Henderson Mennonite Heritage Park re-opened its doors Tuesday, July 21, after a months-long coronavirus-related hiatus.
Even though the park has been closed to the public, things have been buzzing right along; the popular Immigrant House has been receiving renovations and repairs. Siding, the roof and windows have been replaced, and work has been done to improve the inside as well, making it more durable and preventing the need for frequent repairs. While not open yet, the park hopes to open the Immigrant House to the public late yet this summer to unveil its improvements.
A new-but-old addition is the East Side Café, once located on Henderson’s main street. The building now occupies a spot at Heritage Park, getting renovations to prepare for visitors.
During the closure, Heritage Park’s buildings received thorough cleanings and the gift shop has been re-stocked with fresh items.
Those entering General Store – the main hub of the park – are asked to wear a mask. Normal hours have resumed: Tuesday-Sunday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. “We are not giving our own storytelling tours,” said Suzanne Ratzlaff, Heritage Park board member. However, she said, stories on cards are available at the General Store for those who want to take a self-guided tour and learn more about Henderson’s Mennonite beginnings.
Henderson Mennonite Heritage Park is a stop on the 2020 Nebraska Passport Root Route Tour. The ten stops on the tour – Heritage Park included – help tell visitors the stories of early Nebraskans.
Outside of regular hours of operation, visits can be made by appointment at 402-723-4252. The Heritage Park is located 1 1/2 miles south of Interstate 80 exit 342 (720 Road B, Henderson).