Tag Archives: history

Enjoying Art Around Siouxland, Great Plains Art Center, Lincoln, NE

12 Feb

The Great Plains Art Collection and exhibit space sits just a few blocks from the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I am always an enthusiast to enjoy art galleries when I visit new places in and around Siouxland, and for that matter, those places I frequent more often. I accidentally walked by this exhibit space a couple of times knowing I was close, but not seeing the hanging signs from the direction I was coming from. The exhibit I saw featured a number of local or Nebraskan artists, in all different mediums. While not a big fan of sculpture, there was plenty of hanging art to view.

The Great Plains Art Collection and exhibit space shows off regional artists, Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And the next time I am in Lincoln, NE I now have a landmark that should make it easy for me to remember this place, as well as the history of the Siouxland area because of an expedition a couple of centuries earlier.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Statues of the Lewis and Clark explorers sit outside the entrance to the Great Plains Art Collection and exhibit space sits just a few blocks from the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Dark Event in Siouxland’s History, Inkpaduta and the Massacre, Arnolds Park

6 Feb

Every place probably has a dark past somewhere along the way. Even in Siouxland as mentioned previously a band of renegade Sioux Indians massacred white settlers in the Arnolds Park region and referenced as the Spirit Lake Massacre. And a memorial still exists in the region today telling perhaps only the one side of what happened, as tragic as the tale is.

The Spirit Lake Massacre Monument with the Gardner Cabin in the background which tells the story of a young girl was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014. The museum is situated in the back center. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A museum and a replica Gardner Cabin is of historical significance for the remembrance of a young girl who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

This explanation appears on the history net website, while still does not excuse the massacre that took place, it helps give a fuller picture of why events took place. “In the spring of 1857, the renegade Wahpekute Dakota Chief Inkpaduta and his band of warriors descended on the homesteads near Spirit Lake in northwestern Iowa and committed murder and mayhem. The causes of the massacre are still debated. One reason can be traced to an 1854 episode when a whiskey trader and horse thief, Henry Lott, and his son killed, among others, Inkpaduta’s blood brother Sintomniduta and Sintomniduta’s wife and five children. Inkpaduta (meaning ‘Scarlet Point’ or ‘Red Cap’) appealed to the military to punish Henry Lott, but the killer fled and was indicted in absentia. The prosecuting attorney, Granville Berkley, took Sintomniduta’s head and skewered it on a pole over his house in a gross act of contempt. Lott was never found, and justice was never served.”

And the site and museum in Arnolds Park allows visitors a look back into time of settlers in the area and the story of Abbie Gardner who survived the massacre as a prisoner and later rescued. A short video presentation in the museum alludes to the wrongs committed  by white settlers against Inkpaduta to help explain why the massacre took place.

A look in a replica of the Gardner Cabin. The historical significance is the remembrance of a young girl who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A look in a replica of the Gardner Cabin. The historical significance is the remembrance of a young girl who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A look in a replica of the Gardner Cabin. The historical significance is the remembrance of a young girl who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And the related history in the museum helps fill in the background and what occurred to Gardner who eventually moved back to the Spirit Lake / Arnolds Park region and used the Gardner cabin as one of the first must-see tourist attraction sites in the area.

A photograph, circa 1862, of the Gardner Cabin hangs in a museum near the cabin in Arnolds Park which tells the story of Abbie Gardner, a young girl who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A depiction of an Indian raid in the in the 1850’s seen in a museum in Arnolds Park next to the Gardner Cabin and tells the story of a young girl, Abbie Garnder, who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An 1895 photograph showing Abbie Gardner-Sharp, front row with hat, and seated next to Charles Flandreau and Chetanmaza (Iron Hawk) during a dedication of the Spirit Lake Massacre. Iron Hawk was one of the three Indians who rescued Gardner from the renegade band of Sioux and Flandreau financed the venture to find the captives. The Gardner Cabin stands next to a small museum that tells the story of Gardner-Sharp as a young girl was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Besides the memorial and cabin the site also has the remains of those killed. in a small burial plot.

A burial plot the Gardner and Luce family members who perished in the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre with the Spirit Lake Massacre Monument and the Gardner Cabin and museum in the background which tells the story of a young girl, Abbie Garnder, was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A burial plot the Gardner and Luce family members who perished in the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre near the Gardner Cabin and a museum which tells the story of a young girl, Abbie Garnder, was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A burial plot the Gardner and Luce family members who perished in the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre near the Gardner Cabin and a museum which tells the story of a young girl, Abbie Garnder, was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A burial plot the Gardner and Luce family members who perished in the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre near the Gardner Cabin and a museum which tells the story of a young girl, Abbie Garnder, was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes one never expects to find that such an event occurred in the area and I have found various little nuggets of history that probably many locals may not be aware of so many decades removed from the actual event. But I find that it helps one understand and better appreciate a place or region with what has gone on before.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Gardner Cabin is a historical remembrance where a young girl was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Abbie Gardner-Sharp is seen behind a store counter of her family home that in 1891after returning to Arnolds Park and purchasing the cabin, Gardner-Sharp operated one of Iowa’s earliest tourist attractions. This photo and others as well as historical pieces are found in a museum next to the Gardner Cabin where Gardner, as a young girl, was taken captive and then became the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Grandeur Around Siouxland, the Grand Manse, Lincoln, NE

4 Feb

Exploring a new area near Siouxland where one’s never been to before gets the senses into a bit of a hyper drive. Is there enough time to get to see things and spend time dawdling once one finds them?

The Grand Manse was originally a government building which began in 1904 and reflects the Beaux Arts Neoclassical style of architecture popular in America from 1885 to 1920 and is seen near the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

One a recent visit to Lincoln, NE I came upon a former government building in the downtown area near the capitol called the Grand Manse. I am not certain what it was housed as far as offices, but the gorgeous structure has been repurposed into shops, restaurants and apartments like many former buildings located in a downtown area no long used for the original purpose. The inside area that was accessible is really beautiful and harkens to an era of construction when the workmanship was stellar.

The Grand Manse was originally a government building which began in 1904 and reflects the Beaux Arts Neoclassical style of architecture popular in America from 1885 to 1920 and is seen near the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Inside wood gleams and the grandiose amenities normally associated with turn of the century government buildings is still there.

The Grand Manse was originally a government building which began in 1904 and reflects the Beaux Arts Neoclassical style of architecture popular in America from 1885 to 1920 and is seen near the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Grand Manse was originally a government building which began in 1904 and reflects the Beaux Arts Neoclassical style of architecture popular in America from 1885 to 1920 and is seen near the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Grand Manse was originally a government building which began in 1904 and reflects the Beaux Arts Neoclassical style of architecture popular in America from 1885 to 1920 and is seen near the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I wish it was possible to see more of the inside of the structure but I am certain the apartments are splendid, and probably a bit spendy (sp?), being so near the state’s capitol. Maybe government workers of a certain caliber, possibly lobbyist accommodations and local business people. When the mind wanders…….

But exploring a place is what traveling to new places is all about and curiosity is just that, even if one doesn’t get answers. Life can be full of questions. But it’s fun to see what’s there.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A photograph hanging in the lobby of the Grand Manse which was originally a government building which began in 1904 and reflects the Beaux Arts Neoclassical style of architecture popular in America from 1885 to 1920 and is seen near the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A photograph hanging in the lobby of the Grand Manse which was originally a government building which began in 1904 and reflects the Beaux Arts Neoclassical style of architecture popular in America from 1885 to 1920 and is seen near the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Grandeur on the Prairie near Siouxland, The Joslyn Castle, Omaha

29 Jan

George and Sarah Joslyn completed their home in 1903 and became known as the Joslyn Castle and at one time was at the edge of the town of Omaha, NE with only country surrounding it west, seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Traveling outside the “defined” boundary of Siouxland is always an exciting prospect in that opportunities for exploring new areas are endless. On a recent jaunt down to Omaha, NE I visited a former estate and at the time of its building it was definitely a grand undertaking as well as breathtaking for such an estate located in the prairie and at the time.

George and Sarah Joslyn built a 35 room Scottish Baroninal mansion on a hill at what at the time was the outskirts of Omaha. Information provided alludes to the fact that the estate is Scottish more because of the fact that the architect was Scottish himself and created a magnificent piece for a home that was built in a mere 11 months.

A photograph of George and Srash Joslyn seated on their horses in the early 1900’s on acreage that surrounded their home, the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

George and Sarah Joslyn completed their home in 1903 and became known as the Joslyn Castle and at one time was at the edge of the town of Omaha, NE with only country surrounding it west, seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A carriage sits near the former home of George and Sarah Joslyn who completed their home in 1903 and became known as the Joslyn Castle and at one time was at the edge of the town of Omaha, NE with only country surrounding it west, seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Servants quarters and a carriage house was also completed in a style replicating the main house. The original estate covered a number of acres most of which had been sold over time and now only the main house and carriage house and immediate grounds remain. The couple originated from Vermont and moved west after the completion of the transcontinental railroad. George Joslyn was involved in the printing business and settled in Omaha in 1880 to build more clientele for a printing firm located in Des Moines. Joslyn eventually bought the firm and created a business that supplied ready print newspapers to an estimated 70% of the population in the early 1900’s.

A grand staircase and a variety of wood is part of the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A group tours the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE led by guide Keith Hart, center, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The home contains a grand foyer, a music room, ballroom, library and a drawing room. Atone time the basement contained a bowling alley, a billiards room and a gymnasium. The couple also loved their horses and road them throughout the acreage that surrounded their estate.

A photograph showing what a sitting room looked like of the Joslyn Castle when the Joslyn’s resided there in the early 1900’s in Omaha, NE seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A photograph from the early 1900’s showing tornado damage to the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The house is full of architectural delights that include wrought iron, chiseled stone from Kansas, stained glass, ornately carved wood and mosaic tiles.

The Joslyn Castle was completed in 1903 as a residence for George and Sarah Joslyn who resided there until each’s death in Omaha, NE seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A view of a carriage house completed before the main home of George and Sarah Joslyn in 1903 and became known as the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The couple never had children of their own, but adopted a daughter from a local agency. Tour guides say the couple opened their home often to underprivileged children to come play and enjoy the grounds. After George died his wife Sarah continued to host community events and eventually willed that the estate should be used for community functions which it still does to this day, after a few detours of usage until present.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Joslyn Castle was built in 1903 by architect John McDonald and with Kansas silverdale limestone that was delivered by a special rail line to the site in Omaha, NE seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The dining area of the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The construction of the Joslyn Castle utilized very special wood and craftsmanship in the 11 months it was constructed in Omaha, NE Monday, seen Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A tour of a Christmas decorated Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

History outside of Siouxland, The Haymarket, Lincoln, NE

23 Jan

The Siouxland area and points west were part of a territory in the late 1800’s that comprised of Iowa, Nebraska, Utah, Montana and part of Idaho and patrolled by Fort Omaha. During those early days decisions were made by those in power where specific seats of power would reside. The Haymarket in Lincoln, NE was one such place. Lincoln, formerly known as Lancaster, eventually became the state’s capitol. And it was in and around The Haymarket where the community of Lincoln grew up and commerce commenced.

Remnants of the historic Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Part of the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Haymarket is an important historical part of the community of Lincoln, NE and in 1982 a eight-block section of the market received a historic landmark designation. Today there are many retail and restaurant shops around The Haymarket which makes it a fun place to hang out and walk about to learn more about the history of the area and indirectly the country itself.

Historical artifacts and items on display at a coffee shop in the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A chiming clock in the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The area has its own charm and sites that make for an enjoyable walk, even on a blustery and cold December day.

An unusal pedestrian walkway between buildings in the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Distortion in a shop window in the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

For me, seeing new places and learning history simultaneously is a fine way to spend a day. Throw in a couple of nice coffee houses for morning and afternoon breaks, and a restaurant for lunch, and it’s a good day spent learning more about an area while enjoying what’s there to see.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Shadows and lines in the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Celebrating the history of the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Holiday Spirit in Siouxland, Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars

3 Jan

Each year for as many as I can remember living in Siouxland the Plymouth County Museum puts together a Nativity display on the top floor of its facility. There are well north of a few hundred displays loaned to the museum by residents in the area as well as some that I believe have become acquired by the museum itself.

Various Nativity scenes filled the top floor of the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The display fills the entire floor and it is amazing to see so many different Nativity sets collected from a variety of countries and made of a variety of material. Some a bit more avant guard than others but sticking to the theme of Joseph and Mary and their baby Jesus.

A variety of different Nativity scenes filled the top floor of the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A variety of Nativity scenes are found on the top floor of the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I find it fun to look at how the Wise Men are depicted.

Different Nativity scenes were placed about on the top floor of the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Different nativity scenes are found on the top floor of the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The museum also showcases Christmas village scenes as well and along with some more expected Christmas fare. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon and enjoy a little warmth inside before heading back into the winter’s deep freeze, and to have a reminder of the “reason” for the season as the saying states.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Some winter village scenes can be found celebrating the Christmas holiday at the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Nativity and other winter scenes were scattered about on the top floor of the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Village Christmas scenes are on display on the top floor of the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Christmas decorations were scattered throughout the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seasonal Changes in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

14 Dec

Wishing patrons of the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve a pleasant holiday season in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seasonal changes in Siouxland always brings the expectations of coming holidays and a change in weather. The last waning days of fall like weather makes me a bit wistful of the impending cold that is sure to envelope the area. But along with that comes holiday lights, Christmas music and tons and tons of holiday confection. But I think I will most miss the fall light.

The waning days of fall at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The last vestiges of fall laying on the ground at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Not so direct with a clear quality to it that can make subjects pop and imbue them with a special quality. Early morning and late afternoon in the fall are not so early or so late. A plus in my book when out photographing places. With the cold setting in I have to push myself to set my bare feet onto a wood floor in the morning before finding socks to help them a little warmer. And then to get dressed and go and out photograph when the temps can hover in the teens or single digits make me make a little bigger pot of coffee before venturing out.

The last of the leaves clinging to their branches at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The last remaining leaves at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Now I will find bare trees and the leaf covered forest floors are snow covered, with can be fun, especially when critter tracks are seen. But it won’t be until sometime in late March when I am hopeful temperatures return to a more modest clime and give me a better impetus to stick my nose out the door and once again explore Siouxland and see what new wonders I might find.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The last remaining days of fall at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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