• History

    A cabin bearing the name of Wake Robin was the home of Dr. Robert Fletcher Gilder (1856 to 1940). Dr. Gilder is one of the famous people buried in the historic Bellevue Cemetery where a marker states, "Archaeologist...Artist...Friend."

    Dr. Gilder started as an amateur archeologist while employed by the Omaha World-Herald. He became interested in earth depressions found on the hills bordering the Missouri River both in Bellevue and in areas north of Omaha. He began his digging in the area of Fontenelle Forest where many of these depressions were found. He located Native American artifacts that have been dated from about AD 950 to 1450. He was important in identifying this early Bellevue society, which is now called the Nebraska Culture or the Nebraska Phase People.

    Dr. Gilder was also an artist and a friend. Visitors were always welcome to his home, which was also an artist's studio. Gilder's nature paintings are still in demand. One is on permanent display at the Joslyn Art Museum.

    In 1963 after a successful bond issue, the Bellevue Public Schools planned to build four new elementary schools. Frank Thomasek, a member of the Board of Education, proposed that the school nearest to the Wake Robin Cabin and closest to Dr. Gilder's friends in Avery and on Bellevue Boulevard be named Wake Robin Elementary School. His motion carried, and today Wake Robin Elementary School honors the flower, birds, nature, and Dr. Gilder.