Long weekends usually mean a visit to a museum or garden-somewhere nice and festive. A favorite place at this time of year is the Durham Museum, which is located in the historic Omaha Union Station. It was once a busy railway station--I can only imagine the stories that must be within those walls--the people who passed through at some point in their lives--coming and going. It's an Art Deco building and quite striking inside and out. The exhibits are mostly regional history-related or science-oriented as it is Smithsonian affiliated. And every year it houses a massive tree that was locally donated. I happened to coincide my visit with the day the tree was officially lit, though I didn't hang around for the actual ceremony. I'm sure I'll return before the holiday in December to see it with the lights on.
There are many displays of historical-Omaha, so you get a sense of what it was like to live here, and it is always fun to look at all the artifacts. Where should we go? I have traveled by train but never in the US.
There are actual trains on display in the lower level of the station and from different eras. This is one of the less fancier models, but it certainly shows a lot of wear and use.
I guess you must have had to fill out an order request for your meal. Fifteen cent coffees. I guess that means there were no $6 mocha frappuccinos, eh? No vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free options either. I bet the pie a la mode was pretty good, though.
I like the idea of streetcars more than city buses. I wish we still had them like they do in San Francisco.
I have this idea that I rode on one of these as a very small child with my grandma, but maybe that is revisionist fantasy on my part. The idea of trains and streetcars is sort of romantic now. This certainly seems spacious to me.
I had heard there was a quilt exhibit, but I was expecting a room full of them. It seems that these are the entries into a competition for the 150th Anniversary of the state, which we are celebrating this year. They all look pretty amazing and intricate. How ever did they choose?
I don't always walk through all the train sections (and am not sure the interiors are always open to the public, but on this holiday weekend they were and had lots of visitors). But I always take a peek at this 1920s auto. I the information sign noted that it was a ladies' car, but I have a feeling it was not all that easy to drive.
There are lots of models of homes and public and private spaces as they would have been through the ages. One of my grandmas (maybe they both did) had a stove just like this one! And I think her ice box, was literally an ice box and not what we know as a refrigerator. (She also had a bureau where she always kept little bags of M&Ms that my sister and I would raid when we visited.
Omaha was the host to a world fair, the Trans-Mississippi International Exposition in 1898. I love looking at this diorama. It must have been quite the event and a draw for midwesterners (and maybe even visitors from the coasts and internationally).
This is a little peek at some of the things I saw on my visit. It's a real gem of a museum if you ever pass through Omaha! And it was a pleasant place to spend a few hours over my long weekend. Now it makes me want to pick up a good book of historical fiction! With that in mind I pulled out my copy of Timothy Schaffert's The Swan Gondola, a novel set during the world's fair. It would make a perfect complement to my visit, don't you think? (Or maybe a novel set on a train . . . this is what so often happens with my reading--I will see something that sparks an idea or curiosity and it makes me want a book with a setting just so . . .).