Boys’ Town

Boys’ Town is a notable Catholic orphanage started in Omaha in 1917. It moved from downtown Omaha to the “outskirts” of the city in 1921. The city grew to encapsulate it, and it technically sits in the village of Boys’ Town, Omaha, which is an enclave at 144th and Dodge Street.

Boys’ Town has evolved as a general child care and welfare organization with offshoots in nine American cities. There is also a research hospital in downtown Omaha.

Boys’ Town has been depicted in multiple movies during its history, including Boys’ Town starring Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney which was the highest grossing film of 1938.

Why I Looked It Up

I’ve been to Omaha a lot, and its area on West Dodge Street – which is effectively the main street of Omaha – is known as “The Boy’s Town Exit.” Some residents will give directions like, “If you get to the Boys’ Town Exit, you went too far” or, “Go about five miles past Boys’ Town…”

I never really knew what it was, or whether it was a historical place or still in operation.


Added on September 30, 2022

Stumbled across this in an article called 10 Weirdest Roadside Tourist Traps In America:

If you happen to find yourself rumbling through Omaha, you can take a detour off I-680 and check out the World’s Largest Ball of Stamps. Comprising more than 4,655,000 stamps, the 32-inch-wide, 600-pound ball was assembled by the Boys Town Stamp Collecting Club in 1953. Interestingly, the ball only took about two years to reach its current size (probably because the club’s members weren’t distracted with spouses or dating), with nothing added since. Unlike most attractions, visitors are free to touch the rare, record-setting object — just don’t try to remove or add any stamps.

This is item #69 in a sequence of 502 items.

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