Due to recent prescribed fire activity, all trails at Neale Woods Nature Reserve will be closed through Sunday, March 3.

Due to recent prescribed fire activity, all trails at Neale Woods Nature Reserve will be closed through Sunday, March 3.

Nebraska’s Deep Roots:

In 1823, a trading post was constructed on the banks of the Missouri River, located within the boundaries of present-day Fontenelle Forest. The trading post became an important connection between the major fur trade center in St. Louis and the fur trappers who lived in the Rocky Mountains. This exhibit tells that story.
A watercolor painting of the trading post titled "The Bellevue Agency" by artist Karl Bodmer.

The Exhibit

Fontenelle Forest is celebrating the 200-year anniversary of the Fontenelle Trading Post, with a history exhibit located in the Baright Gallery. We are excited to bring you this new experience, which tells the story of how the Fontenelle Trading Post came to be and what a trading post during the 1800’s may have looked like.

Learn about the people involved in establishing and running the Fontenelle Trading Post and view dozens of artifacts that are representative of this time period. Many artifacts on display were discovered during an archeological dig of the Fontenelle Trading Post site conducted by History Nebraska in 1972-73. 

The Nebraska’s Deep Roots exhibit will be open daily at the Fontenelle Forest Nature Center. This exhibit is free for members or with daily admission for non-members (sales tax included). Click HERE to see admission prices.

(Exhibit dates: April 2023 to Dec. 2024)


 Continue Your Experience

Attend Our Speaker Series or Educational Programs

Fontenelle Forest invites you to join us at the Nature Center for an ongoing speaker series highlighting the rich history of Nebraska and Fontenelle Forest. From first-hand accounts of the discovery and excavation of the Fontenelle Trading Post to Omaha tribal history and the impact of the fur trade, you can explore Omaha’s past with local experts at Fontenelle Forest.

Learn more about the Fontenelle Trading Post by attending our Speaker Series and family-friendly activities.
All events are free for members or with daily admission for non-members.

Speaker Series

Each month a different speaker will provide a diverse perspective on the impact and importance of the Trading Post.

See Event Details 

History Trail Guided Hikes

These hikes will pay specific attention to the Trading Post and other historic sites found along History Trail.

See Event Details 

Archeology Adventure

Get a hands-on archeology lesson and practice your excavation skills after Rob Bozell’s Speaker Series presentation.

See Event Details 

We dig history

Explore the Nebraska’s Deep Roots exhibit, participate in an archeological dig and go on a guided hike.

See Event Details 

Trading Post Backpack Forest Exploration

 For a limited time, we’re offering a Trading Post themed backpack for exploring science and history at the Forest!

Learn more

Thank you to our contributors

This exhibit could not have happened without the guidance, support and research of the following people:

Catherine Kuper
Fontenelle Forest Volunteer Archivist and Historian
Rob Bozell
Retired Nebraska State Archeologist

Ray Turkle
Fontenelle Forest Volunteer
John Seminara
Fontenelle Forest Volunteer
 Jim Ludeman
Fontenelle Forest Volunteer
Roger Echo-Hawk
Taylor Keen
Omaha Tribal Member
Dr. Rudi Mitchell
Omaha Tribal Member
Stacy Laravie
Ponca member, founder of Ithi’shi’, Traditional Knowledge Keeper, and Cultural Specialist
Alan Osborn
University of Nebraska Omaha – Associate Professor, Sociology and Anthropology Dept.
Lance Foster
Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska Vice Chairman and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
Ron Sack and Howie Maxwell
Renze Display
History Nebraska


thank you to our sponsors



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Fontenelle Forest is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit.

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