Brown County Today


A lot has changed since the 1800s. Brown County rised and fell over the years. Johnstown has decreased in population but keeps the spirt alive. Ainsworth changes year after year. More come in and more leave town. Long Pine at one time was larger than Ainsworth. Long Pine was so big because of the opportunities of working the railroad, the coca-cola plant, the potato plant, and the large number of students attending school. Once the railroad quit going through town there wasn't anything keeping as many people around. Today Brown County remains constant and does not change because they know what they are doing is working.


Johnstown's population has been a constant 80 or so for the past 20 years. In addition to the elementary school, church, and post office, there is a bar'n grill, a service station, and a new volunteer fire department building. Johnstown today is small but brings several people to the area for Brown County Fair. With a few small upkeeps the fairgrounds are mainly the same as when it came to be. With the support of the rural community, the spirit of "Johnstown togetherness" still prevails. When something needs doing, people work together until the job is completed. Come and join us some Labor Day weekend. We promise a good time for the whole family.


Ainsworth has a radio station, a park and swimming pool, baseball diamonds, track and football fields, tennis courts, and horse shoe pits. An active historical society maintains the Coleman Farmhouse, and helped gain recognition of the Lakeland schoolhouse -- used during the Depression years from 1934-41 and was the only known sod high school in the nation. A book, Pioneer Stories of Brown, Keya Paha, and Rock Counties, published in 1980, and edited by Shirley Marie Skinner, was also a project of the Brown County Historical Society. The city of Ainsworth maintains the Sellors Cabin, donated by Elizabeth Sellors Deer. The town and the schools have kept pace with times. The old windmill and water towers have given way to the new; the original hospital is now apartments through the HUD plan, and a modern county hospital was built. A new senior center provides for many of the social and physical needs of the community's citizens. Today the WWI Air Base is the airport. Some instances have occured of famous people flying into the airport to refule or to come to brown county for a get away. The school has since been updated and combined into one large school building for elementary, middle, and high school students.In 2012 there was a huge fire that destroyed several trees and homes for wildlife. To this day the trees are still ashy and chared. Grass is still trying to grow and some roads have been shut down. The East City Park had once held the County Music Festival and the stage is now no more. Around the time of the 2012 fire the movie theater burnt down. The first theater was on Main Street, years later it was moved to its location of where it burned. For the first time in 100s of years the new movie theater is being rebuilt back onto Main Street.

Long Pine

Long Pine never regained the status of its early days, but it is still a busy little town. Irrigation helped stabilize farming, and the area offers excellent hunting for prairie chicken, grouse, pheasant, wild turkey, and deer. The old school house has been turned into a home for another person. The origional metal jail sits on Main Street. The old buildings for the train, Seven Springs, grain bins, the palace, drive in theater; have since been restored and still there today. The Drive-in theater just outside of Long Pine have recently been tore down however the ticket booth and conssessions still remain. The town has a number of new homes, and a new post office built in 1987. The community supports four churches, a local volunteer fire department, ambulance service, Legion/VFW club, and a good number of shops and businesses. Long Pine, on Highway 20, is a town of friendly people who welcome tourists and newcomers to the community.