Archive for the ‘Nebraska’ Category

Meeting Place

February 6, 2012

Hay Springs, Nebraska© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Coffee Cup Cafe, Hay Springs, Nebraska

This is the story told to us about the restaurant by Selma Kudrna, who owned a tax services business in town and who was volunteering the day we stopped by, in 1991:

The owner, Blanche de Haven, is a farm woman. Two young fellas bought the cafe, coming up with the cash with Blanche’s help – she cosigned on a loan. The business was going well until the sheriff came in one day and arrested one of the men, who had a prison record and had been stealing money from the business – and who’d cosigned on the loan.

Blanche, who’s in her late 70s, then took over the cafe herself. She gets up every morning between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. to do her farm chores, then heads to the restaurant, where she works until the afternoon. She’s helped by folks in town who volunteer at the restaurant one day a week to keep it running.

They don’t mind helping. One patron sums up the community spirit neatly: “Along here, we own our towns.”

They did mind when Blanche raised the price of a cup of coffee from a quarter to 30 cents – especially since the senior center across the street sells a cup of coffee for only a quarter.

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Nebraska Skyline

August 18, 2011

© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Ball Game Tonight

July 8, 2011

Ball Game TonightCrawford, Nebraska© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Crawford, Nebraska

Small town social media.

Sod House: Museum of the Fur Trade

July 7, 2011

Sod House--Museum of the Fur TradeChadron, Nebraska© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Chadron, Nebraska

This sod house is part of the Museum of the Fur Trade, in Chadron, Nebraska, built on the site of a trading post for the American Fur Company that was established in 1837. The post was in ruins by the mid-1880s, and it was reconstructed in 1956 on its original foundation stones.

One-Stop Shopping

June 12, 2011

One-Stop ShoppingDeCastros MarketHay Springs, Nebraska© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

DeCastros Market
Hay Springs, Nebraska

Rural buildings are a marvel of business efficiency.

Ashes to Ashes

June 10, 2011

Ashes to Ashes (1)Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Parknear Plainview, Nebraska© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park, near Plainview, Nebraska

Some 12 million years ago, this area of Nebraska’s grasslands became covered with up to two feet of ash from a volcano in southern Idaho. While local animals survived the ashfall itself, they soon perished from eating ash-covered grass. Their skeletons were found in what was once an ancient watering hole, now the site of a remarkable archeological dig.

Ashes to Ashes (2)Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Parknear Plainview, Nebraska© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Scientists have uncovered more than 200 fossil skeletons, including barrel-bodied rhinos (in 1992, they discovered a rhino cow with a calf positioned nose to nose), a giraffe-like camel called Aepycamelus, sabre-toothed deer, five species of horses, a raccoon dog, a Secretary Bird, and a giant tortoise.

Cowboy Line

June 1, 2011

Drive-In TheaterLong Pine, Nebraska© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Long Pine, Nebraska

It shouldn’t be surprising that this drive-in has closed–the town’s population is less than 400. In busier days, Long Pine was a hub on the so-called Cowboy Line, which paralleled Route 20, for the Chicago and North Western railroad. Today this route is being developed into a trail for biking, walking, and horseback riding.

Original Highway 20

May 31, 2011

A portion of the old highway still remains.© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Western Nebraska

A portion of the old highway still remains.

A Queen and Her Court

May 23, 2011

A Queen and Her CourtChadron, Nebraska© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Chadron, Nebraska

The Fur Trade Days Queen and her court ride down Main Street.

L-Bow Room Bar

May 4, 2011

L-Bow Room BarJohnstown, Nebraska© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Johnstown, Nebraska

This small bar offers patrons unparalleled living on the edge: The sign in the window warned “Microwave in Use,” while the sign inside the bar read, “Smoking is NOT Prohibited.”

The L-Bow Room had no running water or plumbing, so Cleo Dodd, the 70-plus owner, carried in jugs of water every morning. The bar served the needs of local farmers and ranchers who wanted a cup of coffee, a cold beer or a round of pool.

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