General Dodge House decked out for holidays

Officials say the Dodge name is something that brings Omaha and Council Bluffs together.
A Council Bluffs landmark's halls are decked and ready for the holiday season.
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 5:54 PM CST
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COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA (WOWT) – Just a short drive from Omaha at the corner of South 3rd and Story streets in Council Bluffs sits the General Dodge House.

The three-story Victorian home has been there since 1869. The outside is now all decked out for the Christmas holiday and the inside is even more impressive.

Pictures of the late Grenville Dodge hang in various rooms. He was a Civil War Major General for the Union and had the trust of General Ulysses S. Grant by often coordinating intelligence operations.

His link to Omaha and Council Bluffs is just as strong. Following the war, Dodge was the chief engineer for Union Pacific and one of the brains behind the construction of the transcontinental railroad. He lived in the beautiful home in Council Bluffs with his wife and three daughters, after spending some time initially in Elkhorn, Nebraska.

Today, some of the rooms are preserved just the way they were since the 1800′s. He entertained Presidents in the dining room including Grant, McKinley, and Teddy Roosevelt.

These days you could say the past meets the present as the Dodge House has all sorts of holiday decorations and events to attract the public. About twenty Christmas trees are featured prominently with bright lights on all three floors. The spiral staircase takes you from room to room.

Executive Director Tom Emmett says the Dodge name is huge here and it’s something that brings Omaha and Council Bluffs together.

“General Dodge and Council Bluffs are important to Omaha,” Emmett said. “People from Omaha should make the trip across the river. Council Bluffs founded Omaha in 1854. The first territorial legislature, the governor, the first newspaper all lived and met and was published here. Truly, Council Bluffs is Omaha’s partner.”

Emmett says with the holidays upon us, parents will be looking for all sorts of options to keep the children busy once school lets out for the rest of the year. He says the Dodge House is an affordable attraction and also a learning experience.

It is open for tours from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Thursday. On Sunday, the Dodge House is open from 1-5 p.m. There are also memberships available.