Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Union Pacific RR and the Dodge House --COOL
Today we took the morning and tooled into Council Bluffs, IA to visit the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in downtown Council Bluffs. This was the location of the starting point for the Union Pacific Railroad that built out across the west to link with the Central Pacific RR to form the first transcontinental railroad in the USA. An amazing effort that is well documented in the UP museum. Be sure to visit the Veteran's Square across the street which features this beautiful fountain.
The museum is in the old Council Bluffs library which is a beautiful building. They have many displays inside covering over 150 years of history, so there is plenty to see -- plus, admission is FREE!
After visiting the museum, we traveled a few blocks to the Dodge House, which was Gen. Grenville Dodge's mansion. He was, among other things, the Chief Engineer of the Union Pacific RR and determined the route for the railroad. He was a fascinating person and the house was amazing. Completed in 1869, the house was a marvel of design and included indoor running water, central heat, and all the things we take for granted today. The 10,000 sq. ft. home cost over $35,000 in 1869 -- must be millions today!
Finally, we decided to park at the Harrah's Casino in Council Bluffs. They are very welcoming to us and allow us to park for free in their lot (no hookups - but we don't need any). We enjoyed the buffet and the quiet overnight area overlooking the city of Omaha.