Boys Town USA Douglas County, Nebraska
Boys Town began in 1917, when a young Irish priest named Father Edward J. Flanagan opened Father Flanagan’s Home for Boys and welcomed in all boys, regardless of race or religion. Today, the village of Boys Town is home to more than 400 boys and girls.
Tours of the famous Village begin at the Visitors Center, where a step-on guide greets the bus and conducts a driving tour through the village. Tour passengers discover how Boys Town’s programs developed and how Boys Town continues to change the way America cares for children, families and communities.
The Hall of History museum presents the first 100 years of Boys Town’s history through permanent exhibits that use audio and video presentations. Some of the artifacts on display include the Best Actor Oscar presented to Spencer Tracy for his role as Father Flanagan in the film Boys Town and the Flxible Visicoach bus that once carried Boys Town athletic teams across America. The Father Flanagan House museum is the former residence of Boys Town’s founder, and the home’s décor reflects the year 1929, when Flanagan would have been in residence.
Rising from the landscape in the tradition of a 15th-century Gothic church, the Dowd Memorial Chapel of the Immaculate Conception has stood at the center of the Village of Boys Town for more than 60 years. The Herbert B. Chambers Protestant Chapel of the Nativity of Our Lord is the spiritual home for the village’s Protestant youth. The Chambers Chapel’s Gothic architecture was specifically chosen to complement Dowd Chapel. Both chapels stand equidistant from “The Work Continues” Statue, the new bronze statue of Boys Town that was unveiled for the nonprofit’s 100th anniversary in 2017.
Their experienced and friendly tour guides offer groups an insider’s perspective on life in village and share stories about the special moments and figures that make up Boys Town’s illustrious past. Passengers can augment their physical tour with the Interactive Boys Town Tour; all that is needed is a Smartphone. By simply scanning a QR code, visitors gain access to photos and videos of the village’s top attractions.
Tours can be customized to fit the group, and can include, among other options, a picnic lunch, dining in the café or attending a religious service in one of the chapels. For more information, phone (800) 625-1400 or visit boystown.org/tours.