The Union Pacific Railroad played an important role in the settlement of Belvidere. Pioneers settled in this area of southeast of Nebraska along the fertile banks of the Big Sandy Creek and the tracks of the railroad. It became a thriving settlement of doctors, grocery stores, blacksmith shops, grain elevators,etc. The train provided transportation of livestock, mail, people and freight. The railroad has made Belvidere a major hub for transporting grain to the markets.
When the town was plated, it was given the name Belvidere which means "Beautiful to See." It is located on what is known as the ABC east-west railroad because the towns were named alphabetically on up the line. Since then the railroad has been double tracked. It hauls a huge volume of freight,included in this is the loaded coal trains rolling east to destinations making energy power. The lines are busy as trains travel through this little town 10-15 minutes apart 24 hours a day. So much activity has generated interest in watching and studying trains. Many train buffs come to Belvidere to view the trains.
Belvidere isjust one mile from Highway 81 Expressway so it is easily accessible. Because of this, the Belvidere Woman's Club initiated the idea of a train watching station. This venture started when an old steam locomotive would pass through the town. The club promoted train watchers to come, and each time the club would serve the viewers coffee, cookies or rolls. Because of this interest, the town has been fortunate to have engines such as the No. 844 stop. The first time the crowd was unbelievable. It was Memorial Day weekend and there were more than 500 viewers.
Belvidere has a long history of being a railroad town. From 1873 when people built businesses and houses to now, it is still an exciting place to be. Just as in 1934 when school was dismissed so students could be a part of history as the new Union Pacific Streamliner rolled into town, and full-page advertising by Belvidere merchants was published inviting people to town. So, the town carries on the proud heritage of being a railroad town and celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Union Pacific!