Friday, October 29, 2021

Museum of the Fur Trade (II)

…continuing with our July road trip through northern and western Nebraska to include more highlights of our exploration of the Museum of the Fur Trade near Chadron.

As I’d mentioned in the previous post, the Native American artifacts on display at this museum is both extensive in quantity and impressive as regards quality.  This spectacular Sioux woman’s blue dress features a collar piece or yoke made up with 4,000 detanlia shells!

Dentalium or detanlia shells were an international trade item among the Inuit, First Nations and Native Americans.  Traditionally, the shells of the mollusk Dentalium pretiosum were harvested from deep waters around the western coast of what is now Canada as well as the northwest coast of the USA.  Among the Plains Indians, dentalium shells have long been associated with wealth.  In addition to the yokes on women’s dresses, they were used on capes, as hair ornaments, necklaces and as dangling earrings. 

This large exhibit area has been added to the Museum of the Fur Trade since we last visited it over 35 years ago.  That reproduction 36 foot long trading canoe is pretty impressive.  I can imagine a group of fur traders with 3 or 4 of these canoes loaded with furs and skins headed downriver to Ft. Pierre… It must have been a hard way to make a living.

Many trade items are on display in this large hall.  Of interest to me were these displays of tobacco products.  Sorry for the glare on the first photo.  I would have left it out except for the fact that I’d never seen tobacco packaged like this… These solid packages of tobacco are very rare and most collectors are elated if they can even secure pieces of the foil bands.  They were produced by the Lorillard Tobacco Company.  That company was founded in New Jersey in 1760 and was purchased in 2014 by Reynolds American for $27 billion.

The second photo shows a variety of tobacco products, ranging from small twists (referred to as pig or hog tails), to rope tobacco and cigars.  Rope or twist tobacco was made with deveined leaves spun into rope, then ‘dressed’ in molasses or other flavoring to preserve them.  They were frequently shipped in 90 lb. rolls. 

While many varieties of native tobacco were used by Native Americans prior to the arrival of the Europeans, the latter introduced a more commercial type that was grown in Brazil.  Both men and women smoked to relax and tobacco was used in ceremonies and to initiate or conclude treaty negotiations or trading sessions.  It was a favorite gift for a trader to give when dealing with his Indian trading partners. 

Since my mother was a weaver and she wove many sashes, these beauties caught my eye.  Great Lakes Native peoples started buying many shades of dyed yarn from French traders and then wove the yarn into exquisite sashes, bags, garters, straps and belts.  In turn, these items became part of the trade business.

Other items on display in this large hall include gunpowder…complete with powder horns, tins and barrels for powder trading as well as a display of powder grades.  In addition there is a display of different types of flints that could be used in the old flintlock rifles.  I also noted a 25 unopened bags of .40 caliber lead balls and a huge display of iron and copper trade kettles.  Another display includes the oldest known American made beaver trap…made in 1755.

This canoe built in 1870 by Penobscot Indians from Maine caught my eye.  The Penobscot peoples from the Northeastern Woodlands Region began trading with the Europeans in the 1500s…and they were steadily forced off their lands.  Today they are organized as a federally recognized tribe in Maine and as a First Nations band government in Canada’s Atlantic Provinces as well as Quebec.  About 2,300 Penobscot tribal members are listed in the USA.  

There are plenty of antique and historical firearms, mostly long guns,  on display at the Museum of the Fur Traders, enough to satisfy even the most avid weapons collector or historian.  This pair of pistols belonged to a Hudson’s Bay officer.  They were made by Phillip Bond, a Hudson’s Bay Company gun inspector or ‘viewmaster’.

This is a rather spectacular trade item… This handsome chest is full of freshwater pearls from the Tennessee River.  These pearls were quite popular among early colonialists.  Native Americans along the Tennessee River valley gathered them and traded them to obtain goods from both Spanish and French traders.

This photo with all its glare and reflection, gives the viewer an idea of the number of long rifles on display in what I can only describe as an almost overwhelming antique arsenal.  To be clear, weapons are also displayed throughout the museum as they were key to trading, hunting, self-defense, inter-tribal warfare and battles between the European traders and the Native Americans.  In total, the long gun…the northwest trading gun collection…at the museum includes weapons dating from 1640 through 1911…

Several historic owner specific rifles are on display.  This weapon belonged to the famous Shawnee Chief, Tecumseh. (1768 – 1813) Shipments of shorter ‘chief’s guns’ began arriving from England in 1811.  At least 6,000 of these flintlock muskets were distributed by the British to their Native American allies.  The British Indian Department depot at Amherstburg on the Detroit River gave Tecumseh his weapon.  During the War of 1812, the Shawnee fought with the British against the Americans in several battles.  He even fought with the British fleet on Lake Erie as a sharpshooter. 

Tecumseh was killed in the Battle of the Thames in late 1813.  This battle is also known as the Battle of Moraviantown.  It resulted in an American victory in the War of 1812 against Tecumseh’s Confederacy, (an alliance including several thousand warriors), and their British allies.  The British lost control of southwestern Ontario as a result of the battle…and the Confederacy fell apart.

This shotgun belonged to one of America’s most famous frontier personalities, Christopher “Kit” Carson. (1809 – 1868) He did it all…a trapper, scout, mountain man, US Indian Agent and as a Brigadier General leading a regiment of New Mexican volunteers during the American Civil War.  Carson was a favorite with eastern writers who were eager for sensational stories about the American west.  He did nothing to deny many of the adventures credited to him…

The shotgun was made and marked by James Heilinghaus, a respected gun maker from St. Louis Missouri.  It is a 22 gauge shotgun and it weighs 8 pounds.  As a Civil War General and Indian Agent, Kit had been given the services of an aide and it was well documented that as Carson’s health declined, he presented the shotgun to that aide.

This Remington .50-70 caliber rifle belonged to Red Cloud, Chief of the Oglala Sioux. (1821 – 1909) Red Cloud, who was born in the Sand Hills in what is now Nebraska, was the only Indian leader to win a war against the US Army.  He was the victor in the Bozeman Trail War.  As the result, 3 army forts were closed and destroyed and the trail to the Montana gold fields was shut down. 

In the 1860’s, accompanied by younger warriors such as Young Man Afraid of His Horse and Crazy Horse, Red Cloud repeatedly outgeneraled the US army in a series of skirmishes and running battles.  Finally, as per the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868, he gave up his position as war chief.  He went on a speaking tour of the eastern United States where he gained much popularity.  His son was with Red Cloud when he died in December of 1909.  Two months later, Jack Red Cloud sold this rifle to a South Dakota merchant…and after a string of donations, it ended up in the collection here at the Museum of the Fur Trade.

FYI…the carbine owned by Young Man Afraid of His Horse, another respected Sioux leader, is also on display at the museum as are many weapons from Canada’s frontier history and the battles between that country’s First Nation people and the Canadian government.  

What you see here is what the original trading post at this site looked like. Although this is a reconstruction, the original post holes and layout were faithfully followed.  The land itself is considered to be a historic archeological site. 

The original trading post was established for trade with the Brule Sioux Indians in 1840.  The post was operated by James Bordeaux and his 2 Brule wives every winter until 1849 when Bordeaux moved on to Wyoming where he had a stock operation, a ranch and a store.  However, in 1850 operation of this trading post was taken over by Francois Boucher, the son-in-law of Spotted Tail the head chief of the Brule Sioux.  For several years, Boucher apparently provided the Sioux with rifles and ammunition…almost certainly contributing to the defeat of Custer and the Seventh Cavalry at the Little Big Horn.  The trading post was closed after the US Army caught Boucher with 50,000 rounds of ammunition…

Well, that’s about it for our exploration of the Museum of the Fur Trade.  This is a compact but well organized world class museum that’s located in the far northwestern corner of Nebraska.  The museum features over 6,000 primary artifacts that have been gathered and donated over time.  It is home to the most complete collection of historical items covering the fur trade period of commerce.

The Museum of the Fur Trade is located at 6321 US Hwy 20 just 3 miles east of Chadron Nebraska and just 60 miles south of South Dakota’s Black Hills.  The museum is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM from May 1 through October 31.  Appointments are required during the winter months.  Phone: 308-432-3813.  Did I mention that entrance to this museum is a true bargain?!  Persons over 18 are charged $5.00 each… Check out the museum and its exhibits at Chadron, Nebraska | American History | Museum of the Fur Trade.  Laurie and I feel that this is one of the best relatively small museums in the USA…5 stars for sure!

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Museum of the Fur Trade (I)

…continuing with our road trip into northern and western Nebraska this past July.

Although most of this part of our July road trip was simply the matter of following a route and checking out sights and places along the way, this stop was a return to a favorite museum just east of Chadron…from our trip through part of western Nebraska over 35 years earlier.  

The Museum of the Fur Trade amazed us when we had stopped by to check it out those many years ago.  There was so much history and so many artifacts packed into such a smallish space, it was both impressive and mind boggling.  Our first observation on this occasion was that the museum was much, much larger than it had been on our first visit!

No matter your view on trapping or killing animals for fur, skin and/or food, the fur trade was key to the exploration and eventual settlement of North America by European immigrants.  This activity is part of our history and is worthy of our preservation and understanding.

The two exhibits above display artifacts from early trade in the south of what is now the USA and from French and British trade in Eastern North America. 

Much of the fur, skin and hide trade was through the Europeans trading with the various Native American tribes.  By 1665, only France and England remained as major and competing trading entities.  In the late 1690’s the first fighting between the two groups began in both Maine and New York State.  Following these early conflicts, British and French forces with their respective Indian allies clashed repeatedly from Hudson’s Bay to Florida.    

This Potawatomi bag made from trade yarn is just one example of the impressive number of Native American artifacts on display throughout the museum.

The Potawatomi are a Native American people who lived in parts of the Great Plains, the upper Mississippi River area and around the western Great Lakes Region.  In the late 1800s they were pushed west by the European/American encroachment, eventually being removed to Nebraska, Kansas and the Indian Territory…what is now Oklahoma.  Today the Potawatomi number about 28,000 tribal members.

Probably one of the most distasteful form of animal harvest from today’s non-native viewpoint, sealing has been part of Native Americans and Canada’s First Nations Peoples for at least 4,000 years.  The meat was an important source of fat, protein and vitamins, with the animal’s pelts being prized for their warmth.

The ship model in the first photo is of the “Francis Alyn”.  It was built in New York in 1869 and it was the first steam powered ship to operate in Antarctic waters.  It returned to port after a 3-year cruise.  It’s cargo of seal pelts was valued at $6,235,000 in today’s dollars.

That semi-see through parka or jacket in the second photo is a Native American waterproof raincoat that was made from seal intestines by Native peoples along the western coast of North American when they went hunting for sea otters in their ocean going kayaks.

Note: The first recorded commercial seal hunt by Europeans is thought to have occurred in 1515 when a cargo of fur seal skins from Uruguay was sent to Spain for sale in the markets of Seville.

Every one of these displays is packed with interesting and historic artifacts.  In this one, that colorful chest at the right caught my attention.  This fancy Chinese camphorwood chest was a popular trading item with Native Americans in the northwest.  They came in various sizes and they were valued because they offered moth-proof protection for people’s clothing.

This is a diorama of Ft. Pierre. (1832 – 1855) This was the largest trading post on the Missouri River.  Ft. Pierre was at the eastern terminus of the Fur Trader’s Trail and it was supplied by steamboats from St. Louis.  Furs and robes were gathered here from points west and north for shipment downriver.  The post was built by the American Fur Company but was later owned by Pierre Chouteau Jr. and Company of St. Louis.

I love this display of creativity!  The saying goes that “necessity is the mother of invention”…and that is certainly true in this case.  These 3 items are ‘snow goggles’.  They were designed to prevent snow blindness which is caused by the intense reflection of sunlight off a blanket of snow.  Native Americans used what they had available to solve this problem.  From the top these snow goggles were made from caribou hooves, wood and bone.

I noticed this hat with fancy and colorful beadwork in another display case.  It is a Scottish Glengarry bonnet that was made by a member of the Iroquois Tribe for an employee of the Hudson Bay Company.  Many of that company’s employees were from Scotland.

The Hudson Bay Company was founded in 1670 when Britain’s King Charles II granted a charter to the venture.  That charter gave them a fur/skin trading monopoly over all the rivers and streams that surround and flow into Hudson in what is now northern Canada.  The charter covered about 1,490,900 square miles and reached down into what is now north central portions of the United States.  Its size was about a third of the land that is now part of Canada…an area larger than India.

As I mentioned previously, the number of Native American artifacts on display in the museum is quite impressive.  So is the quality of the items!  In this photo there are some stunning examples of beadwork on four pair of Lakota/Sioux moccasins. 

The Sioux are groups of Native American tribes and First Nations peoples and they consist of 2 major divisions, the Dakota and Lakota.  The Lakota are the westernmost Sioux, known for their hunting and warrior culture.  With the arrival of the horse, by the 1850s they were the most powerful tribe on the Great Plains.  It was the Lakota Sioux that defeated General Custer and the 7th Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of Little Big Horn.  Conflicts with the U.S. ended with the horrific slaughter known as the Wounded Knee Massacre.  Today, there are upwards of 170,000 members of the Sioux Nation.

There are many displays showing the artistry and creativeness of Native American peoples.  In the center of the first photo there is a spectacular Sioux woman’s dress.  The second photo shows a Sioux beaded saddle blanket with fancy saddle bags.  I love those boots too!

This is a Cheyenne painted buffalo robe that dates back to 1870.  After introducing the Sioux to the values of the horse, the Cheyenne peoples were forced to the west by the more numerous Sioux.  At one time, there were 10 bands of Cheyenne across the Great Plains ranging from southern Colorado into the Dakotas.  Today there are roughly 23,000 Cheyenne.

It is estimated that around 50,000,000 buffalo were slaughtered in the 1800s, both for their hides and as a weapon of war.  The European/American immigrants realized that for the Plains Indians, bison or buffalo were essential to the tribe’s continued survival.  Consequently, killing off the buffalo helped defeat and subdue the Native American’s that depended on them.

The Plains Tribes used every part of a Buffalo for food, clothing, tools, fuel and utensils.  Buffalo meat was eaten raw, roasted and boiled.  The tongue was a preferred ‘menu’ item.  Extra meat was cut into thin strips, then dried and smoked.  Some of it was mixed with fat and dried fruit to make pemmican.  It would last for a long time and it was easy to carry.

Other uses for the buffalo included robes, bedding, rugs, clothing, bags, arrow quivers, tipi covers, moccasin soles and knife sheaths.  Buffalo horns were made into rattles, spoons and cups.  Buffalo hair was woven into ropes and belts.  Tendons were used as sewing thread, ropes and bowstrings.  Even the brain of the Buffalo was used…to help condition and soften the hides.

There were so many Native American artifacts in this display, I didn’t even try to focus on any particular item.  One could spend a half hour or more just reading and appreciating each and every piece in the case…

With this I’ll end Part I of our exploration of the Museum of the Fur Trade in Chadron Nebraska.  Part II will focus on a broad range of trade items, Native American items, firearms, specific tribal leaders, a couple of well-known frontiersmen and the original trading post near Chadron.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Friday, October 22, 2021

Food…and Nuts Too!

Once again it’s time for me to take a break from our July road trip…just to change the topic and report on more recent happenings impacting our day-to-day existence.

We finally have a Freddy’s within a reasonable driving distance from our home!  This fast food chain’s full ‘name’ is actually Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers.  We were first introduced to Freddy’s in Omaha Nebraska while visiting our son and his family, then we partook of the menu again while visiting Laurie’s family in the St. Louis Missouri suburbs.  Then, like a tease, a Freddy’s opened up in Oak Ridge, about 45 minutes from our home.  But very recently this location in Lenoir City Tennessee finally opened its doors.  Hooray!

We waited about 3 weeks before stopping by for dinner.  We’d figured that that amount of time would give the operation a chance to get their act together while at the same time, the intent was to avoid the rush as locals tried this new fast food venue…

The take-out line wrapped around the building and, because Freddy’s makes your food after you order it, progress was slow…

Freddy’s menu is all about the burgers and the frozen custard although they do have an average chicken sandwich and hot dogs that we haven’t tried yet.

We are not fast food aficionados although we do like McDonald’s French fries as well as Chick-fil-a’s and Popeye’s chicken sandwiches.  Then again, we do take out from Kentucky Fried Chicken 6 – 8 times a year.

At this point in time, we’re still doing take out at fast food restaurants…just until we get our Covid-19 booster shots.  There is no point in folks of a certain age taking too many risks…

In our opinion, Freddy’s French fries are as good as McDonald’s and either chain’s fries are better than any other fast food operation’s.

This is a Freddy’s Original Double Steakburger with cheese.  For condiments, we opt for just mayonnaise and pickle slices.  FYI, the pickle slices are lengthwise and they provide both texture and flavor to the burger.  The burgers are fried much like Steak ‘n Shake fries theirs…smashed, with crispy edges but definitely juicy when served.  FYI, Freddy’s steakburgers are definitely better than Steak ‘n Shake’s version.

Freddy’s was founded in 2002 and the chain’s headquarters is in Wichita Kansas.  They now have over 380 locations in 34 states reaching from California to New Jersey and from Florida to Idaho.  Our local Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers is at 956 US Hwy 321 in Lenoir City Tennessee.  Phone: 865-317-1475.  The Company’s website is found at

Back at our home, over the last ‘fun year’ we’ve all been through, we haven’t been exactly inspired when it comes to creating meals.  Recently though, Laurie made one of my favorites…Salmon Patties.  Side them with a vegetable and ensure that a good balsamic vinegar is on the table and I’m a content diner…

Of course, there were leftovers.  I reheated a salmon patty in a frying pan with butter, placed it on top of a slice of buttered toast and then topped it all with a couple of easy over fried eggs.  Yum!

At the first peek of cooler weather, Laurie decided to go all out and make one of her specialties…and one of my favorite meals!  The photo shows all of the ingredients she needs to make up a big pot of her spicy chili.  It is quite a process and I serve as her sous chef during the effort to create this cool or cold weather treat.

The first photo shows the way that Laurie likes her chili…with saltines.  In my case, I like mine ‘straight up’ as is with a slice or two of buttered bread on the side.  As amazing as it may seem to those who follow my blog, I do not add Tabasco to Laurie’s chili!  It is plenty spicy on its own…enough so that many of our family and friends wouldn’t enjoy her creation.

FYI, we had three meals just from this batch of chili!

Now for a different type of ‘food’…

So why am I showing you this photo of our backyard in the early fall season and why is the grass so heavily interspersed with that brown stuff?  Most of it doesn’t look like leaf's…or food either.

That’s because that brown stuff is really a record bumper crop of acorns as produced and dropped by our big oak tree!  Our backyard is carpeted with them and until mid-month they were raining down on our deck and bouncing off our windows…sounding a bit like gunshots.  The positive impact of all these acorns has been that we sure have seen more deer and turkey in our yard in the past few weeks than we have for the rest of the year.  They are all feasting on nature’s food, building up their staying power for the winter that will soon be upon us…

The nut crop…acorns, hazelnuts and walnuts…must be particularly massive this year as we haven’t heard any pleas for acorns to help the bears survive the winter in the Smoky Mountain National Park.  I did eat one myself...bland with a little bitter aftertaste.

That’s 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

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Small Towns in Western Nebraska (#9)

…continuing with our road trip and exploration of western Nebraska.

It was time for a late breakfast and I’d identified the Antelope Creek Café in Gordon Nebraska as our opportunity to have some coffee and a bite to eat before further exploration of the area.  We’d been on the road for over 3 hours before we stopped… 

Gordon has a population of about 1,520.  Like many towns along our route, when the railroad ceased operation, the population declined significantly.  In 1960, there were 2,223 residents in the town.

Inside, the décor was just as one might expect for a small town diner…simple yet welcoming.  Our waitress was pleasant and helpful.  We were entertained by a dog outside that kept welcoming patrons and running from door to door.  In this era of Covid-19, we were happy that the tables were well spaced apart.

Laurie kept it simple.  For her brunch she ordered a Breakfast Sandwich, opting for her choices of bacon, egg and cheese on an English muffin.

I upped the ante, going for the Biscuits and Gravy…prompted by the verbiage that advertised this offering as having “meaty sausage gravy”.  I had the biscuits and gravy topped with a couple of easy over eggs.  As you can see, the sausage gravy was indeed meaty!  It turned out to be the second best sausage gravy I’ve had in years.  I kicked it up a notch with Tabasco. 

FYI, the best sausage gravy can be found about 2 miles from our home in Loudon in East Tennessee at a Restaurant named Little Italy that operates as Mama’s Grits in the morning.  They are on Facebook at: 

The Antelope Creek Café is located at 107 East US Hwy 20 in Gordon Nebraska.  They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week.  Phone: 308-282-2754.  Facebook:

This is the Lee and Gottliebe Fritz House.  It’s located at 132 North Oak Street in Gordon.  It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Built in 1909, the home was deemed significant as a “distinctive example of a Dutch Colonial Revival residence”, a very rare style in this area of Nebraska. 

Gordon is another ‘railroad town’, truly founded when the railroad came to the area.  The town is named after an early settler named John Gordon who came to the area in 1875.  The town has been home to Val Fitch, who won a Nobel Prize in Physics, Dwight Griswold, Governor of Nebraska for 6 years, Doc Middleton, a late 1800’s outlaw, saloon operator and deputy sheriff as well as an Oglala Lakota cowhand named Raymond Yellow Thunder.

Yellow Thunder was beaten to death in Gordon back in 1972 with very light sentences being given to the perpetrators of the crime.  That led to focus on the killing by the American Indian Movement, which was a precursor to the early 1973 occupation of the town of Wounded Knee South Dakota.   

To learn more about Raymond Yellow Thunder, go to For more information about the occupation of Wounded Knee, go to

Note: In the Lakota language, Gordon is known as “thanca wakpa othunwahe” meaning “Deer River City”.

Less than 20 miles west along US Hwy 20, we came to the town of Rushville, the County Seat of Sheridan County Nebraska.  Sheraton County has a population of about 5,230 and it covers 2,470 square miles.  The county was named after General Philip H. Sheridan, a Union General who later participated in the Indian Wars and who was instrumental in the development and protection of Yellowstone National Park.

Pictured above, the Sheridan County Courthouse is located at the corner of 2nd and Sprague Streets.  Built in 1904, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an example of the “County Capitol” architecture type with Romanesque features.

Back in 1885, local citizens were confident that the railroad was coming to the area from the east.  Four local settlements vied to be selected as the county seat, with four elections as well as court cases…including at the Nebraska Supreme Court…being required before Rushville triumphed.   

The Rushville Armstrong House Museum is operated by the Sheridan County Historical Society.  It is open and manned by volunteers from Memorial Day through Labor Day and open by appointment during other times of the year.  Admission is free.  This museum complex is located just off US Hwy 20 on Main Street. 

The museum was established almost 60 years ago.  It features the story of the former Spotted Tail Agency and Camp Sheridan as well as the history of local ranches and a multitude of home and life artifacts that have survived over the years.  The windmill is an Eclipse Windmill from the 1880s while that log cabin served as the town’s early post office as well as the telephone office.  The museum can be found on Facebook at

I found this early photo of Rushville on-line.  As you can see, the photo was taken in 1887.  To view an amazing collection of photos of Rushville over the years, just go to

Downtown Rushville features a wide street with minimal traffic.  The population of Rushville peaked at 1,266 in 1950.  Today, residents number about 880. 

The Plains Theatre began life as Gourley’s Opera House.  Back in the early days, an opera house held community events ranging from plays and operas to local community gatherings.  This ‘opera house’ was built in 1914 and it is listed on the National Register.    It was built by Dave Gourley…the person who first brought electricity to Rushville and this building was one of the first to actually have electricity.

In August of 1914, The Rushville Recorder described the theatre as “a handsome, comfortable and modern structure, fitted up with electric lights, fans, ventilators and opera chairs.  The scenery is well painted and the Italian garden scene is beautiful and worthy of any metropolitan theatre.  The scenery was painted by the Kansas City Scenic Co., and includes two handsome drop curtains, one containing advertisements of the business houses and one an ordinary curtain drop, with effective landscape.  The seats are comfortable and sloped at such an angle that any one from any part of the house can see the stage.”

The Nebraska Cowboy Rail Trail is about all that remains of the former Cowboy Rail Line through northern Nebraska… Both the grain elevator and the old freight depot look lonely without the tracks and trains rumbling back and forth.  This trail is part of a movement to create a National Trail that reaches across the USA from coast to coast. 

This is a photo of a train wreck that took place near Rushville Nebraska back in 1908.  At least 13 persons were killed in the wreck, most of them being tramps or hobos who were riding the rails between and in open boxcars.  The tracks had washed out during a severe storm and the train crashed into the washout.  The story of the crash, which is told via the following link, gives us a glimpse into railroads and how life was back in the early part of the 20th century.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave