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Hall County Park History


Originally the George Clayton Hall County Park was known as Schimmer's Sand Krog. The founder, Martin Schimmer, immigrated to Nebraska from Germany. Pictured to the left is the octagon-shaped ballroom at the Sand Krog. In the early years, Schimmer's was the hub of the local German community.

Not only was it a place to buy merchandise, but it was also a place to conduct other matters of business, like trade a horse, sell a hog or produce, listen to a political candidate's views, or maybe close a real estate deal.

Schimmer's Lake, depicted in this early postcard, was created by Martin Schimmer in 1898 by diverting water from the Wood River. It was a popular tourist destination for thousands of visitors until it was lost in 1942 when the dam that formed it was washed out.

The Sand Krog was later closed in 1959 to make room for Highway 281. In 1968 the property was given to Hall County. George Clayton, a Hall County Supervisor, was charged with the task of re-claiming the area for a park. Two years later the area was once again fit for public use, largely due to the efforts of Mr. Clayton. In 1981 the park was dedicated as the George Clayton Hall County Park. Since that time it has become known as an excellent wildlife refuge and popular recreation area.

The historical photos on this page are from the collection of the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, Grand Island, Nebraska.