Traveling South, we chose a campground in Alliance, Nebraska because it was a comfortable 150 miles away.
It was a good day to catch up on some minor repairs, maintenance and other household chores. What, you think traveling around the Country in a RV is all fun and games? There is work to be done, just like in your home. So, while Barbara does that, I’ll take a nap.
That night we heard what sounded like a huge garage door slamming shut. Over and over all night long. Although it did not effect our sleep, nothing does. The next morning we asked the camp host. She informed us that next door was the train depot, with 56 tracks, where the trains are assembled to journey around the country.
Barbara had trouble with cell phone reception, and tried this new fangled device:
Alliance came into existence when the railroad arrived on January 27, 1888. The railroad actually determined the site of the town and sold plots of land to those arriving to establish a life in the newest railroad town. The 56 track train depot was build then. By the summer of 1888 there were more than 100 buildings under construction, and by 1890, nearly 1,000 people lived here.
The trains brought to Alliance not only people, but supplies and goods. The last passenger train left Alliance in November, 1967. Now the chief transport of the trains is coal. All night long we could hear the banging of the cars being coupled together. Traveling down the road we saw one of the trains, the tracks parallel the road, Barbara counted 119 coal cars, with two engines in the front and two in the back.
A note in history: The Adolph Coors Beverage and Manufacturing Co. built the Alliance Hotel in 1916. When Temperance Unions pushed Coors out, he moved to Golden Colorado.
In 1964, Alliance also had the distinction of having the first touchtone phone in the nation.
We have visited a lot of museums in the previous 169 days of travels. However, the museum in Alliance described best the plight, motivation, and determination of the people who settled the West in the 1800’s. They were lured out West by the Homestead Act, passed by Congress on April 24, 1820, which gave 160 acres of land to any head of family (white that is) that would stay and farm the land for 5 years.
The Nevada firefighter’s convention of 1911 in Alliance shows they all wear hats, coats, and ties.
The town also had a unique fountain:
Custer SD to Alliance NE 149.1 miles
3 hours 9 minutes