Venture into Cairo from Nebraska Highway 2 south and you will discover a restaurant and bowling alley for a meal and some relaxation at the Cairo Bowl and Watering Hole. A community favorite coffee shop
the Medina Street Vault serves up tasty coffee of course along with breakfast and lunch selections. Turn back north towards
Nebraska Highway 2 going past the convenience gas station with a chain food sandwich shop and you will find an auto parts store, NAPA,
as well as an automotive repair shop, J & D Automotive
and a little further on, the community golf course, Centura Hills. Cairo also has a community
located at S. Berber street and W. Syria street, a park and ball fields. There is an ATM machine located on High Street (the main street south into town also highway 11).
Karo or Cairo?
In 1823 Major Stephen Long, a government surveyor, produced a map for the United States government labeling the upper plains
of the American mid-west as "The Great American Desert". Following on that theme, some 50 years later an engineer surveying for the
Burlington & Missouri River railroad declared the area designated to be the second stop on the rail line west out of Grand Island, as
"Cairo" because the area looked like a desert, no trees or water. The name took and as the town built up it continued the Egyptian desert theme by
street names such as Egypt, Berber, Thebe, Alexandria, Medina, Nubia, Suez, Said, Mecca, and Nile.
The pronounciation changed to "karo" but the spelling remained "Cairo". You might even spy a camel or two around the village. At last
census count, the population in Cairo was just under 800 folks. The Cairo Roots Museum, is a fine source of the interesting early history of
the town and its inhabitants. One local man has received much interest of the past few years: SOLON BORGLUM!
On Your Way to View Mount Rushmore?
Jean Lukesh, a former teacher in Grand Island, Nebraska, has written a book entitled
"Secret Brother, the Story of Solon Borglum, Sculptor of the Prairie". Author Lukesh
shared her book and enthusiasm for Solon Borglum with students at Centura School who ultimately joined into a fund raising drive to raise money for the
historical marker now placed approximately 4 miles west of Cairo on Nebraska Highway 2. The Centura students are now working to have Solon Borglum inducted
into the Nebraska
Hall of Fame. Reutter, Harold "Centura Students Learn About Artist Solon Borglum" Grand Island Independent March 4, 2017
You may want to learn about Solon Borglum first! Solon was the younger brother of Gutzon Borglum who sculpted Mount Rushmore. Solon Borglum lived west of
the village of Cairo where he carved Native American faces into the high sandy cliffs. There now stands a historical marker on Nebraska Highway 2 showcasing those
same cliffs which nature has over time erased the marks of the human hand.
Solon Borglum has been researched and admired for his artistic abilities and his connection to Mount Rushmore.
Two eighth grade students at Centura High School, each separately researching their family backgrounds for a social studies assignment, learned that they
had connections to Solon Borglum. Trey Schultz learned that land now owned by his grandfather, which includes a huge sandy cliff, was the area where
Solon Borglum carved a Native American face into the cliff. A second student, Nick Kortz, learned that an old building located on land owned by his
grandparents, was a school attended by Solon Borglum.