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Nebraska County Countdown #66: Cherry County

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What does this county have over the states of Rhode Island and Delaware?

Who in their right mind would name a county after a fruit?

The county was named for Lt. Samuel A. Cherry, an Army officer who was stationed at Fort Niobrara and who had been killed in South Dakota in 1881.

Is Cherry County really big or absolutely huge?

Cherry County is actually larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. That’s huge.

With 6,048 square miles, Cherry County is by far the largest in total land area of all Nebraska counties and ranks as one of the country’s largest. And because of its 96-mile-by-63-mile dimensions, it is the only Nebraska county dissected by two time zones. That’s big.

SO YOU’RE SAYING I CAN TIME-TRAVEL LIKE MARTY MCFLY IF I’M IN CHERRY COUNTY?

Yes.

So if I get tired of time traveling in Cherry County, is there anything else to do?

First, I would say is the Niobrara River. In 1991 it was designated as a National Scenic River and is a part of the National Parks family. You can go down the river in a canoe, kayak or even a DeLorean.

Next, is the Sandills. According to the the Valentine tourism website the Sandhills cover 19,000 miles and is the largest tract of stabilized sand dunes in the Western Hemisphere. The lush grasslands are nourished by the Ogallala Aquifer. “While other parts of the world scream beauty, the Sandhills whisper.”

Lastly, for this article I will mention the Author Bowring Ranch State Historical Park.

“It’s a great opportunity to see ranch life up close. A visitor center houses artifacts and memorabilia of early ranching days. Corrals, barns, bunkhouses, and even a sod house are open to the public.

Ya, but I’m just a big fan of waterfalls not....

Also unique to Cherry County are the natural waterfalls located along the rivers that traverse the area. Snake River Falls ranks as the largest in Nebraska, while Smith Falls is said to be the tallest. Also located here is the well-known Shlegal Creek Falls.

So what does that have to do with Valentine’s Day?

Well that’s kind of a random question. But Valentine is the Cherry County seat and every year on Valentine’s Day literally thousands of cards and letter from across the U.S. are received by the Valentine’s post office which in turn places a special Valentine stamp on each before re-mailing them to the addressee.

So the Cherry Count License Plate number is #66. But was there any Nebraska football players worth a darn who wore that number?

Yes, the one, the only Brendan Stai. In 1994, Stai was one of an all-american guard that helped lead Nebraska back to the promised land. He was drafted by the Steelers in the 3rd round and spent 8 seasons in the NFL. He started 96 of 105 games.

Ya but does anybody wear that number now?

Hunter Miller will wear #66 for the 2018 season for the Nebraska football team. He was on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2017; Spring 2018), Brook Berringer Citizenship Team (2018), and Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2018)

Other notables that wore #66 include Dylan Utter. If I missed somebody please let me know so I can let it go in one ear and out the other.