Monday, August 31, 2015

Wandering Southeastern Nebraska (#2)

After visiting the Homestead National Monument of America and the town of Beatrice Nebraska, we headed east toward the Missouri River on US Hwy. 136.

This is the Johnson County Courthouse in Tecumseh Nebraska.  Established in 1857, Johnson County is one of the earliest counties in Nebraska.  This Romanesque Revival-style building replaced 2 earlier courthouses.  It was completed in 1889 and it’s the oldest courthouse in the state.  I really like the juxtaposition of stone and the bright red brick…with the corner towers and the central dome.  It successfully projects an image of permanence and importance.
Note the old building in the background to the left of the courthouse.  That is the Tecumseh City Hall and it is also about 125 years old...  Unfortunately the lower left side of that building appears to have been ‘modified’ or ‘updated’, damaging its historical value.  From what I could determine, wind damage necessitated the ‘modernization’.

The Tecumseh Architectural District is a fine example of a late nineteenth century county seat town in Nebraska.  A wide range of important building types and building materials exist in the approximately fifty square blocks of the district.  Of course the courthouse is the pivotal structure.  

That Rexall Drug Store in the photo occupies a building that was completed in 1880…9 years earlier than the Johnson County Courthouse!  Actually that building used to be Tecumseh’s Opera House… The first floor commercial space was originally occupied by a barbershop and restaurant.  The opera house occupied the entire second floor.  It  provided a place where the community gathered for dances, meetings, movies, and other forms of entertainment.  If we had been there in November 1887, we could have attended the annual masquerade ball and been entertained and bedazzled by Professor Jundano, “ventriloquist and ledgerdemainist”.


·       Tecumseh was the town largely used as the setting of the mini-series “Amerika”, which depicted life in a small American town after a successful takeover by the Soviet Union.

The photo above shows the Tecumseh Nebraska Burlington Railway station that served the community prior to 1910.

At its founding, Tecumseh was an "inland town" away from the Missouri River and it struggled to survive.  All materials and supplies had to be hauled overland, and while there was an adequate supply of game and crops, getting them marketed was a problem, so money was scarce.  Interest rates were from 18 to 60 percent! (Holy Payday Loan Batman!)

In the early 1870s, the Atchison and Nebraska Railroad laid its rails through Johnson County, linking Tecumseh with the new capital city of Lincoln in 1872.  The railroad proved to be "...the impetus to the growth and stability" needed.  In April 1872, when the first train arrived at the depot in the southern end of town, there were about 100 homes and 20 businesses.   Tecumseh reached its peak in 1940 with 2,104 residents.  Today its population is about 1,650.

From what I could determine, this former Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Depot was built in Tecumseh ca. 1910.  It appears that the Burlington Railroad still owns this property.  I couldn’t find any other information on this structure…


·       The town was named "Tecumseh" after the famous Shawnee Chief who was killed in battle by Colonel Richard Johnson…for whom the County was named.  The town was originally named “Frances” after Johnson’s wife…

Moving east, this is the First United Presbyterian Church at 1322 19th Street in Auburn Nebraska.  It was constructed in 1906-7 in the Late Gothic Revival style.  The interior exhibits the "Akron plan," which originated in the 1860's and is characterized by an arrangement in which instructional rooms are adjacent to the auditorium and separated by a folding partition that can be opened for additional seating during services. (It doesn’t seem that revolutionary to me…but I guess it was from a design perspective)


·       The towns of Calvert and Sheridan combined to form Auburn in 1882. The goal of the merge in part was to gain the voting power needed to wrestle the county seat designation away from Brownville Nebraska, a village located nine miles east.

That’s about it for now… Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Friday, August 28, 2015

Wandering Southeastern Nebraska

We still had a day and a half to go before we were due at our son’s family home in Omaha.  There was still plenty of time to take a look at many more historic sites and sights here in southeastern Nebraska…

This is the Gage County Courthouse at 612 Grant Street in Beatrice Nebraska.  Gage County was established in 1856.  Despite the county’s early beginning, it didn’t have a courthouse until ca. 1870.  At about that year the first courthouse was constructed and it was used until 1889. After voters passed a $100,000 bond issue for a new facility, construction began on this imposing structure in 1890.  In 1892, the Richardsonian Romanesque style courthouse was opened.
The monument that is dramatically centered in front of the courthouse is topped by a cannon with a metal eagle sculpture mounted on it.  The names of soldiers from the county who died in the Civil War are inscribed on 3 sides of the pedestal and war dead from the Spanish-American War are inscribed on the 4th side.  The large black Veteran’s Memorial in front of the larger one is intended to honor all military veterans…


·       Gage County was one of the 19 counties originally established by the Nebraska Territorial Legislature in 1854.  At the time it was established there were no settlers living within the county!

Christ Church Episcopal is located at 520 North 5th Street in Beatrice.  This Gothic Revival style church was built in 1889-90.  Additions were made to the church between 1914 and 1920 and then again in 1951.  Despite the lack of a permanent structure, the Episcopal Church held its first services in Beatrice in 1869.  The Christ Church parish was formally organized in 1873.  In 1874 the first Episcopal Church building was constructed.  Services were held in that wood frame structure for the next 16 years.

As a result of the church being constructed in a manner which met the stringent Ecclesiological Movement/church requirements of the time, the parish was in considerable debt when the building was completed.  To help offset this debt 2 loans were secured in 1891 for $12,000.  The church defaulted on the loans in 1897.  In order to ease the debt the Diocese sent one of their Bishops to New York, Chicago and other eastern cities to solicit contributions.  The mission met with considerable success.  Amongst the contributors were the Boys Club of Chicago and J. Pierpont Morgan.  The debt was finally retired in 1908.


·       The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America was organized after the American Revolution, when it became separate from the Church of England.  In England, the clergy are required to swear allegiance to the British monarch as Supreme Governor of the Church of England.  The church in the USA became the first Anglican ‘province’ outside the British Isles.

Yes…you are correct!  It is yet another Carnegie Library...  This particular library is located at 220 South 5th Street in Beatrice.  The structure, which is an example of what is termed the “Beaux-Arts” style, was built in 1902 – 1903.  

The establishment of a permanent library was due to the efforts of the Beatrice Literary Club, which was founded in 1890.  It had continued the earlier efforts of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. (I guess that the thought was that if a person read books they would give up the bottle)  In 1902 the library board obtained a $20,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie.  A grand opening was held on January 1, 1904, to celebrate the new building's completion.


·       Director and silent film star Harold Lloyd and actor Robert Taylor were both from Beatrice.  In addition to many films, Lloyd was a founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  Taylor is remembered by many as the actor who took over the hosts duties from Ronald Regan for the TV series “Death Valley Days”. (1966 -1969)

This colorful building at 115 North 5th Street in Beatrice is referred to as the J. Schmuck Block.  Constructed in 1887 by John Schmuck, a German immigrant who found considerable success as a shoemaker, the Schmuck Block is a flashy example of the High Victorian Eclectic style.  

The façade of this three-story brick building displays a wealth of over-the-top decoration and ornamentation that were obviously inspired by a variety of architectural styles.  It has a mansard roof, a Gothic arch, a Romanesque arch, and the patterned brick work and complex surfaces of a Queen Anne design.  The combination yields a look that one can consider gaudy or opulent…i.e., the Gilded Age.


·       The population of Beatrice Nebraska peaked in 1890 with 13,835 residents.  The most recent estimates put the town’s population at about 12,100.

That’s about it for this posting… Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a short walk through history!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Casual Birthday Dinner…

It was my birthday and I must admit that I wasn’t too inspired… I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do or where I really wanted to go for my birthday dinner.  I thought about a movie but there wasn’t anything playing that really captured my interest. 

I finally decided that we’d take some back roads and work our way over US 321 east of Maryville toward the mountains.  I recalled that there were a couple of antique stores or malls in that direction that we hadn’t visited. 

The antique malls were a bit better than the “usual” but I couldn’t find anything that I really wanted.  I was looking for old postcards ca. 1910 or earlier with the stamp still on them and I’ve had my eye open for old airline, ship or train china, glasses or silverware.  Laurie managed to find a small table she was looking for and we did find a top notch store full of quality antiques instead of the usual ‘collectibles’. 

Despite my personal shopping failure, there was no complaining about the scenery in the foothills of the Smokys. 

For dinner, I opted to try Pero’s on the Hill in Knoxville Tennessee.  We’d been there before and had a decent pizza and I’d tried their spaghetti meat sauce which was very good indeed. 

Peroʼs on the Hill is a creation of 2 old college friends.  They met at Emory University in Atlanta and have been friends ever since.   After college, each of them chose careers in the restaurant and hospitality business.  In 2011 they opened Peroʼs on the Hill.  This popular local restaurant frequently features live music.  As a matter of fact, a musician was setting up for his performance as we finished our meal.

Pero’s is a big restaurant.  In addition to these 2 dining spaces, there is a large outdoor patio dining area.  The crowd grew steadily during our visit and it was close to capacity by the time we left at 7:30 PM on a Tuesday.

Let me start with a disclaimer… We lived in the Chicago area for many, many years.  We were definitely ‘spoiled’ when it comes to any ethnic cuisine.  Pero’s on the Hill is focused on Greek and Italian cuisine.  Both types of cooking are scarce and/or not generally terrific here in East Tennessee. 

It was my birthday and most of the appetizers were at half-price until 6:30 PM so we ordered 2 of them. (Happy Hour Specials are available Monday thru Thursday) This was the Tzatziki Dip with Pita wedges and vegetables. (normally $7.25) While it was OK, we’re used to Tzatziki Sauce with some emphasis on garlic and this was too bland for our taste.  
Like the half-price appetizers, happy hour adult beverage prices are a deal too!  Her first drink was a vodka tonic but the tonic had gone flat.  The waitress apologized and then Laurie replaced it with a glass of house Merlot. ($2.50!) I had a Miller Lite pint for only $2.00…

Our other half-price appetizer was the Triopita, baked parcels of filo pastry with a filling of feta and other cheeses. (Normally $7.20) The filo pastry was very nice and there was plenty of cheese in these ‘parcels’.  However, feta cheese is fairly distinctive and that’s why we like it.  The other cheeses used must have damped down the feta flavor and while this appetizer was OK, it was nothing to write home about. 

We also had side salads… ($2.45 each) Both salads were nice and I appreciated the fact that the waitress let me know that the Caesar Salad didn’t have anchovy in it.  Despite that fact, I still liked it…

  • The original Caesar Salad recipe did not include anchovy as an ingredient.  Finding a true Caesar Salad made ‘the old fashioned way’, with or without anchovy is a very difficult task indeed.  To learn about this classic salad, you can go to

For my entrée, I wanted to order something with that terrific meaty spaghetti sauce that I’d sampled the last time we visited Pero’s.  So I ordered the Chicken Parmesan…a hand breaded chicken breast topped with mozzarella cheese and that meat sauce.  It was accompanied with a side of spaghetti and more meat sauce. ($12.95)

It was a lot of food!  The chicken Parmesan was OK…but the Italian meat sauce was as I remembered it…one of my favorite restaurant meat sauces.  I skipped the rather unappetizing hunk of partially buttered bread.  

Laurie opted for a 10 inch Pizza with pepperoni and spicy house sausage. ($9.60) She said that it was a decent but not great pizza.  I took one bite to check out the house made sausage and I thought that it was very nice.  

The menu at Pero’s on the Hill includes a few Greek items scattered among the Italian and American standards.  These include: Gyro Wrap ($9.85); Greek Burger ($9.85); Pasticcio ($11.85), and; Souvlaki ($12.55).  By contrast, Shrimp and Grits ($12.55), a southern staple is also offered.  By far the most unusual offering is the Luther Burger. ($7.95) This celebrity burger, which was featured years back on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, consists of a bacon cheeseburger served on a grilled Krispy Kreme Donut!

After learning that it was my birthday, the waitress brought us a piece of Baklava with a candle in it along with a scoop of ice cream. (Normally $6.35) I enjoyed this bit of sweetness as a cap to dinner.  Laurie took a photo of me with the dessert but it was blurry so I inserted this photo of me tasting her glass of Merlot.
I always thought that Baklava had originated in Greece but after checking I discovered that its beginnings were in the Ottoman Empire. (Turkey) To learn more about this sweet treat, you can go to

I was stuffed beyond capacity but Laurie was more sensible and she brought home most of her pizza.  Pero’s is a fun place and it’s very popular.  The price is right and the food is plentiful.  Other than the spaghetti sauce, we thought that our variety of appetizers and entrees were a bit bland…nothing wrong with them but not to our taste.

Pero’s on the Hill is at 7706 South Northshore Drive in Knoxville Tennessee.  Phone: 865-694-6900.  The Website is at

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Monday, August 24, 2015

Homestead National Monument – Beatrice Nebraska

I had a specific destination as my goal once we crossed the state line from Kansas into Nebraska…

This is the Headquarters and Museum for the Homestead National Monument of America which is located just a little west and north of Beatrice Nebraska. 

The National Homestead Monument commemorates the Homestead Act of 1862 and the far-reaching effects it had on our nation’s landscape and our people.  This Law turned over vast amounts of the public domain to private citizens…with a total of 270 million acres or 10% of the area of the United States claimed and settled under the Homestead Act.  By granting 160 acres of free land to claimants, it allowed nearly any man or woman a "fair chance." 

  • Along the sidewalk leading to the building is the "Living Wall," a physical representation of the percentage of land that was successfully homesteaded in each state.  The 30 “Homestead States”, from Florida to Alaska, are lined up in order from east to west as you would see them on a map.  45% of Nebraska was ‘homesteaded’ vs. less than 1% of Alaska.

Other than the fact that Nebraska has the highest percentage of homesteaded land, there is another reason that the Homestead National Monument is located in this specific spot.  It’s impossible to prove it but  legend has it that Daniel Freeman filed his claim 10 minutes after midnight at the Land Office in Brownville Nebraska on January 1, 1863, the first day the Homestead Act went into effect.  This was the land where he had his homestead...

Mr. Freeman came from Illinois to Nebraska and began corresponding with Agnes Suiter, a young woman from Le Claire Iowa.  Agnes had been engaged to Daniel's brother James, who died in the Civil War.  Daniel proposed marriage through the mail, and in 1865, he brought his new bride back to his homestead claim.  They had 8 children there over the years.  As the children grew, some married and built homes on the old homestead.  None of the old homes exist today…

The exhibits inside the Park Headquarters are extensive and well done.  Being into trains, cars, planes and other modes of transportation, I had to include photos of some early ‘wheels’ the buckboard wagon above and this nice looking buggy. 

The Homestead National Monument of America currently has over 9,000 archaeological artifacts, over 7,000 historical objects, almost 1,000 scientific specimens and over 43,000 archival documents or 26.9 linear feet of material. The total collection for the Homestead National Monument of America includes over 60,000 items.   

The exhibits in the museum portion of the building include a lot of information about homesteading and homesteaders as well as the tools and equipment needed to succeed. 

The list of homesteaders and descendants of homesteaders include many familiar names.  These include: George Washington Carver (Inventor and Educator); Willa Cather (Author); Whoopi Goldberg (Actress); Chet Huntley (Journalist and Newscaster); ’Jewel’ Kilcher (Singer); Thomas Kleppe (Congressman, Director of the Small Business Administration and Secretary of the Interior); Walter Knott (Knott’s Berry Farm Theme Park); Bill Nelson (Congressman, Senator and Astronaut); Al Neuharth (Founder – USA Today); Jeannette Rankin (1st Female member of Congress); Lawrence Welk (Musician and Entertainer), and; Laura Ingalls Wilder (Author – Little House on the Prairie and others).

I just had to include the McCormick Reaper poster and a model of the original design.  My better half’s is related to the McCormick family line…

Although Cyrus Hall McCormick is generally credited with the invention of this revolutionary piece of farm equipment, he wasn’t the only person involved in the process.  His father had worked on this project for many years and other inventor’s ‘reapers’ included design elements that were eventually included in the successful McCormick reaper.  To read more about the development of the modern reaper, go to, and

While the mechanical reaper was critical to the development of farming on the prairie, it wouldn’t have seen the use it has if John Deere hadn’t invented the first commercially successful steel plow.  Old fashioned wooden and iron plows couldn’t plow the thick sod so his plow was revolutionary.  For more information, just go to

There is a plethora of photos on display that shows early homesteaders and their families with their homes and livestock… Life, especially on the prairie, was primitive and challenging.  How many of us today could survive this experience?  Note the lack of trees… Before settlers planted trees around their homesteads, almost all the trees were limited to the riverbanks of larger rivers.

A homesteader had only to be the head of a household or at least 21 years of age to claim a 160 acre parcel of land.  Settlers from all walks of life including newly arrived immigrants, farmers without land of their own from the East, single women and former slaves came to meet the challenge of "proving up" and keeping this "free land".  Each homesteader had to live on the land, build a home, make improvements and farm for 5 years before they were eligible to "prove up" and receive a patent for their land.  A total filing fee of $18 was the only money required, but sacrifice and hard work exacted a different type of cost from the hopeful settlers.

  • Out of roughly 4,000,000 homestead claims by settlers, only about 1,400,000 persevered through illness, flood, drought and pestilence, meeting all of the requirements and earning their land patents

This display shows the last Homesteader… With a 10 year extension for Alaska, the Homestead Act was in effect until 1986. Over these 123 years, about 2 million individuals used the Homestead Act to attempt to earn the patent to a piece of land.

In 1974, a young Vietnam veteran and native Californian named Kenneth Deardorff filed a homestead claim on 80 acres of land on the Stony River in southwestern Alaska.  Over the next ten years, he and his family lived on and worked the land.  He built all the buildings on the property from white spruce trees.  He fished for salmon and hunted moose and other wild game for food and often woke up in the morning to find grizzly bears in his front yard.  Transportation was limited to a boat or a dog team.  Temperatures often dipped as low as 65 degrees below zero. 

In June 2001, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service got together and officially recognized Deardorff as the nation's final homesteader…

The Palmer-Epard Cabin is located close to the Headquarters Building/Museum.  It was originally built about 14 miles northeast of the Monument by George W. Palmer in 1867 using mixed hardwoods.  The cabin is representative of the local construction style and is considered luxurious in size as it measures 14 x 16 feet! 

I included this photo of the cabin door because I liked it.  Laurie has an eye for these artful shots… 

These 3 photos show the original entirety of the cabin's interior…moving from the right side of the room to the left.  Can you imagine living in this one room cabin with 10 children?!  Finally, between 1875 and 1880, a 10 x 12 foot lean-to was added to the rear of the original cabin.  The Palmers continued to live in this structure until 1895.  Another family lived in this home until around 1940.

We didn’t have a chance to visit the Freeman School which is also located on the Monument grounds.   A landmark judicial decision regarding the separation of church and state and involving this school took place in Nebraska in 1902.  The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, stating that the use of the bible in school by the teacher with the support of the school board violated the Nebraska Constitution's provisions regarding the separation of church and state.  This case was settled many years before the United States Supreme Court ever addressed the issue.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by!  To learn more about visiting the Homestead National Monument of America you can go to

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave   

Friday, August 21, 2015

Family Visit and Dinner in East Tennessee

We love visitors… Friends and family are always welcome!  Recently, Laurie’s cousins from Wisconsin were relaxing at a time share in Gatlinburg Tennessee and they coupled it with a side-trip to our home.

Fred and Ginny love to travel and they’ve been all over the globe. They have a winter home in Arizona that they dearly love and they keep busy with their immediate families, staying  involved in local activities.  They also stay in shape… I wish that I looked as young as Fred does…

As they were first time visitors, we gave them a tour of our home then sat around on the screened porch, enjoyed some libations, and caught up on each other’s lives.  Then it was time for dinner!

Laurie had made up this nice fruit bowl to accompany our meal… It included fresh peaches, strawberries and blueberries…very refreshing!

Another side dish was one of my favorites… Sweet and sour cucumbers!  Laurie mixes sugar with half and half milk until the sugar is dissolved.  Then she adds apple cider vinegar and mixes it in. (Equal parts of each ingredient…with enough to cover the cucumbers)

Prepare and refrigerate 24 hours ahead so the cucumber slices are infused with the mixture, flipping and shaking it to insure the mixture is equally distributed a couple of times.

Another side dish was triple succotash…a somewhat soup-like mixture of slightly spicy corn, lima beans and tomatoes. Yummy!

The sides accompanied this pile of BBQ spare ribs…2 racks in total.  We bought them from a local purveyor who was set up outside a local grocery store.  They were a little overcooked by our standard…as we like to have to chew the meat off the bone rather than have it fall off.  Still, the pork was very good…with lots of smoky BBQ flavor.  Fred and Ginny really seemed to enjoy everything!

Laurie took this photo of me, Ginny and Fred at the dinner table.  Note the loaf of English muffin bread from VG’s Bakery in Farragut Tennessee.  The Amish butter got rave notices…much better than the ‘usual’ products!

As it turned out, Fred’s birthday was coming up in a couple of days, so we decided to have a little cake and ice cream with dinner.  The single candle was sufficient for a wish to be made…

Yes, I had a piece of cake with a candle in in too… My birthday was the following day so we celebrated still being around at the same time.  It was a blueberry Bundt cake and it was very good!
We don’t usually have desserts, bread or baked goods around the house…but when company comes a callin', we make an exception!  We had a great evening and we’re looking forward to future visits…

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

First Stops in Nebraska – Wymore and Beatrice

We slipped across the Kansas-Nebraska State line as we continued our wandering journey to our son’s family home in the Omaha area.  We still had a little exploring to do and another overnight stay planned as well before arriving at our destination…

Our first stop was in Wymore Nebraska.  This is the “Lake Bridenthal House” which is located at 113 South 9th Street.  This home which was built in 1900 is a good local example of the Victorian - Queen Anne style.  Lake Bridenthal started out as a teacher, then became a bookkeeper and then he was the “cashier” for the First National Bank of Wymore for many years. (The position of cashier was the equivalent of a bank officer back in the late 1800s and early 1900s) Mr. Bridenthal was also the owner of a coal and lumber concern, Lake Bridenthal and Company. 

A town of roughly 1,400 residents today, Wymore was platted in 1881 as a railroad town, on land donated by Sam Wymore.  The "Welsh Capitol of the Great Plains," Wymore became home to generations of immigrants from Wales, who continued their culture in day-to-day life, founding a Welsh-language church, school and cemetery, as well as preserving the Welsh traditions of poetry, dance and intricate music.  In 2000, the Wymore Welsh Heritage Project was founded to preserve the legacy of these early settlers. It has since expanded to include a museum, an archive of genealogical records, and one of the largest Welsh-language libraries in North America.  To learn more, go to


·       In the 2008 United States Census community survey, an estimated 1.98 million Americans had Welsh ancestry.

·       Nine U.S. Presidents had or have some Welsh ancestry.  Many performers, such as Bob Hope, Bette Davis and Taylor Swift also have some Welsh roots.  A list of famous Americans with Welsh ancestry is found at

Our next brief stop was in Beatrice Nebraska.  This is the former Burlington Northern Railroad Depot at 101 North 2nd Street in Beatrice.  This relatively modern looking depot was actually built in 1906 for the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad in the Neo-Classical Revival style. The building was constructed of Omaha pressed brick with Bedford stone trim at a cost of $35,000. ($1,900,000 in 2013 dollars)

On October 1, 1908, presidential candidate William Howard Taft stopped at this station to speak from his train.  A crowd estimated to number 12,000 had gathered to hear him speak.

The former depot was presented to the Gage County Historical Society by the Burlington Northern Railroad in 1973.  The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Museum's displays include the history of people, railroads, industry, medical and Agriculture in Gage County.

Beatrice, with a population of about 12,000 is the county seat for Gage County.  The town was founded in 1857.  We didn’t really have time to explore Beatrice as I had another nearby historic objective in mind which would take some time to visit.  There are no less than 10 places and 2 districts in Beatrice which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  Maybe the next time…


·       In early May, about 3 weeks before we came through Beatrice, the Big Blue River flooded much of the town and it caused considerable damage at this museum.  It is closed until further notice and a fund raiser is underway.  If you visit the museum’s website you will be able to see a drone’s eye view of the flooding at a point where the water had receded somewhat.

Did you know that there are over 200 of these Statue of Liberty replicas in 39 states across the United States and in several of its possessions and territories?  I sure didn’t! 

This project was the brainchild of Kansas City businessman, J.P. Whitaker, who was then Scout Commissioner of the Kansas City Area Council.  The copper statues were manufactured by Friedley-Voshardt Co. (Chicago, IL) and purchased through the Kansas City Boy Scout office by those wanting one.  All of were erected in the early 1950's by Boy Scout troops and others to celebrate Scouting’s 40th anniversary theme, "Strengthen the Arm of Liberty."
The statues are approximately 8 1/2 feet tall without the base and they’re constructed of sheet copper.  They weigh 290 pounds and they originally cost $350.00 plus shipping. 


·       Right in front of the Beatrice ‘Liberty’ statue, there is a buried time capsule that is to be opened on July 4, 2057, 200 years to the date that the city’s founders celebrated on the same site.

That’s about it for now… Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave