The North Platte Canteen Experience

Experience the incredible hospitality of the North Platte World War II Canteen, America's most heartwarming homefront story.

On December 17, 1941, North Platte residents gathered at the Union Pacific Depot because they heard that a troop train carrying their own boys – Company D of the Nebraska National Guard – would be coming through. When the troop train stopped, it was Company D all right, but of the Kansas National Guard, not Nebraska. After a few moments of awkward silence, the townsfolk surged forward to share their gifts with the Kansas boys – after all, they were someone’s children, and away from home at Christmas time.

That night, young Rae Wilson went home and penned a letter to the editor asking North Platte to follow the lead of their ancestors in World War I and open a Canteen at the depot. Little did she know that she would be starting an endeavor that would last for 54 months, involve 12,000 volunteers and serve more than 6 million service men and women.

At the Canteen Experience you have the opportunity to look through the database that is filled with names of the soldiers that signed the guest book when the train stopped in North Platte. The index has over 6,000 names out of the 6 millions service men and women who stopped during World War II. You will also be able to peruse some of the hundreds of letters of appreciation that have been received in North Platte over the past 70 years.

Lincoln County Historical Museum

5:00pm - The museum is home to the World War II Canteen Exhibit as well as the Prairie Village. The western prairie village is complete with a working blacksmith shop, railroad depot and telegraph, Fort McPherson cabin, Pony Express Building, county church, one room school house and much more. Stepping into the village is like stepping back in time 100 years.

  • Museum
  • Outdoor Museum

The story of the North Platte Canteen

5:45 pm - Told by a Canteen Historian, Jim Griffin. The Museum features the official North Platte World War II Canteen exhibit, which tells the story of local volunteers who served more than six million service men and women throughout World War II. The North Platte Canteen is known to have been the single biggest movement of volunteerism in the United States to date.

Canteen Themed Dinner

6:45 pm - Enjoy good, old-fashioned cooking that may include items that would have been on the Canteen menu. Fried chicken, homemade pies, even a Canteen favorite - Popcorn balls!

Back to your hotel

7:45 pm - Board your motorcoach to return to your hotel.

**Tours can be customized for any group.

The North Platte Canteen Experience: starts at $30 per person for 35 people of more. The shootout/robbery, dinner menu, and both tours can be customized for any group. Please email Amanda Connick at aconnick@VisitNorthPlatte.com or call at 308-221-6864 if you have any questions or would like more information.