Tag Archives: post civil war

Revisiting History around Siouxland, General Crook, Omaha, NE

15 Feb

Cabin fever is working on my wanderlust to begin exploring Siouxland area again without slipping and sliding to and from a destination. Although it’s only February and already the warm weather temps that have graced the region recently will depart a short bit as a bitter winter front and some snow moves into the area again.

The Douglas County Historical Society chronicles the history of General George Crook’s home at historic Fort Omaha, now the Metropolitan Community College, in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

Recently visiting the Omaha area I checked out but didn’t stop into see General Crook’s museum home at Fort Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska. It’s a glimpse into a time frame in the early frontier days as the west was being”tamed” for settlers heading in that direction. General George Crook was commandant of Fort Omaha and was responsible for patrolling and keeping safe a region that included Iowa, Nebraska, parts of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. His home is a well preserved specimen and fun to look into the past and see what life was like on the prairie for a higher ranking officer. There are a number of homes along that ridge top that housed officers of the fort while the enlisted men bunked in larger housing facilities down the hill.

General George Crook was commander at historic Fort Omaha during the early frontier days, now the Metropolitan Community College, in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A plague gives a history about General George Crook’s home at historic Fort Omaha, now the Metropolitan Community College, in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

The warmer days makes it easier to get out and about again but patience for the return of some greenery will probably be a few more weeks coming as winter lingers and Mother nature teases us about the coming spring.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A garden spot now dormant behind the General George Crook home museum at historic Fort Omaha, now the Metropolitan Community College, in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Old Glory hangs on the front porch of the General George Crook home museum at historic Fort Omaha, now the Metropolitan Community College, in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

Western Iowa Border Agents

3 Aug

When I visited the Cherokee PRCA Rodeo the end of May this year, I saw some men dressed in cowboy gear, period clothing of the real Wild West, and not the movie glamorized version of it. Jon Simonsen explained to me he and some friends were participating in the town’s rodeo parade by re-creating a jail break during the parade. And they did. Jon and others are members of the Western Iowa Border Agents club and participate in what is called Western Action shoot outs. They are committed to historical authenticity for the period of 1865-1899 and periodically perform re-enactments and hold cowboy shoots where their fire live ammo at a range with a variety of safety procedures in place. But to participate, the members must dress the part, and the fire arms must be authentic or authentic replicas of period weapons.

Literature from the group states: “Our authenticity is what make us unique from other shooting organizations. Or, as we say, we’re ‘period-correct.’ Our dress, including everything from our hats down to our boots, is what you would find in the Old West during the post-Civil War era, from 1865-1899. That includes out guns too. You will find both smokeless and black powder shootists who are not so fast.” The group has a good time enjoying a sport together and leaving the stress of every day lives at the gate as they enter a different world. Photographs from the recent cowboy shoot for the Western Iowa Border Agents are here.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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