Robber’s Cave now listed on National Register of Historic Places

The cave, near 10th and Arapahoe, was originally used as storage for the Lincoln Brewery in the 1800s, and has cemented its place in local folklore. 
Robber's Cave

Robber’s Cave is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The cave, near 10th and Arapahoe, was originally used as storage for the Lincoln Brewery in the 1800s, and has cemented its place in local folklore.

Matt Hansen, a volunteer who prepared the nomination, told History Nebraska he felt the listing is long overdue.

“Growing up in Lincoln, I had heard stories about Robber’s Cave, but the property was closed during that time, and I didn’t have an opportunity to experience the cave until the spring of 2018,” Hansen said. “Seeing it in person, combined with the 2018 release of Joel Green’s book, Robber’s Cave: Truth, Legends, Recollections, caused me to realize that the cave was an amazing historic resource that needed to be listed on the National Register.”

Hansen used old newspaper clippings and an “amazingly-accurate mapping” of the cave using LIDAR scanning technology to prepare the nomination.

David Calease from History Nebraska’s State Historic Preservation Office considers this a special nomination.

“The listing of Robber’s Cave demonstrates the diversity of the National Register,” he said. “Too many people think it is just fancy homes and big downtown buildings. We have a diverse set of historic resources that are significant to our history. Whether it is a building, a bridge, or a cave, they need to be recognized and preserved to understand our history better.”

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s inventory of properties deemed worthy of preservation. It is part of a national program to coordinate and support local and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect the nation’s historic and archeological resources.

For more information on the National Register program in Nebraska, contact History Nebraska’s Historic Preservation Office at (402) 471-4775 or visit history.nebraska.gov/historic-preservation.

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