Good Roads Fairs
Kearney Commercial Club
[forerunner of Chamber of Commerce]
Led in promoting better roads.
Held Good Roads Fairs in 1915, 1916, & 1917 [pre-WWI years]
Purpose was to raise money for making better roads in the county.
Permanent improvements, not maintenance & repair
Good Roads Fair – 1915
- First Annual Farmers and Merchants Good Roads Fair.
Held evenings Dec 7-10 [4 days]
Objective to raise funds to build permanent roads - north to
Pleasanton, south to Minden
An exhibit of farm power machinery
A dance each evening
Donated items sold – auctioned off – by James Boyd
Donated items included livestock including pig, 25 turkeys
and a goat
Also coal, a buggy and a gasoline
Donated items could be acquired for $1 [won in a raffle]
The goat was given for $1 the last night [raffle]
Other sources of income
Farmers could donate time to work on
the road, and teams & equipment
Drive for donations continued after the fair
Farmers signed up to donate time
Three schools along the Pleasanton-Kearney road held box
suppers to raise funds for the road improvement project.
Started off with goal of raising $5,000, raised $1,000
Declared a success
Pleasanton decided to hold one the following month
Good Roads Fair 1916
– [A little better than last year]
Held in mid-Nov.
1917 Ford to be given for a dollar [raffle]
Price of admission 10 cents for gentlemen, ladies free.
Donated items were sold at a country store.
One of the most popular items was cakes baked by 19th Century Club ladies.
Last night – Largest crowd expected, all were charged
admission, partially to thin the crowd
Over $1400 raised
Good Roads Fair 1917
– Biggest one yet
Plans began in July
Date set for Tue. Oct 9 – Sat. Oct 13
Have street amusements as well as indoor activities.
Fashion show to be added
Afternoon and evening events
To be held in the new Tollefson garage [on Central & Lincoln
26 merchant booths sold @$50 each
including 4 auto dealers
Style show to be held there.
men’s and women’s clothes.
Vaudeville show every evening followed by a dance.
Music by 22 piece city band;
by same director’s 12 piece orchestra.
1918 Maxwell touring car the big prize.
3 Parades –
1) Grand Merchants Street Parade of decorated floats
2) Decorated auto parade
3) Ford parade
Every owner of a Ford eligible to
Various prizes in Ford parade
School children dismissed at noon Fri.
[Columbus Day] to participate in the giant parade.
One admission price of 10 cents good for all events of the day except the
Prof. Condra of state university gave illustrated lecture at Crescent
theater on how to build and maintain good roads.
Results of the fair –
Children in kindergarten department
at college won 1st prize in the Ford parade for most passengers, 36, in a
Fair made over $4200 after expenses.
No more Good Road Fairs
By the next
year World War I had begun
More action in road building after the war
Heavy equipment was made available
Vets returning looked for jobs on road crews.
Laid out in 1913 –
July 19, 1915
A delegation from the Lincoln Highway taking 7000 ft. of moving pictures
along the rout4e from New York City to San Francisco.
Took pictures in Kearney area of –
Oregon Monument at Central & Railroad
Platte River Bridge
Water power spillway
Country club golf links
Industrial school with the boys in uniform
View of the Platte Valley from the hill
Normal School & students
Business and residential districts
Old Ft. Kearney site
Spokesman for the group said one of the biggest problems of road building
was the securing of gravel. But that is not a problem here in the Platte
December 1, 1915 – Seedling Mile officially open.
Begun in spring but delays held up completion until first week in Nov. Work
on shoulders now complete
August 1911 - Omaha, Lincoln, and Denver (the OLD Highway) designated as
part of a transcontinental highway by the Transcontinental Highway
Ran through Hastings parallel to the Burlington Railroad
Later designated as Highway 6
July 23, 1915 –
4 young ladies from Ravenna were
driven by automobile to Minden where they took the O-L-D highway west
intending to hike to Boulder. They will accept rides along the way. They
expect to stop along the way to visit friends and rest.
[Would we let 4 young ladies do that today?]