The Nebraska commemorative state quarter features the western Nebraska landmark Chimney Rock.
The design has a pioneer family, a covered wagon and Chimney Rock in the background. The design honors the vitality, spirit and determination that have long been trademarks of Nebraska.
Chimney Rock, located in the North Platte River valley near Bayard, gained fame as a landmark during the 19th century U.S. western migration.
Chimney Rock was known as the most famous landmark on the Oregon-California Trail. Nearly 500,000 people traveled past Chimney Rock from 1812-66.
At the time of the migration, the landmark was taller and shaped more closely to resemble a large chimney. Time and weather have eroded the clay and sandstone rock formation.
The Nebraska quarter was part of the U.S. Commemorative Quarter Design Program, which was launched by the U.S. Mint in 1999 to honor all 50 states. The Nebraska quarter was released to the public on April 3, 2006.
Secretary of State John Gale was chairman of the eight-person Nebraska State Quarter Design Committee. Other committee members were Tom Bassett, Virgil Marshall, Roger Bruhn, Norman Geske, Dr. Michael Schuyler, Gordon Howard and Jodi Rave.
The committee undertook an elaborate process from 2003-05 to develop a design for the quarter. The committee considered some 6,500 designs submitted by the public.
The committee forwarded four design finalists, including Chimney Rock, to Gov. Dave Heineman for his consideration. The other designs included the State Capitol with the inscription "Home of the Unicameral"; "The Sower" statue with the inscription "Home of Arbor Day"; and Ponca Chief Standing Bear with the state motto "Equality before the Law."
Heineman announced his selection of the Chimney Rock design at a June 1, 2005, news conference at the State Capitol.