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Dr. Richard Warner

Historical Society of

Pottawattamie County

County Seat Council Bluffs, Iowa


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"Nightmare on Pearl Street" Returns June 11

     It's all in fun when "zombies" take over the Society's rotary cell museum Saturday, June 11 for the fourth annual Nightmare on Pearl Street.  The light-hearted event, somewhat akin to the "haunted houses" that proliferate around Halloween, is a fund-raiser for the museum. HSPC board member Pat Hytrek is coordinating the event which tends to bring in younger people that aren't the typical museum demographic and exposes them to the historic building and some of its fascinating lore.  Many adults who visit the museum today say their first knowledge of the "squirrel cage" came when they visited it as a "haunted house," an endeavor the Society used to fund initial restoration of the building after they first acquired it in the 1970s.

     The museum is located at 226 Pearl Street in Council Bluffs.  Hours and other details will be announced.

     Once again the Society's RailsWest Museum will be a part of the annual "Railroad Days" celebration. This year's theme is "All set for the WEST: Railroads and National Parks."

     2016 marks the centennial of the National Park Service. When Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir began leading a movement to permanently protect these areas as national treasures, the railroads were right beside them. Many parks, secluded and pristine by design, could be reached by the general public only via rail. It was the railroads that constructed lodging and public facilities at the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, just to name a few. This mutually beneficial partnership persevered until 1972, when Union Pacific donated all of its park facilities to the National Park Service, following the transfer of all passenger rail operation to Amtrak.

     Railroad Days is a perfect opportunity to get an exposure to six attractions in one weekend for a very low cost, just fifteen dollars per family for both days.  The event will be held July 16th and 17th and is presented by the Union Pacific.  In addition to RailsWest, the Union Pacific Museum, Historic General Dodge House, the Durham Museum, Lewis and Clark Historic Trail, and Lauritzen Gardens are included.

     You can buy your tickets at the RailsWest Museum the day of the event; gates will be open from 9 am until 5 pm.