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Local author, photographer create Omaha history guide

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jul 23, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Even for people who have lived here for years, there’s always something new to discover about Omaha.

Photographer Carol McCabe and writer Eileen Wirth learned this firsthand while creating their new book, ‘A History Lover’s Guide to Omaha'.

“I thought I knew Omaha pretty well, but what I took away from this was how much of our history is in our streets," said Wirth.

Various historical sites closed as the pandemic hit, but that didn’t stop Wirth's research.

She hit the road, exploring different neighborhoods, studying how Omaha's past shines through to the present.

“We had to drive the areas two or three times. Each chapter includes a route around the neighborhoods and then the chapters give information about all the major places on the routes," said Wirth.

Wirth added each neighborhood tells a story, and as a whole, illustrates how diverse Omaha is.

“If you go to downtown South Omaha, it’s like a trip to Mexico without even leaving the city," she said.

Another highlight in South Omaha is the Livestock Exchange Building.

A series of markers detail the history of the former stockyards where half of the city’s workforce were employed in 1957.

“Carol’s from South Omaha… I've been to South Omaha nine zillion times, none of us knew about these markers," said Wirth.

She also found North Omaha to be especially interesting.

“So much has been done with the historic sites in North Omaha. In some ways, it was my favorite chapter.”

Wirth said Omaha isn’t just any old Midwestern town.

She hopes people learn from her book that there are places in every corner of the city worth visiting.

“Hop in the car and take a spin through a neighborhood that you’re not familiar with.”

The guide is now available in bookstores across Omaha.

This Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Wirth and McCabe will be signing copies of the book at The Next Chapter store near 25th and Farnam with a short discussion taking place before the signing.

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