Dawson County Museum 805 N Taft St Lexington, NE 68850 308-324-5340
The Dawson County Historical Society and Museum provides an interesting look at how life was lived in Dawson County through the Military Hall of Honor, period rooms, the Lincoln Highway display featuring cars owned by residents of Dawson County, a one room schoolhouse, Union Pacific depot and a 1903 Baldwin Locomotive. The museum also houses a research library, art gallery, and museum gift shop.
Ole's Big Game Bar & Grill, aka Hemingway's heaven, aka PETA's hell, aka the place with all the animals. There are lots of ways you could refer to or describe Ole's to an outsider, someone who's never been there. The best thing to do however is to take that person to Ole's, even if that person is yourself.
If you're looking for big pieces of meat, cold beers, a unique setting and a dash of history with a side of folklore, then Ole's has exactly what you need.
Ole's serves big pieces of meat from different species in various cuts, cooked how you want and served how you like. That said, all of the options can be a bit overwhelming and if you're a first time visitor you absolutely cannot go wrong with the Buffalo Burger. It's uniformly praised as just what the doctor ordered to bring joy, togetherness and a full tummy to any traveler passing through.
If you're looking for a unique atmosphere Ole's has that too. The walls are lined with the trophies of a long and prolific hunting career of the founder. There are over 200 mounts that are the result of hunting trips that covered the entire world, including a polar bear, an elephant, and absolutely anything with antlers. This is not a place for vegetarians. It is a great place for kids though. They can see all the different animals and wandering around while you wait for your food is allowed.
Like any fine community institution, Ole's has history and, unlike your local rotary club, Ole's history is colorful. Ole's opened for business the minute that prohibition ended in 1933 at precisely 12:01 am August 9th, and the townsfolk rejoiced. The walnut bar itself is a has a bit of folklore behind it; the story goes that it was given to Ole as payment for helping the Julesburg, Colorado baseball team beat rival Holyoke.
For decades Ole's was the home base for numerous hunters and outdoorsmen who travelled to Keith County every year. Now it's a regular stop for travelers looking to get off the road and have a meal, in many cases a stop they make every time they travel through western Nebraska.