114 South 6th Street
Nebraska City, NE  68410



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Joe Voges & Nature Center

Joe Voges began Naturecraft Taxidermy Studios in the early 1930's, eventually acquiring a large collection of mounted wildlife.  In 1975, Nebraska City provided free space on the second floor of the Nebraska City Fire Hall to establish the Voges collection as the River Country Nature Center.

Nature Center Dates:

  • 1933 Joe Voges begins taxidermy collecting legally obtained wildlife and historical data.
  • 1967 Joe Establishes Naturecraft Studios to do taxidermy full time.
  • 1975 Nebraska City provides free space and utilities on the 2nd floor of the Nebraska
    City Fire Hall (110 North 6th Street) for Joe’s taxidermy collection.
  • 1990 Naturecraft Studios is sold to Bow Steedly, but Joe continues doing taxidermy.
  • 2001 The River Country Nature Center board begins searching for a new home for Joe’s collection.
  • 2002 The Brawner Building (114 South 6th Street) is purchased, committees formed, and renovation begun on the new home for Joe’s collection.
  • 2005 Joe’s taxidermy collection is moved to its new location, and River Country Nature Center II is opened following thousands of hours of volunteer labor.

Milestones in the Life of Joe Voges:

  • 1913 Born in Nebraska City March 15. Father farmed and ranched in Wyoming
  • 1919 Sees first mounted Snowy Owl in home Near Pine Bluffs, Wyoming
  • 1925 Returns to Nebraska City with father
  • 1928 Father dies requiring Joe to work at variety of jobs
  • 1930 Graduates from Nebraska City High School
  • 1934 Works for Schneider Cabin Camp eventually purchasing the business
  • 1933 Begins taxidermy
  • 1942 Enlists in the United States Navy
  • 1945 Returns to Nebraska City to Otoe Market and Motel
  • 1958 Joins Otoe County Wildlife Club and serves as officer for many years
  • 1967 Enters taxidermy full time and establishes Naturecraft Studios
  • 1972 Receives recognition for planting several thousand trees and shrubs
  • 1975 Establishes museum on second floor of Nebraska City Fire Hall
  • 1990 Sells Naturecraft Studios to Bow Steedly
  • 2005 River Country Nature Center moves to new home in former Brawner Building
Hours of Operation:

Winter: Appointment Only

Adults: $3.00
Children-12 & Under: $1.00
Group Visits:
Call 402-873-4265


Click images of the old Nature Center to enlarge.

Copyright © 2015 River Country Nature Center