The Israel Beetison Mansion

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One of the first abandoned properties I came across in the area was the magnificent Beetison Manson, in Ashland, NE. This mansion was the perfect location to stumble across on a Saturday afternoon drive.

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The second time I went to the property, it was on a whim on my way home from Lincoln after something for one of my children at sunset. In the middle of Winter, the trees skeletal, the photo opportunity was too perfect to pass up.

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One reason I love finding abandoned buildings and houses is the mystery surrounding the properties and the land. Every once in a while, I can research and dig up the history on some of these places, and this particular location happened to have an interesting history.

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The Beetison Mansion had been in the same generation for 120 years! She was built in 1875, and each of the limestone bricks was chiseled by hand!

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The small tower, called a cupola, on the top was actually built as a look-out for Native Americans, and the lady of the house carried fresh homemade bread down the hill to feed them.

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In 1971, the Israel Beetison Mansion was placed on the National Register of Historical Places, and since then, Iron Horse Golf Course bought the land around the abandoned house, and they said in the linked article that 60 people have shown interest in purchasing the house.

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Upon developing the course, they have found pottery shards, flint, tools, and other evidence of Native American occupation dating back to 1100.

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The owners of the golf course plan to hold an auction at some point. The Iron Horse also contains the visible wagon ruts of The Oxbow trail.

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One thing I must make abundantly clear is when I visit any abandoned property, I always approach with the utmost respect and caution. I do not attempt to enter these houses. The foundation is unstable, and I do not know if there is a well or a concealed cellar which could pose as a hazard, especially if I am alone. There is also the trespassing factor. I do take this seriously. Many of these locations are privately owned and it is challenging to track down the correct contacts to ask permission to photograph the structures. I take each situation as they arise, asking permission when I can. If it is a dangerous location, I stay as far away as I can and shoot from a distance. Nothing is worth risking my life.

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There are two other dangers to consider when exploring abandoned structures. If you believe in the supernatural, there is always the chance of an encounter and they have the potential to follow you home! In urban locations there can also be homeless people taking shelter, which is another reason to get permission from the owners when you are able.

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Trees & Sunset

The Beetison house has a peaceful feeling surrounding it. It’s one of the locations I will return to over and over. Perhaps one day someone very lucky can restore this beautiful historical house.

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I also captured some beautiful images of the sunset. Not to mention, I enjoyed watching the day disappearing over the hill, giving himself over to the fair lady of night. If you share any of my images, please credit me. Thanks.

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December of 2020, I checked back in on her, and she is in bad shape.

 

Trish Eklund’s first book, Abandoned Nebraska: Echoes of Our Past, was released in November of 2018. Her second photography book, Abandoned Farmhouses and Homesteads of Nebraska: Decaying in the Heartland will be released on February 22, 2021. She is finishing up her third book; Abandoned Farmhouses and Homesteads of Kansas: Home is Where the Heart is. Trish’s photography has been featured on Only in Nebraska, Raw Abandoned, ListVerse, Nature Takes Over, Grime Scene Investigators, and Pocket Abandoned. She has a photo on the cover of: Fine Lines Summer 2020: Volume 29 Issue 2. She is the owner and creator of the photography website, Abandoned, Forgotten, & Decayed. Trish has an essay in the anthology, Hey, Who’s In My House? Stepkids Speak Out by Erin Mantz, and another essay in another anthology: Voices of the Plains Volume III by Nebraska Writer’s Guild and Julie Haase. Her writing has been featured on The Mighty, Huffington Post Plus, Making Midlife Matter, and Her View From Home. She owns, moderates, and writes for the blog: Trigger Warning: Surviving Abuse. She has written four young adult novels and is hard at work on her first adult novel.

Trish at Beetison2

Categories: Abandoned House, Beetison Manson, NE, Nebraska Abandoned House, Trish EklundTags: , , , , , , ,

20 Comments

    • In fact I am currently writing a book on Nebraska abandoned places and I asked the current owner permission to enter at least the entry way for photos and he said no. Even though people break in and take photos illegally all the time…and I said I would sign a waiver and would be happy with only the entryway but he said no. It makes me so sad that it’s just wasting away.

  1. Cherrie Heidemann-Oglesby

    5.7.18 So, so sad that owner just letting it rot away. I’m suiting in my car across the field from it and got out my binoculars to check out the huge birds on top of it: turkey vultures! There’s a hole in the roof of the house. Why can’t the historical society save this amazing building??!!!
    Former Nebraskan visiting from Sun City, AZ

    • Ellie

      Is this true? Do you have any more information? I’m very interested in purchasing the house and land, but don’t know where to start as to who to contact..

      • trishwriter

        I’m not sure if that is true. I contacted the owner a couple of years ago when I was writing my book for permission to go inside. He said no. I first contacted the golf course it rests on and asked for the owner information. They gave it to me. I would start there with the Iron Horse’s contact information, and if that doesn’t work, go to the Historical Society for it. I looked for the email I sent to the owner and cannot find it. Sorry!

  2. Cherrie Heidemann-Oglesby

    Can’t imagine the cost of the lot!!!
    Does the state of NE have a fund for preservation of historical sites? State legislator who could help? Ashland/Gretna area fund raiser? Iron Horse HOA to restore & use for a clubhouse or meeting room or wedding receptions, etc? B&B?

  3. Ronald Littlejohn

    I have been so very blessed to be in the process of purchasing a 1921 small house in Ansley Nebraska for $20,000. I am currently living in it and have been here since just after Thanksgiving of 2018. It has its problems but I feel so blessed because last year I was living in an apartment in Colorado where I was being tortured and nobody would believe me. I was forced out of my apartment and had to give $5000 worth of property away to friends including a $1500 log bed, 55″ brand new tv, several home appliances(small) and just broke my heart. I lived out of my car from April 2018 till I moved back to my home town in Nebraska. Then I lived in a small old church converted in a chapel for a few weeks and then into a very low income apartment made out of cinder blocks. That is when I found this home, started a new job and for the last two months have been able to make $1000 monthly payments. Trust me this house does need a lot of TLC but I have my own place quite and very romantic sitting with pine trees surrounding me. I love my new OLD home and feel very blessed by God to have gone through what I was forced to endure to be living here!!! Old homes are GREAT for people like myself who just wish to live a peaceful calm life!!!

    • trishwriter

      Hi Ronald! So happy to hear you found a home where you feel safe and comfortable! That is so very important! The place in Colorado sounds miserable!! I absolutely can believe it! I have had many experiences myself. It sounds like you went through some really tough times for awhile. I’m so glad to hear things are better! And that you love your old home!! I love them too as you know 😊. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Joel Mickells

    Hi Trish. I’m looking forward to reading your book as I’m an avid fan of exploring some of Nebraska’s historic and abandoned places and I’m always looking to for places to explore and having stories to tell. I have seen this before and got some pictures on the outside but didn’t want to take a chance getting in trouble going inside. Do you possibly know who I talk to you to get permission to explore the grounds for photos? Any help would be deeply appreciated! Keep up the great work and looking forward to reading your book as I just ordered it off amazon!

    • trishwriter

      Thanks, Joel! I hope you like the book! I have had the sheriff called on me a couple of times when I actually walked up to the house, so the last few times I kept my distance. I did find the name of the current owner before my book came out, to see if I could take some photos of the inside, even if just from right inside the door. He said no, it was to unsafe. He would not even talk to me about it. I have heard of people breaking in, but I’m just not that brave, plus then photos couldn’t be used in a book.

  5. Ellie

    Would you be able to pass along the contact information of the owner to me? Or how you went about finding his information? I would love to get in contact with him about purchasing the house & land…

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