Jeff Barnes to present “Forts of Nebraska” at Scotts Bluff National Monument


They once hosted presidents, foreign dignitaries and some of the most famous names of the Old West. They saw the advent of transportation from the wagon to rail to the space shuttle. And day to day, they meant protection and supplies to the travelers, settlers, workers and soldiers of the region. 

Omaha author Jeff Barnes will present “Forts of Nebraska” inside the Scotts Bluff National Monument visitor center on Tuesday, June 6, at 7 p.m. The presentation is sponsored by Humanities Nebraska. 

The 45-minute talk covers more than a dozen of the state’s military posts and more than 200 years of Nebraska history. “The Nebraska forts rank among the most important in the history of the Great Plains, at least one of them among the most important in American history,” said Barnes. His presentation includes a brief history of the posts, seldom heard tales, and many rarely seen historic images and maps. 

This presentation is made possible by Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Scotts Bluff National Monument and Black Hills Parks and Forests Association as part of the HN Speakers Bureau. 

Barnes is the author of the updated edition of Forts of the Northern Plains, coming in May 2024 from Bison Books. Originally published in 2008, the revised edition features the history and traveler information to more than 150 military posts and civilian defense sites built during the Indian Wars. 

A former newspaper reporter and editor, Barnes writes and lives in Omaha. He is a fifth-generation Nebraskan, past trustee of the Nebraska State Historical Society, former chairman of the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission, and past marketing director of the Durham Museum in Omaha. He is also author of The Great Plains Guide to Custer, The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill, Extra Innings: The Story of Modisett Ball Park, 150 @ 150: Nebraska’s Landmark Buildings at the State’s Sesquicentennial, and Cut in Stone, Cast in Bronze: Nebraska’s Historical Monuments. 

For information detailing the available speakers and guidelines for booking them, please access the Humanities Nebraska website at (Speakers section) or contact Humanities Nebraska at 215 Centennial Mall South, Suite 330, Lincoln, NE 68508, phone (402) 474-2131, fax (402) 474-4852 or e-mail