National Recognition for Ogallala's Front Street

By  | 

Darlan 'Doc' Rezac, his wife Jeanne, and three others opened Front Street in 1964. After going through a lengthy application process 50 years later, the business has officially been named to the National Register of Historic Places

Rezac says, "It enhances the cowboy and Indian era and we're still a cowboy town, agriculture is our predominant thing here, we have grain and we have cattle and it's just a way to let people know about our town out in nowhere."

Front Street features the livery barn cafe, crystal palace saloon, tonsorial palace and jail museum, and the Ogallala House General Store. Within the past year alone they brought in nearly 51,000 visitors despite a population of only 5,000. Community members say that although the application process was difficult, the reward was certainly worth it.

Brenda Ketcham, CEO of Ogallala/Keith County Chamber of Commerce says, "Front Street is such a treasure for us, and the recognition on a national level, that's important to the entire community and so we can't say thank you enough to the rezac's for pursuing that, and making sure that this place has the recognition it deserves, but that brings recognition to the entire community, and we're very grateful for that."

The business may be small, but those who live in Ogallala will tell you that Front Street is a huge part of their history, and they cannot imagine life without it.