could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

Tourist Parks in Kearney and Buffalo County

Growth of Auto traffic and tourism
        Lincoln Highway
        Need for camp grounds – Controversy in Kearney many years

1919 – Dec. 1 – 3rd ward park suggested – not a good idea
Kearney Amusement park ideal location
            Denison has already let contracts for building of 40 cabins north of the pavilion and planting 1000 trees.
1920 – No suitable camp ground in Kearney. 
Tourist park at Kearney Amusement Park did not materialize but they did have camping space. 
        Third Ward Park was being used [now called Harmon Park, original southeast corner]
                A drinking fountain but no running water. 
                No lights, car lights used to set up camp.
        Aug – Citizen protest at City Council meeting the use of Third Ward Park as a camping ground. 

                Lawyer Sinclair's point:  Park was deeded to city in 1876 by Perkins estate. 

                If not used as a park for citizens of Kearney it could revert back to the Perkins estate.  

End of column:  “All of the speakers, pro and con, seemed to understand and
appreciate the fact that some parking or camping facilities should be provided for
tourists but the general opinion prevailed that such ground should not be in ‘my
back yard.’

1921 – Suggestions, Discussions, Temporary lots
C of C, Kiwanis, and Rotary were working together to develop a plan
        Recommended 2 acres on Watson Blvd east of Theo Bolte home.  [1922 city directory - r “west Kearney”] 
        Vacant lots north of the post office have been used in recent weeks [MONA parking lot] 

            City cleared the grounds to be used temporarily. 
        Kearney City Beautiful Committee suggested acquiring land on west side of Kearney for a tourist park

        Use this temporary space as a rest park with trees, grass, fountain, and benches for visitors and Kearney citizens.
1922 – More temporary lots
Vacant lots at 21st & A [probably Copy Cat lots] were cleared for use as a temporary tourist camp
         Manhattan Oil Co. at Lincoln Way & Ave A [23 E 25th St – East end MONA]

was putting in improvements to make a tourist camp on their property.  Mrs. Nye, across the street, obtained an injunction to stop them.  Trial date set for July 8; Manhattan manager said he thought Mrs. Nye’s lawyer intended to get a postponement until Sept. to prevent him from doing business all summer.  Injunctions were served on all the employees as well as the manager.  When the business closed that day and everyone went home 8 campers came in and spent the night.

        White Eagle Oil Co [at 22 E 21st - Copy Cat corner] opened as free camp. 
        First Ward Park suggested [Collins Park]  Vocal opposition.  Ruled out by City Council
1923 – Still no agreement on a city tourist park
City was considering a proposal but probably would not happen due to lack of funds. 
        Courtwright place considered ideal had a tourist camp

                [2532 17th Ave. – west of tailrace, north side of street]  private business. 
                In business in June
                Part of large home there could be used as shelter in case of storms. 
                All he asked for was signs directing tourists to his place.  
1924 – Courtwright sold the tourist Park
1924-1925 – [Nothing
in paper about tourist parks.  Some private ones must have been in operation but are not listed in subject section of the City Directory]
Kearney never did settle on a city owned tourist park

1926 – Private tourist parks. 
        1733 Amusement Park
        Kearney Tourist Park, which was a year old, were the largest and most popular. 
        City has also cleared a plot at 21st and A.
1927 – All private business
1733 Amusement Park – Plans announced in April for tourist houses
        City Tourist Camp – New tourist park  [west by tailrace along Lincoln Highway]
                Five cabins to start with. 
                Several large elm trees provide shade
                Work began on new filling station at the City Tourist Park east of tailrace.
                Nov.  – Property for sale at 1412 W Lincoln Way included filling station, grocery store, tourist camp. 

                     [address in 1996 of Ideal apartments, on southeast corner of 15th St. & Highway 30]

1928 – January – Year round travelers staying at tourist parks foreseen

1929 – Two tourist camps on each side of town.
            May 18 – J. S. Elliott started construction of new tourist camp
                        July 2 – open for business
Midway City Tourist Park

Plans announced on March 30, 1927 one mile east of Midway Hotel.  [2010 - University Stor-It storage units.] 

Four acres
Entrance, circle drive, exit
General store and filling station with mechanic between entrance and exit. 
Parking spaces (72) on both sides of the drive. 

A pavilion in the center with a fireplace, a place to gather, eat meals, shelter in storms. 
Radiating out from the pavilion four groups of cabins, five in each group (20).
Each with electric stove – put nickel in the slot –

Hot & cold water
Tub & shower
Beds but pay extra for linens
Landscaping planned
    To get jump start, several full grown trees were brought in
        Evergreens, shrubs & flowers planted that spring.. 

Apparently open for business end of June
            14 cabins done. 
        Camping spot 50 cents, cabin $1, cabin & garage $1.50. 
        Kitchen with 8 electric stoves and adjoining community room where people can eat
        Swimming pool to right of entrance and general store.
        Park manager lives in back of the store. 
        Transplanted linden trees all survived. 
1928 Aug – Designated official AAA camp in Kearney
                        New cottages added

Kearney City Directory names at this address

1931 – Midway Tourist Park

1937-38 – Midway Tourist Park

1940-41 – Shambaugh Motor Lodge

1947 & 1950 – Midway Auto Court

1955 – Midway Siesta Motel
1958 & 1960 – Siesta Motel
1972 – Siesta Motel    Gone by about 1974


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Revised: 02/08/2018