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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Washington, Nebraska celebrates its 125th birthday!

Washington, Nebraska celebrated its 125th birthday last weekend.  The town had an ice cream and home-made pie social, tour of the historic business sites, displays and activities for the kids.  It was a fun time and I had a piece of rhubarb-strawberry pie that was to DIE FOR!   
Model of Washington's Business District

Not many people realize that Washington and Bennington are "Twin Sister Cities."  That's right; in 1887 the Chicago Northwestern Railroad laid track through the Papio Creek Valley.  They started at Arlington, and laid track south to Irvington and during the process created two new railroad towns: Washington and Bennington.  

There seems to be some confusion in Bennington regarding when our 125th birthday is.  The sign on the City Office reads 'Established 1892' and the City celebrated the Centennial or our incorporation (1892) in 1992.  What happened to Bennington's real birthday?

The truth is that the Bennington Town Site was dedicated November 15th, 1887.  Construction on the business district started shortly afterwards.  By those standards, Washington should have waited until 2015 to celebrate its Centennial let alone its Quasquicentennial.  You see, Washington grew much slower and didn't incorporate until 1915.  That means they should have waited until 2040 to celebrate their 125th!  

Thank God they didn't because I would have missed that pie and a great time!  Happy Birthday Washington!!!!!!

Dig into our local history and find the real truth!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mystery Item

Clarence Laaker brought this item to the last Historical Society Meeting for show and tell.  The questions is; What is it?  It has a handle on one end, a wire cage tube that extends down the side and spade and foot on the other end.   Someone suggested it was an early golf ball picker-upper.  Could they be right?  What do you think?  Answer in 2 weeks.

ANSWER:   A potato planter.  Potatoes were planted in tilled soil so it was easier to plant and for the potatoes themselves to grow.  The seed potatoes were stacked in the wire tube. Each had to have at least one good "eye" to sprout.  The planter was pushed into the loose soil and further inserted by stepping on the foot lever.  Once inserted, the handle was cranked down which dropped and inserted one potato in the ground.   Extract and move on.  The marvels of modern agriculture!