950 Exhibit, you will find pictures and descriptions from the time period, like a Gold Mining Pan, a Wheelchair, medical equipment like a stethoscope and Doctor’s Bag, and a Food Chopper from 1904, just to name a few.