1991- the president’s commission on American Outdoors, through the Congress of the United States established the National Scenic Byway program.
1999- In October, Governor Mike Johanns incorporated 9 byways for the State. Under the direction of the Nebraska Department of Roads—Jim Pearson. Each byway was automatically granted a sum of money, determined by the Congress. This money was to be used to establish each byway.
2000- In the spring of 2000 interested residents along the Byway began meeting in Broken Bow, directed by Cindy Evert of the advertising firm Snitely-Carr, hired to assist in setting up the structure for each Byway.
On May 17, 2000 the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway became our name and our “structure” began.
2003- Renee Seifert from Grand Island became exited about a “Portal Project” at Cairo. On April 23-24 at the first annual meeting the grant written by Cindy Evert for $340,000 with $80,000 match was awarded to Cairo.
2004-Because of many unforeseen circumstances the Cairo project was stalled and Jim Pearson stated the project would be opened to the entire Byway.
On April 4, 2004 Jim Varney, Anne Thomas and the Chamber Executive President presented a rough draft of a plane at the Thedford Meeting. Others were interested and plans were developed to proceed with the official presentation for the Byway Interpretive Center. Uncle Buck’s Lodge in Brewster was chosen as a neutral location. Two presentations were made—one from Cairo and one from Broken Bow.
2005- Grant money was awarded to the Broken Bow Economic Development Corp. (now the Custer County Economic Development Corp.) Jim Varney became the commanding officer of this large project. Bob and Carla Allen donated land. Roy and Dot Yanagida donate the historic O.K. Luther barn and Marvin Webb from grand Island was hired as Architect. Lynn Berggren was chosen as contractor. Contributions of money came from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, The Emigg Foundation, the CCEDC and the Custer County Tourism Council, as well as many others.
2006-May 20th was the ground breaking ceremonies, they where held on site. CCEDC assumed ownership as Berggren Builders, the General Contractor declared the operation plans were almost completed.
2007- December- the Barn was slowly moved to its present location from west of town.
2009- Grand Opening was April 24-25 with two days of celebration.
2009- New owner, CCEDC requested a new Management Team be developed to carry out the business of the “Barn”.