could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

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Ice Skating in Kearney

        This topic developed out of a request from Sweden for information about a photograph which had been sent back to Sweden by an ancestor who had immigrated to the United States.  It was an Anderson photo of a young couple on ice skates.  The background identified the site as being Kearney Lake.  Judging by the apparent age of the couple and the family information which was provided, I would guess this was a picture of the young Swedish immigrant and his future wife.

Kearney Lake


Pavilion – on east bank of lake
        Two stories – lower held concessions; upper held chairs in shade
        All sides open to catch summer breezes

Rowboats for rent on bank beside pavilion

Small steamer carried sightseers around the lake

Sailboats also on the lake


New Year’s Day – all who possessed skates came
        One couple glided about using a sail to catch the wind

Toboggan slide – on east bank near pavilion
        Children on toboggans would use it;

November 22, 1929 –

        The Recreation Committee of the P.T.A’s composed of a representative from each school, the Kearney Women’s club, and City Council were working together to provide ponds for children to skate on. As soon as the ice freezes the children flock up the hill to Kearney Lake. They wanted to put a pond in each of the four wards.

Ice Skating Rink

Nov. 1891 – To open at 2221st Central in “old rink building”

        Water was run into the tank and water froze solid by morning

December 8, 1891
        The ice skating rink opened and about 150 young people skated.
        After everyone left it was flooded again for use the next day.

December 26, 1891
        Apparently the rink was closed for a week to put in some improvements.
        The ice was now 10” thick
        A concession stand was put in the cloak room
        Miller’s band would furnish music

Other information about ice skating in Kearney

February 21, 1908
        City of Kearney passed an ordinance making it against the law to wear roller or ice skates on city sidewalks or crosswalks within city limits. Fine was up to $100.

December 29, 1916

        Both the lake and the canal were popular places for ice skating.

December 15 & 17, 1921

        Area at 22nd Street and 10th Ave. flooded for ice skating rink

January 5, 1925 –
        Bodinson Hardware advertised skates both shoe and strap on, and hockey sticks

Ice Polo

Saturday, January 16, 1892

        Two teams, the Midways and the Phil Kearnys

        Were going to cross sticks in a polo game on the ice Wednesday.

        There would be additional music for the event.

“Polo is a game full of excitement from start to finish and when played aright is as scientific a one as may be numbered among strictly North American games.”

Tuesday, January 19, 1892

        Postponed to Friday because the financial secretary had la grippe [flu]

[No follow up report]

What is ice polo?
        A game played in the 1890’s mainly in the east
        Ivy League colleges - Harvard, Brown - had teams

        Five man team

        Sticks like hockey sticks but only 4 feet long

        Polo ball used

        Ice skates, no padding

        Hit the ball over a bar no more than 18 inches off the ice

        3 points per goal
        Two 20-minue halves

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Revised: 02/08/2018