Spend the day discovering the life and works of Willa Cather, one of Nebraska’s most famous and cherished authors.
Friday, October 15, 2021
7:30 am – 6:40 pm
Tour starts at the Comfort Inn & Suites, 7007 Grover St, Omaha
$135 per person
Price includes coach transportation, two guided tours, attraction admissions, driver gratuity, guide gratuity, and box lunch
Tour reservation deadline September 15, 2021 – payment due September 15, 2021
Highlights: Tour of Willa Cather’s childhood home - National Willa Cather Visitor Center - Guided tour of Red Cloud historical buildings mentioned in her writings - Guided driving tour of the wild prairie countryside
Today we travel to Red Cloud, Nebraska. Author Willa Cather spent her childhood in the small railroad town; today this town is the largest living memorial to an author in the country. Upon arrival, we will visit the National Willa Cather Center. The center will give us an opportunity to learn more about Cather’s life and work through exhibits and a short film. Cather’s memories of Red Cloud and its people inspired six of her twelve novels and many of her most beloved short stories. The Willa Cather Foundation has preserved many of the sites associated with Cather’s literature. Today we will tour four of the historic sites in downtown Red Cloud. Our first site is the childhood home of Willa Cather. The restored home contains many family artifacts including furniture, prints, and family photographs. Upstairs is young Willa’s small attic bedroom. Cather wallpapered this room herself and the rose colored wallpaper is still there today. The room was also the inspiration for bedroom of fictional character, Thea Kronborg in the The Song of the Lark. We will also visit the 1888 Farmers and Merchants Bank and the 1887 Burlington Depot. Both structures played a significant role in Willa Cather’s writings. The last building is the 1878 Miner House. Willa Cather became childhood friends with the Miner children. She became very good friends with Carrie Miner who she wrote regularly throughout her life. Willa dedicated her book My Antonia to Carrie and Irene Miner. Next, we return to the National Willa Cather Center for lunch and a little free time to explore the bookstore gift shop. This afternoon we leave the community of Red Cloud and journey to the wild prairie countryside that inspired her writings. A local guide will take us to countryside settings from Lucy Gayheart, My Antonia, One of Ours, and O Pioneers! We will also visit the Cather homesteads, rivers, and prairies where Willa Cather spent time as a child.