Living History Tours
About Mr. and Mrs. William H. Faling, home and
Architectural information from the National Register
of Historic Places
About the Architect, W. F. Gernandt and Interior
Painters Hansen and Willer
About the Owners and Preservation Efforts
It is seldom that the structure, the interior
decor and the landscaping combine to create a total sense of history.
When you walk onto the grounds it is as though you are stepping
back into the past. Dennis Duer, Architect and Guest,
I cant image HEAVEN could be any better! Heaven
in Cambridge, Nebraska, Yes, Yes!! The House and its Keepers
are a NATIONAL TREASURE!!
J and M Kelly, Toronto, Canada
One of the greatest treasures I have been associated
its in my hometown, Cambridge, Nebraska! This
is THE BEST!!!
D Witte, Colorado
After nine days of traveling to carefully chosen B&Bs
from Wisconsin to Colorado, I vote you #1 with your genuine warmth
and attention to detail your Inn is the one I would most like to
R Fawcett, Wisconsin
We have visited 50 bed & breakfasts throughout the U.S.the
Cambridge B&B has to be in the top 5the house is so well
cared for and decorated. The hospitality is wonderful and the food
is excellent. We enjoyed a delightfully relaxing visit and will
return in the future. We appreciate all the work you have done to
preserve and enrich this excellent house. Cambridge and Nebraska
can be very proud of a lodging like this. We will make every effort
to make others aware of its merits and availability for a superb
Bob and Nancy Sorensen, Lincoln, Nebraska
Thank you for an enjoyable visit in your beautiful home! The food
is excellent and accommodations so nice and you both are excellent
hosts. We think you have established a new class of accommodationssomething
like Ten Star.
Kenneth and Jackie Rosier, Corpus Christi, Texas
We have visited five continents and have crisscrossed our beautiful
country many times and this was our first experience staying at
a B&B. We would be tempted to give up hotel/motels forever after
your warmth and hospitality and beautiful home.
Gene and Eileen Hockemeier, California
Living History Tours
In response to many tour requests,
the owners host a Living History tour experience. You
will learn about the Falings, life in rural Nebraska, experience
the beautiful interior design, and learn about Neoclassical architecture.
This tour appeals to all ages and can accommodate groups up to 20
at a time. Student groups are welcome. Special events like high
tea, dessert, or an ice cream social can be added for groups over
10. Unfortunately, handicapped access is not available. Please contact
us in advance for availability.
About Mr. and Mrs. William
H. Faling, home and community builders
William H. Faling, was born
in Jefferson County, New York in 1848. He was raised on a farm and
engaged in farming in his early years, retail ventures in Illinois,
Minnesota and Exeter, Nebraska followed. Mr. Faling and his wife,
Anna (Stewart) Faling arrived in Cambridge in 1880 and opened The
Regulator, a fine general merchandise store with an inventory
valued at $8,000.
Later that year, Anna was
appointed lot agent for the B & M Railroad and William was appointed
Land Agent for the Lincoln Land Company. In 1885, with the required
200 residents, he helped incorporate Cambridge and became its first
Mayor. As Mayor and Land Agent, Faling laid out and platted five
additions and subdivisions and sold all the lots. The next year
he opened the Faling Home Bank. In 1887 he was named the first President
of Enterprise Building and Loan Association.
From the very beginning, the
Falings labored unceasingly for the general welfare of the community.
Their presence in developing many businesses and organizations exemplifies
a pioneering spirit, vision, and commitment best described in a
statement commending them for working together to build a
thriving community out of the Great American Desert.
information from the National Register of Historic Places
In September of 1999, a presentation
was made to the Nebraska State Historical Society Preservation Board
for placement on the National Register of Historic Places. With
approval of this Board, the case was then forwarded to National
Committee. Notification of the approval came in December of 1999.
The following description of the home details the significance of
the architectural attributes.
The house is three stories,
plus attic and full basement and dominates the street corner of
Parker and historical Highway 6 & 34. The architect designed
the Faling home in the Neoclassical style with a full height entry
divided by a lower full-width porch, standing with many Ionic columns.
This is somewhat unusual in that no colossal columns are used for
a full height entry; instead a second tier of columns occurs above
the lower porch. These columns are Corinthian in style. Columns
also occur on the now enclosed south porch, and on the south wall
of the building are Ionic pilasters running from the first floor
to the second. The eaves around the home are decorated with box
dentils and a running ornamental border. The front door is oak surrounded
by an elliptical arch and sidelights, decorated with leaded beveled
The entry hall and main staircase
still bear the original finishes a faux design resembling marble.
Original Faux designs also appear in the dining room, front and
back hall ceiling and the second floor, Master Bedroom boasts faux
painted birds-eye maple woodwork throughout. The preserved designs
as well as some, which have deteriorated were the works of Danish
artist, Charles Hansen and James Willer of Fairbury, NE.
The woodwork in the home has
been well preserved. Oak is used extensively and interior columns
and border repeat the exterior designs. The fine craftsmanship is
especially evident in the living room fireplace called Surround;
also the main staircase (signed by the craftsman), and the dining
room sideboard, which appears to be made of Italian olivewood. Leaded
beveled glass is used throughout and the rose tree of life stained
glass window on the main staircase is the focal point of both the
downstairs reception hall and the upstairs balcony. The house retains
a high degree of historic integrity and an excellent example of
early 20th century architecture.
About the Architect, W.
F. Gernandt and Interior Painters Hansen and Willer
The home was constructed from
1907 - 1910 under the direction of renowned architect, W. F. Gernandt.
Other significant buildings noted to his credit throughout Nebraska
include the historic Coleman House in Diller, the Webster County
Courthouse, the Pawnee County Courthouse, and Valley County Courthouse.
Cambridge had no electricity at the time, however, it was available
near the end of completion of the house and wiring and electric
lighting were installed. Those original lighting fixtures still
hang in the present home. The huge structure of 2200 square feet
per floor (three plus basement) would have been a monumental task
without electrical and modern building equipment access, however
Mr. Gernandt brought superior craftsmen and the finest building
materials to the site.
Artists, Charles F. Hansen
and James F. Willer, were born in Denmark in 1868 and 1886, respectively.
Seeking a more prosperous life, they came to America, then made
their way west. While visiting in Southeast Nebraska, Hansen saw
a great potential for profitable work as many new buildings were
being built. Willer, after arriving in New York Oct. 16, 1907, joined
his partner in Fairbury, NE where they established their storefront
Hansen & Willer, the painters and decorators.
the Owners and Preservation Efforts
Gerald and Gloria Hilton are
fourth generation, life long residents of the Cambridge area. Gerald
spent six years in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot and returned to
the family farm in l957. He continues his interest in flying and
has flown 23 different aircraft in his 40 years of flying. He participates
in many facets of Cambridge and the area through involvement in
Boards and organizations. Gloria is a dedicated volunteer and promoter.
Her interests have focused around music and the arts. She lead a
project beginning in 1967 to document and celebrate local history,
which resulted in publishing the Cambridge Centennial History Book
1874 to 1974.
The Hiltons ownership
of the Wm. H. Faling historic home inspires the researching, restoration,
and development of this landmark home and welcomes visitors in excess
of 1800 persons annually. Some of these are Bed and Breakfast guests,
however, the majority stop by to see the amazing architectural features.
The Hiltons find great pleasure in making these acquaintances and
sharing the many unique offerings of the Cambridge area. Cambridge
is unique as a small, agricultural-based community in its many recreational
facilities, beautiful homes, fine businesses, and diverse and progressive
Our wish is to share
the artistic wealth of this historic home. Midwest hospitality and
modern amenities are priorities for our guests comfort. We
continually strive in efforts to preserve this home so guests may
enjoy its beauty for many years to come. Gerald and Gloria
Hilton, owners since 1998.