RAILROADS - NEBRASKA

Then the railroads came. The town was elated when Abraham Lincoln selected Council Bluffs as the terminal of the Union Pacific Line; later, engineers and Douglas County bonds brought it across the river to Omaha. In 1863 the construction of the Union Pacific formally began. Two years later, the first train from Omaha ran to Salings’ Grove with Gen. W.T. Sherman, of Civil War fame, and 20 leading citizens riding on flat cars with nail kegs for seats. 
—Nebraska: A Guide to the Cornhusker State (WPA, 1939)

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Raised in a military family, Midwest Guide Rob Walters has lived in South Carolina, Georgia, California, New York, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Illinois. Always looking for an excuse to hit the road, he spends most of his creative energy on long drives, exploring the Midwest and beyond. He lives with his wife and soon to arrive son in Omaha, Nebraska, and chairs the Art Department at Iowa Western Community College across the river in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Follow on Tumblr at fromthemiddle.tumblr.com.
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RAILROADS - NEBRASKA

Then the railroads came. The town was elated when Abraham Lincoln selected Council Bluffs as the terminal of the Union Pacific Line; later, engineers and Douglas County bonds brought it across the river to Omaha. In 1863 the construction of the Union Pacific formally began. Two years later, the first train from Omaha ran to Salings’ Grove with Gen. W.T. Sherman, of Civil War fame, and 20 leading citizens riding on flat cars with nail kegs for seats. 
—Nebraska: A Guide to the Cornhusker State (WPA, 1939)

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Raised in a military family, Midwest Guide Rob Walters has lived in South Carolina, Georgia, California, New York, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Illinois. Always looking for an excuse to hit the road, he spends most of his creative energy on long drives, exploring the Midwest and beyond. He lives with his wife and soon to arrive son in Omaha, Nebraska, and chairs the Art Department at Iowa Western Community College across the river in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Follow on Tumblr at fromthemiddle.tumblr.com.
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RAILROADS - NEBRASKA

Then the railroads came. The town was elated when Abraham Lincoln selected Council Bluffs as the terminal of the Union Pacific Line; later, engineers and Douglas County bonds brought it across the river to Omaha. In 1863 the construction of the Union Pacific formally began. Two years later, the first train from Omaha ran to Salings’ Grove with Gen. W.T. Sherman, of Civil War fame, and 20 leading citizens riding on flat cars with nail kegs for seats. 
—Nebraska: A Guide to the Cornhusker State (WPA, 1939)

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Raised in a military family, Midwest Guide Rob Walters has lived in South Carolina, Georgia, California, New York, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Illinois. Always looking for an excuse to hit the road, he spends most of his creative energy on long drives, exploring the Midwest and beyond. He lives with his wife and soon to arrive son in Omaha, Nebraska, and chairs the Art Department at Iowa Western Community College across the river in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Follow on Tumblr at fromthemiddle.tumblr.com.
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RAILROADS - NEBRASKA

Then the railroads came. The town was elated when Abraham Lincoln selected Council Bluffs as the terminal of the Union Pacific Line; later, engineers and Douglas County bonds brought it across the river to Omaha. In 1863 the construction of the Union Pacific formally began. Two years later, the first train from Omaha ran to Salings’ Grove with Gen. W.T. Sherman, of Civil War fame, and 20 leading citizens riding on flat cars with nail kegs for seats. 
—Nebraska: A Guide to the Cornhusker State (WPA, 1939)

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Raised in a military family, Midwest Guide Rob Walters has lived in South Carolina, Georgia, California, New York, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Illinois. Always looking for an excuse to hit the road, he spends most of his creative energy on long drives, exploring the Midwest and beyond. He lives with his wife and soon to arrive son in Omaha, Nebraska, and chairs the Art Department at Iowa Western Community College across the river in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Follow on Tumblr at fromthemiddle.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
RAILROADS - NEBRASKA

Then the railroads came. The town was elated when Abraham Lincoln selected Council Bluffs as the terminal of the Union Pacific Line; later, engineers and Douglas County bonds brought it across the river to Omaha. In 1863 the construction of the Union Pacific formally began. Two years later, the first train from Omaha ran to Salings’ Grove with Gen. W.T. Sherman, of Civil War fame, and 20 leading citizens riding on flat cars with nail kegs for seats. 
—Nebraska: A Guide to the Cornhusker State (WPA, 1939)

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Raised in a military family, Midwest Guide Rob Walters has lived in South Carolina, Georgia, California, New York, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Illinois. Always looking for an excuse to hit the road, he spends most of his creative energy on long drives, exploring the Midwest and beyond. He lives with his wife and soon to arrive son in Omaha, Nebraska, and chairs the Art Department at Iowa Western Community College across the river in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Follow on Tumblr at fromthemiddle.tumblr.com.
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RAILROADS - NEBRASKA

Then the railroads came. The town was elated when Abraham Lincoln selected Council Bluffs as the terminal of the Union Pacific Line; later, engineers and Douglas County bonds brought it across the river to Omaha. In 1863 the construction of the Union Pacific formally began. Two years later, the first train from Omaha ran to Salings’ Grove with Gen. W.T. Sherman, of Civil War fame, and 20 leading citizens riding on flat cars with nail kegs for seats. 

Nebraska: A Guide to the Cornhusker State (WPA, 1939)

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Raised in a military family, Midwest Guide Rob Walters has lived in South Carolina, Georgia, California, New York, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Illinois. Always looking for an excuse to hit the road, he spends most of his creative energy on long drives, exploring the Midwest and beyond. He lives with his wife and soon to arrive son in Omaha, Nebraska, and chairs the Art Department at Iowa Western Community College across the river in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Follow on Tumblr at fromthemiddle.tumblr.com.

NORTH PLATTE, NEBRASKA

NORTH PLATTE (2,821 alt., 12,061 pop.), seat of Lincoln County, is a railroad town and trading center, lying on a long narrow delta at the forks of the North and South Platte Rivers. The city is on the boundary between central standard and mountain time. The former is used. … With its easy, informal atmosphere and way of life, North Platte has more in common with western and mountain towns than with the sedate, conservative county-seat towns of eastern Nebraska. The buildings of the business section, clustered south of the railroad tracks are mostly plain, solidly built, and unimposing. There are no traffic lights people and vehicles bustle about in unrestrained, comfortable, small-town fashion. 

—Nebraska, A Guide To the Cornhusker State (WPA, 1939)

Stéphane Goin is our favorite out-of-towner. He sends this postcard from the streets of North Platte.
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Follow Stéphane on Tumblr at stephanegoin.tumblr.com, visit his website at stephanegoin.com, see more of his work at 15000miles.tumblr.com and find him on Flickr at stephanegoin.
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NORTH PLATTE, NEBRASKA

NORTH PLATTE (2,821 alt., 12,061 pop.), seat of Lincoln County, is a railroad town and trading center, lying on a long narrow delta at the forks of the North and South Platte Rivers. The city is on the boundary between central standard and mountain time. The former is used. … With its easy, informal atmosphere and way of life, North Platte has more in common with western and mountain towns than with the sedate, conservative county-seat towns of eastern Nebraska. The buildings of the business section, clustered south of the railroad tracks are mostly plain, solidly built, and unimposing. There are no traffic lights people and vehicles bustle about in unrestrained, comfortable, small-town fashion. 

—Nebraska, A Guide To the Cornhusker State (WPA, 1939)

Stéphane Goin is our favorite out-of-towner. He sends this postcard from the streets of North Platte.
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Follow Stéphane on Tumblr at stephanegoin.tumblr.com, visit his website at stephanegoin.com, see more of his work at 15000miles.tumblr.com and find him on Flickr at stephanegoin.
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NORTH PLATTE, NEBRASKA

NORTH PLATTE (2,821 alt., 12,061 pop.), seat of Lincoln County, is a railroad town and trading center, lying on a long narrow delta at the forks of the North and South Platte Rivers. The city is on the boundary between central standard and mountain time. The former is used. … With its easy, informal atmosphere and way of life, North Platte has more in common with western and mountain towns than with the sedate, conservative county-seat towns of eastern Nebraska. The buildings of the business section, clustered south of the railroad tracks are mostly plain, solidly built, and unimposing. There are no traffic lights people and vehicles bustle about in unrestrained, comfortable, small-town fashion. 

Nebraska, A Guide To the Cornhusker State (WPA, 1939)

Stéphane Goin is our favorite out-of-towner. He sends this postcard from the streets of North Platte.

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Follow Stéphane on Tumblr at stephanegoin.tumblr.com, visit his website at stephanegoin.com, see more of his work at 15000miles.tumblr.com and find him on Flickr at stephanegoin.

ARCHITECTURE: NEBRASKA STATE CAPITOL 

The Nebraska Capitol, designed by Bertram Goodhue, is perhaps the most notable achievement in the career of this distinguished architect. THe imposing mass of the structure with its gold-tipped, buttressed tower somewhat recalls the fortified cathedrals of Albia and Villefranche (Haute-Garonne) in southern France. The virile character of the architecture is admirably suited to the plains of the Midwest. Breaking a number of architectural precedents not only in its solution of the problem of a State capitol, but in its architectural idiom and treatment of mass, the Nebraska Capitol is one of the outstanding buildings of the twentieth century.

Nebraska: A Guide to the Cornhusker State (WPA, 1939)

Jackie Sojico, a producer at the Nebraska State Historical Society’s Second Story Radio, took a #AmericanGuideWeek field trip to the State capitol building in Lincoln. Here’s her report for Field Assignment #6: Architecture: 

The Nebraska State Capitol is over 400 feet tall, and it is by far the tallest building in the city. It’s kind of unusual for a state capitol, because it doesn’t conform to the neoclassical federalist style that you see all over Washington D.C. (the role model for most state government buildings.) The Capitol is even more interesting up close. It’s packed with symbolism that tells the story of the state’s settlement, the history of law around the world, and (my personal favorite) the history of of life on earth (on display in the main rotunda’s floor mosaic). 

Guide Note: Hear the story behind the Capitol’s architecture and design in this Second Story Radio episode. 

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Jackie Sojico is a producer at Second Story Radio.
Second Story Radio is a podcast all about exploring place, memory, and history in Nebraska. The show is produced by the Nebraska State Historical Society. 
Follow on Tumblr at secondstoryradio.tumblr.com, on Twitter at @2ndStoryRadio and @jackiesojico, and on Facebook.

MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION - THE CAR - NEBRASKA

When the automobile was introduced, about 1910, [Omaha] dealers for each make advertised that their cars could beat any other from Pappio Bridge to the top of the Brick Hill on the west. The challenges to race from Omaha to Denver were numerous.

Nebraska: A Guide to the Cornhusker State (WPA, 1939)

In the 1930s, Nebraska had more cars and trucks than it had families. Today, the state has one vehicle for every Nebraskan. Per capita, that puts it at number six nationally — just ahead of Alaska and just behind Alabama, Iowa, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

West of the Mississippi River where highways are the arteries of exchange, the car is king. 

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Raised in a military family, Midwest Guide Rob Walters has lived in South Carolina, Georgia, California, New York, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Illinois. Always looking for an excuse to hit the road, he spends most of his creative energy on long drives, exploring the Midwest and beyond. He lives with his wife and soon to arrive son in Omaha, Nebraska, and chairs the Art Department at Iowa Western Community College across the river in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Follow on Tumblr at fromthemiddle.tumblr.com.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - OMAHA, NEBRASKA 

76.2% of jobs in Omaha are accessible by public transportation, but only 28.5% of metro-area transit riders can reach their place of work in 90 minutes or less. This is on par with the national average—75.5% of jobs are accessible by public transportation, but only 27.3% of transit commuters reach their jobs within 90 minutes.

Guide Notes:

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Raised in a military family, Midwest Guide Rob Walters has lived in South Carolina, Georgia, California, New York, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Illinois. Always looking for an excuse to hit the road, he spends most of his creative energy on long drives, exploring the Midwest and beyond. He lives with his wife and soon to arrive son in Omaha, Nebraska, and chairs the Art Department at Iowa Western Community College across the river in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Follow on Tumblr at fromthemiddle.tumblr.com.

SUMMERFEST RODEO - O’NEILL, NEBRASKA 

With the railroads came the combination farmer and stockman; sandhill Sundays were ranch Sundays; and the corral was the scene of informal rodeos or scratching matches, in which cowpunchers showed off before the girls by scratching (roweling or raking with spurs) horses that were sullen and refused to pitch.

Nebraska: A Guide to the Cornhusker State (WPA, 1939)

Modern rodeo is said to have originated in Nebraska. In 1882, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody held a rodeo-like event called the “Old Glory Blowout” in North Platte—a precursor to his world-famous Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows. Whether or not Nebraska holds title to the first, it certainly has a long history of rodeos.

In that tradition, the town of O’Neill, just south of the South Dakota borderline, holds the Summerfest Rodeo each year in early July. 

(Information from the Nebraska State Historical Society)

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Raised in a military family, Midwest Guide Rob Walters has lived in South Carolina, Georgia, California, New York, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Illinois. Always looking for an excuse to hit the road, he spends most of his creative energy on long drives, exploring the Midwest and beyond. He lives with his wife and soon to arrive son in Omaha, Nebraska, and chairs the Art Department at Iowa Western Community College across the river in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Follow on Tumblr at fromthemiddle.tumblr.com.

CLIMATE RALLY - WASHINGTON, DC
In February, Guide to Nebraska Alex Matzke traveled to Washington, DC, with a group of Nebraskans protesting against the Keystone XL pipeline.  Here are Alex’s words:
I was completely overwhelmed by the number of people. Does that sound like a terribly midwestern thing to say? But it’s true. I’ve been in Times Square during high traffic, but never in a mob moving together. At times dancing with total strangers because Reverend Yearwood asked you to jump away the cold between speakers. 
Most of the Nebraska delegation bussed out arriving the night before the rally. We met in the basement of a local pub for stretching of legs and instructions from organizers at Bold Nebraska. That night we also had an opportunity to hear from speakers who would only be a blip on giant screen at the rally. Congregating in the morning our numbers were quickly diluted as the crowd moved around the White House. 
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Alex Matzke is a State Guide to Nebraska. Growing up in Omaha, her friends showed livestock at State Fair; she showed photographs. Follow her on Tumblr at alexmatzke and alzke or on her website, AlexMatzke.com.
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CLIMATE RALLY - WASHINGTON, DC
In February, Guide to Nebraska Alex Matzke traveled to Washington, DC, with a group of Nebraskans protesting against the Keystone XL pipeline.  Here are Alex’s words:
I was completely overwhelmed by the number of people. Does that sound like a terribly midwestern thing to say? But it’s true. I’ve been in Times Square during high traffic, but never in a mob moving together. At times dancing with total strangers because Reverend Yearwood asked you to jump away the cold between speakers. 
Most of the Nebraska delegation bussed out arriving the night before the rally. We met in the basement of a local pub for stretching of legs and instructions from organizers at Bold Nebraska. That night we also had an opportunity to hear from speakers who would only be a blip on giant screen at the rally. Congregating in the morning our numbers were quickly diluted as the crowd moved around the White House. 
* * *
Alex Matzke is a State Guide to Nebraska. Growing up in Omaha, her friends showed livestock at State Fair; she showed photographs. Follow her on Tumblr at alexmatzke and alzke or on her website, AlexMatzke.com.
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CLIMATE RALLY - WASHINGTON, DC

In February, Guide to Nebraska Alex Matzke traveled to Washington, DC, with a group of Nebraskans protesting against the Keystone XL pipeline.  Here are Alex’s words:

I was completely overwhelmed by the number of people. Does that sound like a terribly midwestern thing to say? But it’s true. I’ve been in Times Square during high traffic, but never in a mob moving together. At times dancing with total strangers because Reverend Yearwood asked you to jump away the cold between speakers. 

Most of the Nebraska delegation bussed out arriving the night before the rally. We met in the basement of a local pub for stretching of legs and instructions from organizers at Bold Nebraska. That night we also had an opportunity to hear from speakers who would only be a blip on giant screen at the rally. Congregating in the morning our numbers were quickly diluted as the crowd moved around the White House. 

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Alex Matzke is a State Guide to Nebraska. Growing up in Omaha, her friends showed livestock at State Fair; she showed photographs. Follow her on Tumblr at alexmatzke and alzke or on her website, AlexMatzke.com.

FAMILY GATHERING - NEBRASKA

If you’re a Midwesterner or a Southerner, football watching and its accompanying trappings of alumni nostalgia, rival trash talk, and the wearing of the colors may be an obligatory part of any family get-together. Before tonight’s BCS Championship game, whether you go Irish or roll Tide, check out the latest dispatch from A/G Guide to Nebraska Alex Matzke whose family arranges their big holiday gathering based on where the Huskers will play Thanksgiving ball…

My grandfather and his three siblings started the yearly tradition of Matzke Thanksgiving with their families in 1963 in Sidney, Nebraska. In more recent memory we’ve stuck close to the Husker football game oscillating between Denver and Lincoln (44 of 50 held in Nebraska). With the Husker’s 2011 move to the Big 10 we’re still unsure where Matzke Thanksgiving 2013 will be held. 

We outgrew family homes before I can remember attending the annual event. We stay together in hotels now—congregating in communal conference rooms, sharing meals around televised spectacles, and competing in our own brand of Olympic games.

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ALEX MATZKE is a State Guide to Nebraska. Growing up in Omaha, her friends showed livestock at State Fair; she showed photographs. Follow her on Tumblr at alexmatzke and alzke or on her website, AlexMatzke.com.

Alex Matzke was born and raised in Nebraska. Growing up, her friends showed livestock at State Fair; she showed photographs. She’s said of her home state: “When you walk down the street, people say hello, look you in the eye, and smile.” Well, hello back at you, Nebraska.

Photos courtesy of Alex for #AmericanGuideWeek. You can find her on tumblr at alexmatzke and alzke (a fantastic photojournalism project) or on her website.

Nebraska, a guide to the cornhusker state for #AmericanGuideWeek by way of our very own Guide to Ephemera, thepieshops:

Harold Warp’s Pioneer Village - Linden, Nebraska

Located 130 miles west of Lincoln on U.S. 6 and U.S. 34, or 13 miles south of U.S. 30 near Kearney. It covers 10 acres. There are 22 buildings that house 30,000 items of historical interest.

Harold Warp was born in a sod house in Nebraska in 1903. His hard-working immigrant parents passed away when he was quite young.

When he was 20 years old, he set out to the big city to make his fortune. There’s a photo on this page: http://www.warpbros.com/company.asp

He was quite successful, making “Warp’s Flex-O-Glass” and other plastic sheeting (which you can still buy today).

In the 1950s, Mr. Warp began buying all sorts of things from the “vanishing old days”… tools, farm equipment, cars, airplanes, bicycles, entire buildings, etc, etc, etc… and his collection is now all in the museum: http://www.pioneervillage.org/

Harold Warp passed away in 1994. His museum lives on, it’s open every day of the year except Christmas.

Thanks to Paul Zucchini for the information/description

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Jordan Smith is the guide to ephemeral America for The American Guide. He currently works for the University of Notre Dame during the day and scans at night. He lives in South Bend, Indiana and you can find him on Flickr, his blog, or one of several Tumblr sites.