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Jon Farrar

Boating: The Way We Were

The quiet boating times of the early 1900s are almost impossible to imagine today, their last vestige being yellowed and dog-eared photo postcards from a time when men wore straw boater hats and women wore long white dresses, when boating was nearly as silent as the photographs of it. In those days there were two means of propelling most boats in Nebraska – an oar on the starboard side, an oar on the port side. The only sound was a …

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St. Deroin Cemetery at Indian Cave State Park

William Cutler, in Andreas’ History of the State of Nebraska published in 1882, wrote that the town of Deroin was founded on the bank of the Missouri River in1854 by Robert Hawke, Joseph Deroin and others. The town was later renamed “Saint Deroin” to boost the town’s appeal, suggesting the prosperous downstream towns of St. Joseph and St. Louis. Deroin, the son of a French trapper and Oto woman, was born near Bellevue in 1819 and moved to the largest …

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Duck Speeds

Gauging speed in miles-per-hour (mph) began in the 1700s when stage coaches established timetables, then came into common usage with the arrival of railroads and even more so when automobiles appeared on the scene. Estimating the speed of ducks by hunters could not have been far behind, as missing a shot at a duck crossing at 60 mph sounds more accurate that “pretty darn fast” or “zoomed by like a meteor.” But it was not until airplanes became more common …

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