News (8)

Stay up to speed with what your Chamber of Commerce is doing for you!

Gordon Chamber hosts annual awards dinner

The Gordon Chamber of Commerce held the annual meeting, awards and recognition dinner on Saturday, October 28 at the Gordon Country Club. The event included guest speakers, a meal, a director’s report and an awards ceremony. This year’s award recipients are:

Business of the Year: Essence

Non-Profit of the Year: CARE

Employee of the Year: Debra Evans

Manager of the Year: Alyssa DeHart and Pat Wellnitz

Educator of the Year: Boone Bowker

Healthcare Service Award: Cassie Banks, DNP

Police and Fire Service Award: Clay Heath

Young Entrepreneur of th Year: Emily Taylor

Public Servant of the Year: Tyler Banks

Community Champion of the Year: Norma Burnham

Rancher of the Year: Butch Shadbolt

Farmer of the Year: Chris and Brad Schaer

Chamber Board Member of the Year: Rachel Lambley

Bea Lou Hardin Chamber Award: Bea Lou Hardin


Fuel Grill brings new life to abandoned Gordon building

By Lauren Brant

A new hangout opened in Gordon last Saturday and almost 200 people came out to celebrate. Marlin Sandoz, the owner of Fuel Grill on Main St., bought the building a year and a half ago with the intention to offer something different to the community.

A Gordon native, Sandoz brought his enthusiasm for mechanics and automotive to the Fuel Grill, which also inspired the name. Throughout the restaurant, customers will see automotive inspired neon signs, stickers and four truck beds accenting benches. Sandoz described the atmosphere as his man cave. 


Hardin passes torch to new Gordon Chamber Director Misner

By Jordan Huether

At the January meeting of the Gordon Chamber of Commerce, the chamber voted to accept Ray Misner as the new Chamber Director. Former Director Bea Lou Hardin stepped down from the position at the end of 2016.

Hardin became Chamber Director about five years ago. As director, she was heavily involved in the formation of a Board of Directors and a Retail Committee, which in turn led to the Junkers’ Jaunt, Fall Festival and more. “Everyone said it would never work,” Hardin said of the retail committee. “Well, it did. We took the retail committee, and we made a board, because everybody said, ‘oh, you can’t have a board. It won’t work.’


Join the Chamber

The Gordon Chamber of Commerce Members are vital in successfully accomplishing the objectives and goals for the promotion of businesses in Gordon and the rural community. When a business or organization joins the Chamber, all of the employees of that business are considered members and are encouraged to participate in Chamber events. With the updates in progress to the web page, I want to encourage you, or the employee who is your computer guru; to familiarize yourself with your Chamber web site ( Chamber events, benefits, and members are all listed with additional information that may be of interest. Listed below are some membership benefits:

Chamber Membership Benefits:

The Gordon Chamber of Commerce provides economic, business, and community promotional resources so that all member businesses can thrive and prosper and new businesses will be attracted and induced to establish in Gordon. This is accomplished through special promotions of events throughout the year. The Chamber of Commerce works with the Sheridan County Tourism Board, Sheridan County Fair Board, and the Sheridan County Historical Society to promote Tourism through brochures, post cards, and advertising of our many points of interest in Gordon and Sheridan County, bringing those “visitor dollars” to the businesses of Gordon, helping to make the Gordon business community strong and viable. The use of “Chamber Bucks” as prizes and gifts is encouraged. Chamber Bucks may be purchased by anyone and are then used as money for purchase in Member stores, the member business then exchanges those Chamber Bucks for real money through the Chamber. Many volunteer hours are given by the Director and Assistant Director in accomplishing day to day Chamber business as well as volunteer hours given by members to accomplish special events such as the Sheridan County Fair Parade and the Parade of Lights during the Christmas season.

Yearly Special Events and Promotions:

Membership Appreciation Party - The new year is kicked off with a Member Appreciation party that is free to members and their employees. Social Hour, Dinner and Entertainment 

Spring Retail Extravaganza – The Retail Committee plans, promotes & advertises a festival type of promotion.

Fourth of July – The Chamber donates to the Fireworks Display

Sheridan County Fair- the Chamber hosts the Ranch Rodeo and pays for the winners Buckles. The Chamber members also donate time to provide a Ferry Service for the elderly and disabled from the parking lot to the grandstands as well as needed activities associated with the Fair. The Parade on the last Saturday of the Fair is hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber pays for advertising for these events.

Willow Tree – The Chamber members volunteer to act as parking attendants for the Willow Tree Festival group.

October Fest – Different events are planned each year and all advertising is paid by the Chamber.

Christmas Parade of Lights - Opening of the Christmas shopping season, an evening Parade of floats decked out in lights and entered by the businesses in Gordon. The preparation and organization of the event is done by Chamber member volunteers. The Chamber pays for advertising of the event and trophies for the winners of the parade.

Membership Requirements

Section 1: Eligibility

Any person, association, corporation, partnership or estate having an interest in the objectives of the organization shall be eligible to apply for membership.

Section 2: Application

Application for membership shall be in writing on forms provided for the purpose and signed ay the applicant. The applicants shall be approved by the Board of Directors at any meeting thereof. Any applicant shall become a member upon payment of the regularly scheduled dues.

Section 3: Dues

Membership dues shall be at such rate or rates, schedule or formula as set by the Board of Directors and payable annually, semi-annually or quarterly in advance. New Businesses shall be given membership at no charge for the year of their startup. New Owner businesses will receive a prorated membership for the year of purchase.

Clarification - “New Business” / “New Ownership”:

A “New Business” shall be deemed any business new to the community or any business that has closed and then has been purchased and started even in the event the “New Business” is of the same type.

“New Ownership” shall be any business that has been purchased and continuously runs under a new owner.

Section 4: Termination

  1. Any member may resign from the Chamber upon written request to the Board of Directors.
  2. Any member shall be removed by the Board of Directors by a two-thirds vote for nonpayment of dues after ninety day from the date due, unless otherwise extended for a good cause;
  3. Any member may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors for conduct unbecoming of a member or prejudicial to the aim or reputation of the Chamber, after notice and opportunity for a hearing are given the member complained against.

Section 5: Voting

Each person, firm, association or corporation who are members shall be entitled to cast one vote.

Section 6: Exercise of Privileges

Any member may designate representatives whom the holder desires to exerciser the privileges of membership coved by its membership. The member shall have the right to change its representative upon written notice.

Section 7: Honorary Membership

Honorary membership may be awarded by the Board of Directors by a majority vote. Honorary members shall have all the privileges of members, except the right to vote and shall be exempt from payment of dues.

Chamber Bucks: Clarification

In December 2011 the membership voted to restrict reimbursement of Chamber Bucks to Chamber Members only. Non-members may accept Chamber Bucks but will not be able to obtain reimbursement for them until they become members in good standing.

Membership Dues

  • Associate membership – (basic benefits): $30.00
    Encompasses: General public, Crafter/Artist/Hunter/Farmer/Rancher
  • Sole Proprietor: $50.00
  • Home Based business: $50.00
  • Proprietor/Manager up to 2 employees: $80.00
  • Prop/Manager up to 4 employees: $175.00
  • Prop/Manager up to 8 employees: $225.00
  • Prop/Manager up to 13 employees: $250.00
  • Prop/Manager up to 19 employees: $275.00
  • Utilities (electrical, gas, cable, phone): $275.00
  • Prop/Manager up to 24 employees: $375.00
  • Prop/Manager up to 50 employees: $425.00
  • Prop/Manager over 50 employees: $525.00
  • Banks ($17.00 per million assets, max due $500.00)
  • Professional Corps. ($120.00 +$60.00 per Associate)
    Encompasses: Physicians, Lawyers, Dentists, Vets, Accountants
  • Hotels/Motels ($60.00 + $6.00 per room)
  • Exterior Support Services (non-local vendors): $100.00
  • Non-Profit organizations: No Charge

Visitor Guide

  • The Family History Center
    Located at the LDS Church
     6520 210 Lane
     Gordon, NE
     The extensive Genealogical Library includes local census, cemetery and marriage records of the area as well as providing access to records all over the United States.
     Contact Charlotte Ward @ 308-282-0329


  • Scamahorn Museum (Seasonal)
     West 5th Street
     Located on West 5th Street in Wayland Park, the Scamahorn Museum is the original Methodist Church, built in 1885 by the founder of Gordon, Reverend John Scamahorn. Over ten years of work and with donations for the Gordon area saw the building moved to its location in Wayland Park In 1994 the Sheridan County Historical Society took over the museum. Display's include antique medical equipment and office furnishing, quilts, dishes, Native American bead-work, photographs, period clothing, military memorabilia, an elaborate antique doll house, and much more. The basement houses material telling the story of the early merchants of Gordon. The goal is to interpret the history of Gordon and its trade territory through display and research.
     Museum hours are 1:00 -4 p.m., Monday through Friday during June, July and August.
     Contact Harlen Wheeler @ 308-360-0900 or Lori Meng @ 308-282-2716 for arrangements to view the museum at other times or use the extensive research center. Learn more.


  • Tri-State Old Time Cowboys Memorial Museum (Seasonal)  
     Located in Winship Park
     300 block of Oak St-West of Main
     Gordon, NE
     Located in Winship Park, the 40 foot by 80 foot log building was constructed in 1969 as a testimonial to the rugged western life of the old time cowboys who worked as ranch hands and performed at the Sheridan County Rodeo. Exhibits include an early chuck wagon, old saddles, chaps, spurs, tools and gear used from early ranches of the late 1880s to modern times, as well as many other artifacts and relics pertaining to ranching and cowboys. The museum is open every afternoon from June 1 through September 15, and by request at any time. Admission is free. Doc Browder, the curator, believes the museum has the largest collection of Bits & Spurs in Nebraska Learn more
  • The Tri State Cowboy Museum has been awarded Outstanding Tourist Attraction in the State of Nebraska! 


  • The Mari Sandoz Sandhills Trail
    The tour begins in Gordon, Nebraska. This is a do-it-yourself tour, anytime, weather permitting.
     Escorted tours available for 4 to 50 persons by calling 308-360-1293.
     Tour Stops:
    1. Walgren Lake - Scene of "Ossie and the Sea Monster" by Mari Sandoz"
    2. Catholic Church - land donated by old Jules, not in religious ferver, but because the priest was a stamp collector
    3. Well Site - "Near the top the frayed rope broke and Jules plunged sixty-five feet to the bottom, his footdoubled under him....."
    4. Sandoz River Place - First homestead of Old Jules
    5. Swiss Beguin Cemetery - Several Sandoz relatives buried here, along with Jules' brother Emile who was killed by a hired gun in 1908 in the conflict between cattlemen and settlers.
    6. Smith Lake - Beautiful sandhills lake with camping & picnic facilities, wildlife watching. Good place to stop for a picnic.
    7. Mari Sandoz Historical Marker
    8. Mari's Grave Site and the Sandhills Place - This was a Kinkaid Act claim. Thirteen year old Mari and her younger brother were taken there to live in a tiny shack to establish the claim. 

 For further information and Mari Sandoz books


  • Willow Tree Festival
     Gordon Nebraska in the City Parks
     The Second Weekend of September each year
     2 full days of professional performers plus clowns, mimes and supervised activities for children.
     Local talent, Arts & Crafts & Fun Festival Food 


  • Hunting The Sandhills Area.
     Some of the finest hunting and fishing in the country! Learn More
    Hunting Seasons
     Dove: September 1 -October 30
     Grouse: September 1 - January 31, 2013
     Pheasant: October 27 - January 31, 2013
     Quail: October 27 - January 31, 2013
     Antelope Archery: August 20 - December 31
     Antelope Muzzleloader: September 15 - 30
     Antelope October Firearm: October 13 - 28
     Antelope Late Doe/Fawn: October 13 - November 9
     Antelope November Late Doe/Fawn: November 1 - January 31, 2013
     Deer Archery: September 15 - December 31
     Deer- Mule Deer Conservation Area: September 15 - December 31
     Deer November Firearm:November 10 - 18
     Deer Nonresident Statewide Buck: November 10 - 18
     Deer Muzzleloader: December 1 - 31
     Deer Statewide Whitetail Buck: September 15 - December 31
     Elk Bull: September 29 - October 28
     Elk Anterless: September 29 - October 28 & December 1 - 31


  • 1890 Armstrong House (Seasonal)
     U S Highway 20 and Nelson Avenue
     Rushville, NE
     Artifacts that interpret the history of Rushville, Sheridan County and surrounding trade territory.Display's on the grounds are a log cabin that had served as an early day Rushville Post Office and telephone office and is set up as an early day home post office, with the original central phone board from white Clay. An Eclipse Windmill form 1880's era, manufactured by Fairbanks, Morse & Co. of Beloit, Rock County, Wisconson.
     Among the displays in Armstrong House are military and Native American history of the Indian Wars era from Camp Sheridan (1874-1881) and Spotted Tail agency (1874-1877), open range ranch history, old photographs and paintings, early day lodge and fraternal display, store items, clothing and more. The Benschoter Library  includes area history and pre-history, it is not a lending library and is only available on site with the curator present.
     Open Memorial Day through Labor Day
     8am -7pm Monday- Saturday
     Contact Gunnar Riis at 308-327-2374 for viewings at other times or to use the research center.


  • Hay Springs Heritage Center
    230 North Baker Street
     Hay Springs, NE
     The Hay Springs Heritage Society was able to buy the church building to serve as a branch museum in 1967. Work began in the Center immediately and other buildings have been added to the grounds. They include a refurbished one room country school and an original claim shack.


  • Gordon Golf and Country Club
     West 2nd Street
     (308) 282-1146


  • King Pin Lanes Bowling Alley
     101 East Orin Street
     (308) 282-1199


  • Barbarian Gym
     212 North Main Street
     (308) 282-2001


  • Gordon Swimming Pool (Seasonal)
     300 West 4th Street
     (308) 282-0711


  • The Gordon City Library
     101 West 5th Street
     (308) 282-1198


  • Winship Park


  • Wayland Park


  • The Plains Theater
     (308) 327-2211
  • Bowring Ranch
     (308) 684-3428
     There is a historical museum about Arthur and Eva Bowring, who both served in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is located 30 miles east of Gordon, just north of Merriman. This working ranch lies in a sandhills valley rich in Nebraska history. A newly constructed visitors center houses artifacts and memorabilia of early day ranching and the Bowring's political careers. The ranch is open for tours of the original Bowring home which is filled with antique china and glassware. A visit to the furnished sod house dating back to the 1800s is a step back in time. Owned and operated by the Nebraska State Parks and Game Commission, the tours begin in May and close September 1. Call (308) 684-3428 for more information. Learn more.


Lodging and Dining:

  • Jefco Inn
     Large Comfortable Rooms, Continental Breakfast, Jacuzzi
     308 South Cornell Street
     Phone: (308) 282-2935; 1-800-252-1319
     Fax: 1-800-282-1319


  • Western Sands Motel
     107 West Highway 20
     (308) 282-1795
     Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • Antelope Creek Café
     Down-home cooking in a friendly atmosphere
     107 East Highway 20
     (308) 282-2754


  • Italian Inn
     Fine Italian, American food and spirits
     200 North Main Street
     (308) 282-0247


  • Pizza Hut
     100 East Highway 20
     (308) 282-0500


  • Western Cafe
     West Highway 20
     Phone: (308) 282-0188; (308) 282-2020
     Fax: (308) 280-2897


The Nebraska Panhandle and nearby Black Hills of South Dakota boast a large number of geological attractions and fossil beds. To learn more about what's in the area, visit the Fossil Freeway.


About Gordon

The village of Gordon was officially organized on November 19, 1885, on a site just a few blocks west of theLone Willow, a landmark of the Old Kearney Trail. Although free homestead land was the lure that brought settlers to this part of Nebraska in the mid 1880s, the community took shape and prospered largely due to the railroad.

In any frontier community, a breed of men and women tend to develop who might be called "Renaissance people," because their interests and abilities spread effectively in many directions. Many Renaissance people were Gordon's early settlers, but they were only the first of the industrious, creative, spirited citizens who typify the Gordon community. Some have made contributions to society far beyond local boundaries, like Dwight Griswold, Governor of Nebraska, Ambassador to Greece and United States Senator during the 1940s and early 1950s and Val Fitch, a 1940 Gordon High School graduate who received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1980.

Perhaps the foremost person associated with this area is Jules Sandoz, immortalized by his eldest daughter, Mari Sandoz, in the biography, Old Jules. Mari Sandoz (1896 - 1966) is increasingly recognized as one of the most gifted writers in American literature.

James M. Riley --"Doc Middleton" -- was Gordon's most notorious resident. "Doc" was born in 1852 and came to Nebraska after beginning a career as a horsethief and murderer at the age of 14. In 1879, Doc married and made intentions to reform, but his gang and way of life were too tempting. In two years over 2,000 horses were stolen from ranchers as well as the Sioux Indians. Three children were born to Doc and his third wife, Rene. When his first born, LuLu, died, she was buried in the Gordon Cemetery. The marker is still there. Most of the murders Doc committed were a result of revenge taken on one who committed a crime against anyone he felt attached to. The old timers say that when a poor family in Gordon had a little girl that got sick, Doc paid for a doctor's care. When the child died, Doc had the casket made out of the bar in his saloon.

Today, US Highway 20 and Nebraska 27 intersect in Gordon, reinforcing its natural location as an agricultural and commercial center and also its development as a medical and cultural center. Nebraska Highway 27 coincides with Gordon's original Main Street, a thoroughfare that has pulsed with the life of the town from its earliest days. Here, and throughout the extended, far-flung community, resources merge to create continuity and progress. The greatest resource of all, now as in the past, is the people who call Gordon home.

(Information credited to the City of Gordon Web Site)



Bea Lou Hardin, Director

Bea Lou Hardin hails from the Gordon ranching community. Her formative years were spent in and near Gordon learning the ropes of ranch life from her parents and grandparents. When Bea Lou was a teenager, her parents, Tom and Nadine Annett, moved the family to La Palma, CA, where she finished high school and went on to obtain her Masters in Fashion Merchandising at Collins Fashion Institute in North Hollywood, CA. After college, Bea Lou worked for many years in retail while raising her son Jason.

Bea Lou has owned and operated several businesses in Gordon including a beauty salon, a gift shop, and a bed and breakfast. She worked for the City of Gordon for many years in the city office and as the assistant librarian.

In 2002 Bea Lou married Jerald Hardin, who hails from the Gordon farming community. They moved to Colorado where Jerald worked for Anheuser Busch. While in Colorado, the couple bought two condos in Estes Park, and started a successful vacation rental business – Shadow Pines Vacation Condos. In 2006, Bea Lou served on the National Business Advisory council and was awarded Business Woman of the Year as well as the National Leadership Award.

When Jerald retired in 2011, the couple returned home to Gordon and their beloved property which they call “The Homestead.” It’s been in the Hardin family since 1884! Afraid they would become bored with retirement, Bea Lou and Jerald started a custom haying business – Hardin Hayin’. Bea Lou became the Chamber Director in January 2012.

Bea Lou says, “I believe in this community, and I love this town. This is where my generational roots are; this is home. I want to do all I can to help my friends and neighbors grow and prosper.”

Mike Shald, Assistant Director

Mike has a strong Gordon heritage. 

His mother’s grandparents, Jesse and Sarah Trueblood came to Gordon with the Scamahorn colony in 1884.

Mike attended school in Gordon from kindergarten through high school. After graduation from Gordon High School he attended Creighton University for two years.

Mike has owned and operated several businesses in Gordon and has served on many community boards.

In 1964 he married Barb Hansen, also a Gordon native, and they have three sons, Jeff, Scott, and Brian.

Mike says we raise the best cattle and the best children in the world here in Gordon!


Board of Directors


Lisa Johnson

Shelly Beguin

Rachael Lambley

Roxie Gatewood

Jordan Huether

Jean Hess, Director of Tourism

Our Ambassadors

Nancy Russell

Sally Hatch

Bernie & Merna Ganshert

Sharon Harris

Jean Hess

Richard Hoffman

Marlys Roth

Margret Nelson

LeOra Likens



Our business district thrives and the agricultural sector of our community provides a rich family heritage to the community. Gordon is the home of author Mari Sandoz, the Cowboy Museum, the Willow Tree Festival, and one of the best county fairs in the state.

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