I visited the Elkhorn Valley Museum and Research Center. They have some great vignettes- blacksmith, the parlor, the kitchen and more. Norfolk is the home of the square-turn tractor and they have one there to prove it (built in 1916)! They also have some great memorabilia from local restaurants- I especially like the menu from the Brass Lantern.
The biggest exhibit by far is the Johnny Carson area. He hailed from Norfolk- and they even made a special show of one of his "home comings" to Norfolk. The exhibit features a really comfy sectional sofa with a big TV and headphones- there is no way you can pass up this invitation to sit back and listen to one (OK- a few) of his monologues! There is also a life size model of him on stage- complete with the multi-colored curtains that everyone remembers from The Tonight Show (they actually are from a resident's house- she recreated the Tonight Show curtains for her living room- now that is devotion!). Just don't be surprised when the opening song starts to play as you approach the stage area. There are no pictures allowed inside the exhibit- but I was able to get one of the entry area (see the photo album attached).
Their research area was great! It was well organized, well stocked and the people were very nice about making copies for me despite the fact that they were expecting a bus load of folks at any minute (Thanks ladies!)
I also stumbled upon a great antique shop in the downtown area. They stayed open late and had a great selection of stuff. I bought an oil lamp and a Boy Scout Song Book from 1960's (complete with a "Cussing Chip" which has now been copied for use at our local Boy Scout Shop for Scout Masters to purchase before outings... they should actually be called anti-cussing chips probably). The owner was really friendly and we had a great discussion as we both noticed that we knew the words to an old Charlie Daniels song despite having not heard it for several years. I have included some photos of the shop as well.
Here some links about Norfolk, NE:
http://www.newvictorianinn.com (This is where I stayed- very nice and really reasonable rates!)