The front of Arbor Lodge.
|Location||2600 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, Nebraska|
|Area||72 acres (29 ha)|
|Architect||Jarvis Hunt (house)
Frederick Law Olmsted (grounds)
|Architectural style||Colonial Revival|
|NRHP reference #||69000135|
|Added to NRHP||April 16, 1969|
|Designated NHL||May 15, 1975|
Arbor Lodge State Historical Park and Arboretum is a mansion, state park, and arboretum located at 2600 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, Nebraska, United States The Park's grounds are open daily; the mansion is open daily between March and November, weekends only through the winter. It was designated a National Historic Landmark for its association with J. Sterling Morton, the originator of the idea of Arbor Day.
Today's 52-room neo-colonial house began in 1855 for J. Sterling Morton, originator of Arbor Day and Secretary of Agriculture in the 1890s under President Grover Cleveland. The house was originally a modest 4-room frame structure on 160 acres (65 ha). It was extended several times, most recently in 1903, and in later years served as the summer home for his son Joy Morton, founder of Morton Salt Company. The mansion features Victorian and Empire furnishings, many of which were owned by the Mortons. Its sun parlor contains a fine Tiffany skylight with grape trellis design.
The mansion currently functions as a museum and contains many items related to the early history of Nebraska, Otoe County, and Nebraska City (which was founded in 1854). A nearby carriage house contains early carriages.
Trees were a central interest of J. Sterling Morton. He imported trees from all over the country in order to test their suitability to create windbreaks and otherwise break up the monotony of the great plains. The house is surrounded by 270 varieties of trees and shrubs, including gardens, apple orchards, and acres of oaks, maples, chestnuts, and pines, including at least 10 state-champion trees. Specimen trees are typically labeled with engraved bronze plates. Over the years, many of Arbor Lodge's apple orchards were demolished, but in the 1990s their restoration began with plantings of Winesaps, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Jonathans, and Jonadels.
The Tiffany skylight in the sun parlor.