could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

                       Summer Amusements - 1900-1920

                   A Comparison of some summer activities Now and Then

1. Baseball

Now – Little league organized program for children
        Adult men’s, women’s, & mixed leagues

Then – informal games organized by the boys on a per game basis [no girls]
        Adults – men only, Kearney Kapitals – 1910-1914

2. Chautauqua

Then – the original - 1907-1924 – held each summer at Chautauqua Park on north side of Harmon Park

        People came and set up camp for the week

Now – Revived by Humanities Nebraska 35 years ago [1984]
        Re-enactors speak as those in original programs or of the chosen time period
        Performed in two Nebraska cities each summer
        This year in Kearney, Aug 2-3, “the 50’s in focus”

3. Cycling


        Now – BRAN – Bike Ride Across Nebraska, church organized rides for a cause
                Groups & individuals ride 2-20 miles in evenings & on weekends
                Ride Bike/Hike trails, pulling infant/toddler carts

        Then – cycling a popular sport – trips to Grand Island a favorite trip
                Nothing organized, just individuals or small groups


        Now – Individuals, couples, small groups ride on evenings, weekends, on vacations

                Some organized groups
        Then - [watch American Pickers we know there were motorcycles in this time period]
                July 1913 – in the latter part of the month a group of several hundred motorcyclists, the federation of
                            American Motorcyclists, were to stop overnight on their way to Denver for a national convention.

                    Garages and hotels were notified to expect them.
                    Evening entertainment – a smoker; a trip to Lake Kearney for swimming and boating.
                    Commercial Club encouraged showing the men a good time so they could spread the word as they
                         traveled and went home.

4. Picnics – Picnicking, fishing, boating, swimming frequently all in a day’s activity
        But focus on picnics

Now – back yard barbeques; public & state parks; pot luck picnics by church group or family reunion

Then – City parks – Harmon, Collins, Pioneer

        Parks by Wood River by mill ponds – Glenwood; White Bridge Park

More about White Bridge Park
        Private park
        Location – mile north and two east of Glenwood Corner on Wood River

        July 4, 1906 – Big celebration –
            Speeches, singing, music furnished by the Kearney Brass Band
            – refreshments on sale, probably picnicking also
            Various races - foot, sack, egg, boat, tub, swimming

            End of June 1906 – White Bridge park owner advertised for “Two good swimmers to enter race at the park on
                                      July 4th

        June 1914 – Apparently following quite a rain
                    Three brothers coming were from Cedar Township [up north near Ravenna] to Kearney had a narrow
                    escape when they attempted to cross the Wood River on White Bridge

                    Covered with 18” of water and a strong current. [almost knee high]
                    ”Not knowing whether they could cross with the car, the young men secured a team from the other side
                     of the river…”

[this means that at least one of the brothers walked across the bridge in the water to go to t4he nearest farm on the south side to borrow a team]

                    “…and attached a rope to pull the car through the water.”
[he had to wade back across the bridge. Then all 3 brothers were in the car, one to steer as they were pulled across, while the owner of the horses was probably there to control the horses.]

                    But when the car was clear of the bridge the rope broke and the car was washed off the road into the
                    ditch where it was caught by a tree.

                    The boys stuck tight to the car and, since they could not swim, had to be rescued by boat.

                    When the water went down the next day they were able to get the car back on the road and apparently
                    drove on into Kearney.

                    It was checked over by Kearney Auto and the boys were able to make it home that afternoon.

[what car today could go through that without damage?]

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Revised: 07/09/2019