Virtual Travel – Nebraska

Welcome to Nebraska, the Cornhusker State.

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Nebraska Capitol, History and Symbols 

1954     1971     1987     1991

 

Today finds us again on the Great Plains in Nebraska. There is more to Nebraska however than flat lands filled with corn. But first, let’s check out the State Capitol in Lincoln. (photo from Wikipedia)

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Nebraska is one of the states that has a State Capitol that is not built in the traditional style. It was the first state capitol to take this approach, having completed this very cool art deco building in 1932. The building is 400′ tall, and can be seen for miles across the prairies of Eastern Nebraska.

The 1954 map celebrating Nebraska’s 100th anniversary is a bit deceiving, it is not for statehood, rather when the Nebraska territory was defined. Nebraska did not become a state until 1867.

Nebraska has one of the ‘coolest’ state symbols, the state drink – Kool Aid! This kid favorite was developed in 1927 by Edwin and Kitty Perkins in the town of Hastings.

Kool-Aid Man

Hastings celebrates this each year with a Kool Air Festival

A sweet escape from reality is found, at least momentarily, in a ...

 

Cowboys

1965     1973

 

Because early cattle drives often took cowboys through Nebraska, the state still celebrates this culture. The town of Ogallala is the center of this culture in the state, although highly unlikely to be authentic. (photo from visitnebraska)

Front Street Crystal Palace Review - front street - ogallala

 

Buffalo Bill Cody spent much of his adult life living in North Platte, Nebraska. His ranch is now a State Historical Park.

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park - Nebraska Game and ...

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park - Nebraska Game and ...

Chimney Rock & Scotts Bluff

1972     1978     1980     2011

 

Scotts Bluff National Monument is located in Western Nebraska, with over 3000 acres of historic trail remnants, as well as the rise that is Scotts Bluff.

It was named after Hiram Scott, who was a clerk for the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. Scott died near this landmark in 1828.

Because it was such a visual landmark, it served as a destination for travelers on the Oregon Trail, California Trail and Pony Express. The bluff rises 800′ above the surrounding prairies.

 

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Chimney Rock is another landmark of Western Nebraska. This unique geological formation rises 300′ above the North Platte Valley.

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Regions of Nebraska

1979     1981     1983     1993     1997     2007

Omaha is the largest city in the state, with a metro population of nearly 1 million. (photo from Children’s Hospital of Omaha). The largest employers in the city are government and hospitals.

 

The top rated attraction according to Tripadvisor is the Henry Doorly Zoo. (photo from Wikipedia)

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Carhenge is a replica of Stonehenge in the middle of the Nebraska prairies. There are 38 automobiles in a circle 96′ in diameter.

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The Nebraska Outback is in North Central Nebraska. This is a recent named used in a tourism campaign. Attractions include: (photos from Wikipedia)

Nebraska National Forest

 

Smith Falls

 

Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge

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The Sandhills – Mixed Grasses covering sand dunes.

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Outdoors & Rivers

1985     1989     2001     2003

 

The Platte River is the major waterway through the state. (photo from Wikipedia)

Middle Fork South Platte River

Platte River | river, Nebraska, United States | Britannica

 

 

There are vast areas of non developed space in Nebraska. The views below are from far western Nebraska near the Wyoming border.

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Toadstool Geologic Park is located in far northwestern Nebraska. It is essentially a badlands area but with very interesting formations.

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Virtual Travel – Illinois

Today’s stop – Illinois

1959 – With the Interstate’s recently been started, Illinois was proud to show one of  their’s on the cover. At this time the only freeways in the state were in the Chicago area.

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The Tri-State Tollway was one of the first completed. It was one of the first to built service plaza over the traffic lanes.

 

 

Hinsdale Oasis today

 

 

1961 – Cook County (Chicago) Motor Vehicle Office. From 1900 until 1960 Cook County had the largest population of any county in the United States. It has since been passed by Los Angeles, County, but remains 2nd most populated to this day.

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By 1961 freeways had been built through Chicago to downtown from every direction. This view is the Northwest/AKA – Kennedy Expressway. Amazingly there are reversible express lanes in the middle.

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This view from 2012 looks much the same.

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1968 – Celebrating Illinois’ Sesquicentennial, 150 years of statehood. Who better than Abraham Lincoln for the cover.

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1970 – View of the loop downtown Chicago.

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Jane Byrne Interchange Project, Chicago - Verdict Traffic

 

 

 

1973, 1975 & 1978 – They must have fired the photographer.

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1976 – A tribute to the Native Americans and pioneers. The first European explorers in the region were Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette, which explains the number of French names for towns.

The Native American tribes included the Miami, Winnebago, Fox, Sacs, and of course – the Illinois.

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Cahokia Mounds State Histori Site is the location of a pre-Columbian Native American city that they estimate once had 40,000 residents in the year 1100.

They were, as most tribes in this area, mound builders.

Cahokia Mounds | Enjoy Illinois

 

 

 

1979 – Transportation in Illinois. While Chicago was a center of the early automotive manufacturing by the 1920s much had gone out of business and moved to Detroit.

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Today there are 3 automobile manufacturing facilities in Illinois. The most important is the Chicago Ford Assembly Plant.

This factory is the oldest continually operated factory for Ford.

Ford Chicago Plant Info, Production, Contact, Wiki

 

 

 

 

 

1983 – Frank Lloyd Wright.

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Frank Lloyd Wright had a studio in Oak Park, and design a plethora of fantastic homes and buildings throughout Chicago, and the world.

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1985 – People’s of the Past.

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1987 – Festivals. Chicago has some of the country’s best festivals.

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Chicago Festival

Chicago Summer Music Festivals For Rock, Country and More

 

 

 

1989 – Another year, another Lincoln map.

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World’s largest Lincoln statue. 72′ high, hanging out in a campground.

World's Tallest Abraham Lincoln Statue in Ashmore, Illinois

 

 

1989 – The hill country of Southern Illinois

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1991 – Illinois & Michigan Canal. This canal linked the Illinois River to Lake Michigan, thus providing the first interior route from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.

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When it was in use mules or horses pulled the barges along the canal. (Photo – Chicago Public Library)

 

Today you can rent a longboat and spend a vacation on the canal. (photo – iandmcanal,org)

Water Activities – I & M Canal National Heritage Area

 

 

 

 

1993 – Celebrating Craftmaking.

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1995 – History of Illinois Roads. When the first European settlers began to arrive in larger numbers they made their way inland via ‘traces’. These roads generally followed the Native American paths that had been used for hundreds of years.

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1995 – Showing the Regions of Illinois.

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1997 – Another Lincoln Statue. There are over 200 Lincoln statues in the United States.

This one is in New Salem, Illinois.

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New Salem State Historic Site is a reconstructed town that Lincoln lived in from 1831 to 1837. It was from here he was first elected to public office. (Photo from Wikipedia)

 

 

Once again in the late 90s and early 2000s a state has chosen to have nondescript scenes on their maps.

 

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2005 – War Memorials throughout Illinois.

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2007 & 2011 – Again celebrating the regions of Illinois.

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Chicago is easily the most visited part of the state. The architecture here is second to none.

Some highlights

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2009 – Lincoln Presidential Library      2015 – Lincoln (again)

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Located in Springfield it is an impressive building in a state full of Lincoln tributes.

 

photo1.jpg - Picture of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and ...

 

 

 

 

2013 – Modes of Transportation

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O’Hare Airport in Chicago in 1956 (photo from Airways Magazine). For you airport code trivia fans, most have seen baggage routing tags with ORD for this airport.

It was originally a small airport for a factory known as Orchard Place, and gained that code then. ORchardD.

 

Today

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2015 – Mississippi River Bridge. It can easily be forgotten that there the Mississippi River runs the entire western boundary of Illinois. This bridge connects St Louis with southern Illinois.

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2017 – Our last stop is at a Lincoln Cabin made out of …. Lincoln Logs.

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Hickory Corners, Michigan – September 2018 – Gilmore Car Museum

I have had the opportunity to visit most of America’s great transportation museums. Having that background I can state that in my opinion the Gilmore Car Museum is the best in the country.

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I had read about the Gilmore for some time now, and had always looked forward to going. With the long Labor Day weekend and the emphasis on cars, now was the time.

When we arrived one of the staff said ‘see you in 4 hours’. He was wrong, we spent 4 1/2 hours 🙂

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Gilmore is more than just a single building with some cars. It is a campus of buildings and barns, each featuring a genre of cars or car companies.

Each building is immaculate, clean and well light with great presentations. They also take pride in that there aren’t barriers for most cars, just notes to remind you not to touch. This makes photography much easier.

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Among the buildings is a 1940s diner that was moved from Connecticut. It serves as the restaurant for the museum. We had a basic lunch there, with great milkshakes and friendly staff.

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An example of one of the barns. This one was moved from a nearby farm, with 2 levels for cars.

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A complete 1930s Shell Station.

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The pumps represent different eras.

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The motorcycle building.

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Inside are a number of bikes from the early 1900s to current day.

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A vintage Cleveland and 1919 Johnson.

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As the sign notes – a 1928 Indian. Check out that rear seat.

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Outside near one of the storage barns is an un-restored London double decker bus.

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Another building – another collection. This one has a peddle car collection.

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As with the motorcycles, the collection was vast and pristine.

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Even some peddle airplanes – how cool.

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In the 1960s Mr Gilmore built a replica of the train depot for the little town of Hickory Corners. Inside is a hood ornament display.

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I am always enthralled by the old hood ornaments.

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Almost too nice for the hood of a car.

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At the Gilmore they have over 1300 of them.

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While the photography was tricky with the display cases and the light and shadows, many came out very nice.

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Also called mascots, it was a common occurrence in the 1930s to personalize your car with a different ornament.

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Our next building was called ‘The Classics’. Higher end cars from the 1930s.

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A Cadillac for a movie star.

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The large two level barn shown earlier from the outside had 1950s cars on the lower level.

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And the impressive upper level had earlier models.

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Hudson Motor Car Company made automobiles from 1909 through 1954. This one is from the 1940s.

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So many great cars.

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In the same barn is a Ford display.

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One interesting feature of the the Gilmore campus is that car clubs build their museums there. In this example the Cadillac club built essentially a Cadillac dealership on the outside.

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Inside are Cadillacs over the years.

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Without a doubt the older Cadillacs are much nicer looking than the 1970s and 1980s.

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The Ford Museum has a complete, authentic 1930s parts counter.

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The Ford museum is dedicated to Model A’s.

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A 1930s school bus.

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As with Cadillac, from the outside it appears to be a vintage Ford dealership.

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Across the driveway in the main building is the Lincoln building, whom have some of the nicest cars of all.

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Another earlier Lincoln model.

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A collection of 1950s and 1960s sports cars.

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As with Cadillac, Lincoln and Ford, there is a Franklin dealership.

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But back to the Lincolns.

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Also in the main building is an exhibit for A J Foyt.

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The main building seemed to have more of a mix of cars.

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One of the last of the Packards.

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A stylish 1934 DeSoto Airflow

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If you are into cars the Gilmore Car Museum is a must to visit.

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