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Behind the Lens: Welcome to America's Smallest City Hall

Photos and musings from our photographer.

Maskell, Nebraska, City Hall
(Thomas R. McLaughlin)
Maskell, Neb., bills itself as home to the nation’s smallest city hall.

The 10-by-12-foot structure has served the tiny town of roughly 70 residents since the 1930s. There’s just enough room inside for Maskell’s four board members, city clerk and board chairman. If a particularly contentious issue draws more than a few observers, the board picks up and moves across the street to the shelter house in the city park. Minutes from each meeting are posted in the city hall’s lone window.

The stucco-covered structure was built as a public works project during the Great Depression to protect a well. The pump, unused since the 1950s, is still in the basement, accessible through a trap door and ladder. A recent renovation ensures that the little building will hold on to its claim to fame for the foreseeable future.

David Kidd is a photojournalist and storyteller for Governing. He can be reached at
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