could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

                         Question from February program
                 When was the 1733 dance hall blown down?

(Phone call on April 12 from Bill Nichol)

Bill and his wife were returning to Kearney from Denver in late April 1964.

        They ran into a storm at Gothenburg and did not drive out of it until Odessa.

It was after dark, of course, but as they drove passed the 1733 dance hall site, he could see in the headlights that it was all flat in the ground.

He said it was a big building, about 100 feet by 150-200 feet with booths around the edge.

Bill also remembers the swimming pool south of the dance hall
[the dance hall and swimming pool were probably all that was left if the amusement park features of past years]

As a high school student, his father and his friends used to swim there in the 1930's
        There was a diving tower about 25 feet high.

The game was to dive into a tractor tire inner tube. The trick was to avoid the valve stem.

              Another Question – Why is there no Avenue J?

1876 Map of Kearney
        5 years after D N Smith designated the site of Kearney

1. East/west streets
        According to the earliest map of Kearney we have, dated 1876, it was 22 blocks north/south, and 14 blocks east/west

        The first 12 east/west streets were numbered as they are today, but since Kearney was smaller then, the numbering began at what is now 12th Street.

        That put 9th Street at the railroad where 20th Street is today.

        Rather than name the street after 12, 13th Street, it was called Smith Avenue. That is today’s 24th Street.

        Today’s 25th Street was Grand Avenue, then came Minneapolis Avenue, Greeley Avenue, Gibson Avenue, Sidel Avenue, Pawnee Avenue (present day 31st Street), Omaha Avenue and Grove Avenue.

2. North/south streets
        The main north/south streets began on the east side of town at what today is Avenue E.

        The first four streets were named for our railroads – Union Avenue (E), Pacific Avenue (D) Burlington Avenue (C) and Missouri Avenue (B).

        The next four streets had the names of states – Nebraska (A), Wyoming (Central), Colorado (First), and Dacota Avenue (Second)

3. Northwest Kearney – the Perkins & Harford Addition
        To add to the confusion, there were no streets and no homes west of Dakota in the south part of town.

        But from the corner of Smith and Dakota (today’s 24th & Second) there were homes and named streets in the Perkins & Harford Addition, a six by 9 block area.

        While the streets running west remained the same as the Original Town: Grand, Minneapolis, etc., those going north/south were numbered First through Sixth Streets, the same names as the east/west streets on the south edge of town.

1889 Map of Kearney
        Boom period Kearney has grown

        Present day Avenue N on the east to 9th Avenue on the west; 11th Street on the south to 39th Street on the north

        City council had decided as these new streets were added that a new system of naming needed to be adopted.

        East/west streets = Streets; north/south streets = Avenues

        Numbers would continue to be used for the east/west streets, but the numbering would begin at the north channel of the Platte (today called Turkey Creek)

        The former Wyoming Avenue which ran north/south through the downtown business area would be called Central Avenue.

        Streets on the east side of Central would be given the letters of the alphabet = Ave A, Ave B, etc.

        Streets on the west side of Central would be numbered = First Ave, Second Ave, etc

The answer to the question – a close look at the 1889 map shows no Avenue J, apparently there never was an Avenue J. No reasons have been found, so far.

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Revised: 02/04/2018