Local History and Architecture

The story of railroads can’t be told without the towns that were created, and thrived, along its tracks. Studying the industries and businesses around depots and tracks can give insight into railroad operations of yesteryear and today. Of particular interest is history and architecture within the communities in the Platte River Valley in Eastern Nebraska, and the the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metropolitan and surrounding area.

History and Nostalgia at the Great Minnesota Get-Together

The Minnesota State Fair starts today and besides sampling as much food as my body can take, I always try to make it to Heritage Square to see the museum, and Machinery Hill to watch, listen, and smell the old tractors. Heritage Square is a must see as it has railroad cars, signals, old buildings […]


Land of Amber Waters by Doug Hoverson

Land of Amber Waters by Doug Hoverson provides a thorough look at brewing history in Minnesota. Below the sub-title, it does a play on a brewing statement from Grain Belt: “Researched Direct From Primary Sources and Properly Sterilized. Will Not Cause Biliousness.” A quick look at the notes section proves this to be true. The […]


After Porky’s closed I added to my collection

When I was an undergrad I sometimes went to Porky’s, a drive-in diner on University Avenue in Saint Paul. I can’t say I was a frequent patron of the joint, but over my 14 years in Minnesota I’ve driven past it several times never missing a chance to take glance as I drove by. It […]


Brunswick Hotel and Restaurant building in Fremont, Nebraska

Just a block west from where the original street corner at 1st and D was plotted in Fremont, Nebraska, stands a building which for many years was a welcome sight to travelers who journeyed into the area by rail or along the Lincoln Highway. Though it has been a long time since it gave weary […]


35 years ago today: Hotel Pathfinder explosion

Hotel Pathfinder Postcard

Any historian focusing on the history of Fremont, Nebraska, will find themselves devoting days, if not weeks, into researching the Hotel Pathfinder and the tragic events of January 10, 1976. Though my birth-date would occur over a year later, as a children my generation would hear stories of the devastation from teachers, relatives, and local […]


Video Tour: Northern Pacific Skally Line at Mile Post 7

I’ve really taken to my Flip video camera and started capturing location shots where I walk around an area filming video giving a short tour with annotations. This can be done in about 30 minutes and, if I am careful about my shots, it requires little editing. I’m getting better with steadying my hand and […]


Trip To Dentist Office Leads to Rare Find: Griswold Rotating-Banner

I’ve mentioned before how I now make it my daily habit to always carry a point and shoot digital camera as well as my compact and trusty Flip video camcorder. I never know what I may find when out and about and, on that rare occasion I find something that is rare or unique, I […]


The Art of Scale Drawing

It was art time in our household so I set my son up with some paints, crayons and paper before I sat down next to him with my own pencil, scale ruler, graph paper, and numerous pictures of a building I was working on. “Are you not doing art with me?” He asked. “Yes I […]