Over One Hundred Years Strong!

What's Here?

Venture into Cairo from Nebraska Highway 2 south and you will discover a restaurant and bowling alley for a meal and some relaxation. 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 as well as an automotive repair shop and a little further on, the community golf course. Cairo also has a community swimming pool located at S. Berber street and W. Syria street. 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:

On Your Way to View Mount Rushmore?

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. 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

For more information about Solon Borglum, please read this: Solon Borglum's big idea and this: statue.

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