cultural itineraries · destination management · Historic Towns · intercity transit · museums · Rivers · Travel

North Platte Nebraska

railroad town river trails historical museum and buffalo bill ranch park

canteen platformNorth Platte is in southwestern Nebraska at the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers. It was established in 1868 when the Union Pacific Railroad was extended to that point; it was named from the North Platte River.

The Platte River originates in the state of Nebraska and is about 310 miles – 500 km – long. The Platte is a tributary of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers which flows to the Gulf of Mexico.

platte river watershedRiver Valley Trails played an important role in the westward expansion of the United States, providing the route for several major emigrant trails, including the Oregon, California, Mormon and Bozeman Trails. The French were the first Europeans to reach the Platte. The North Platte River is navigable over most of its length at high water by canoes, kayaks and rafts.

Bailey Yard is the world’s largest. The Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center is an eight-story building which overlooks the expansive classification yard and engine facilities.

golden spike tower, north platteThe Lincoln County Historical Museum contains a display detailing the history of the North Platte Canteen, which greeted 6.5 million service personnel from Christmas Day 1941 through April 1, 1946. It also contains a Prairie Village with local landmark homes and a Pony Express station and pioneer church.

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park is located near here, a Nebraska living history park about Buffalo Bill Cody. The park includes his actual house known as Scout’s Rest Ranch.

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Cultural Heritage · cultural itineraries · destination management · Historic Towns · Mobility · museums · Rivers · Travel · waterways

Evansville Indiana

history industry and a 21st century economy

evansville viewEvansville is the largest city and the commercial, medical, and cultural hub of Southwestern Indiana and the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area. Located along the banks of the Ohio River, it is often referred to as the Crescent Valley or River City.

Early History the area has been inhabited by indigenous cultures; archaeologists have identified several archaic and ancient sites in and near Evansville, with the most complex at Angel Mounds, built and occupied from about 900 A.D. to about 1600 A.D., just before the arrival of Europeans to North America. The European-American city was founded in 1812.  French hunters and trappers were among the first Europeans to come to the area, using Vincennes as a base of operations for fur trading. The land encompassing Evansville was formally relinquished by the Delaware in 1805 to General William Henry Harrison, then governor of the Indiana Territory.

independence historic districtEvansville became a thriving commercial town with a river trade, and the town began to expand outside of its original footprint. The economy received a boost in the early 1830s when Indiana unveiled plans to build the longest canal in the world, a 400-mile ditch to connect the Great Lakes at Toledo, Ohio with the inland rivers at Evansville. The project was intended to open Indiana to commerce and improve transportation from New Orleans to New York City.

The main ethnic groups consisted of Protestant Scotch-Irish from the South, Catholic Irish coming for canal or railroad work, New England businessmen, Germans fleeing Europe after the 1848 revolutions, and freedmen from Western Kentucky.

The era of greatest growth occurred in the second half of the 19th century as a major stop for steamboats along the Ohio River, and the home port for companies engaged in the river trade. Railroads eventually became more important and in 1887 the L&N Railroad constructed a bridge across the Ohio River along with a major rail yard southwest of Evansville.

Automobile and Refrigeration Manufacturing Became Important Early in the 20th Century

In 1916, seeing the need for a dependable truck, the Graham brothers entered the truck chassis business. In 1921, after the death of both Dodge brothers, Graham Brothers started selling 1.5-ton pickups through Dodge dealers. These vehicles had Graham chassis and some Dodge parts. Dodge Brothers bought a controlling interest in Graham Brothers in 1925, picking up the rest in 1926.

riverside historic districtThe city saw exponential growth in the early twentieth century with the production of lumber and the manufacturing of furniture. By 1920, Evansville had more than two dozen furniture companies. In the decades of the 1920s and 1930s, city leaders attempted to improve Evansville’s transportation position and successfully lobbied to be on the Chicago-to-Miami Dixie Bee Highway – U.S. Highway 41.

During World War II, Evansville was a major center of industrial production which helped revive the regional economy after the Great Depression. A huge, 45-acre shipyard complex was constructed on the riverfront east of St. Joseph Avenue for the production of oceangoing LSTs (Landing Ship-Tanks).

After the war, Evansville’s manufacturing base of automobiles, household appliances, and farm equipment benefited from growing post-war demand.

barges on the ohio riverTourism the business district and riverfront feature riverboat gambling, restaurants, bars, and shops that attract tens of thousands of visitors each year and the city’s downtown district retains its early twentieth-century architectural style.

Evansville Has Thirteen Neighborhoods that Qualify as Historic Districts

A 21st Century Economy Evansville is the regional center for a large trade area in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. The largest industry sectors in size in Evansville are healthcare, finance, education, and manufacturing. Other major industries by employment are energy, warehousing, distribution, and retail.

Evansville’s strategic location on the Ohio River, strong rail and highway infrastructure, and its designation as a U.S. Customs Port of Entry, make it an ideal location for the transfer of cargo.

Tourism and Entertainment the business district and riverfront feature riverboat gambling, restaurants, bars, and shops that attract tens of thousands of visitors each year and the city’s downtown district retains its early twentieth-century architectural style.

Bosse Field Baseball Stadium built in 1915 is the third-oldest Operating Ballpark in the United States

bosse field lightsThe Victory Theatre is a vintage 1,950-seat venue that is home to the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. Each year, the orchestra presents a seven-concert classics series and special event concerts, as well as numerous educational and outreach performances. The theater also hosts local ballet and modern dance companies, theater companies, and touring productions.

The Evansville Civic Theatre is Southern Indiana’s longest-running community theater, dating from the 1920s when the community theater movement swept across the country.

Museums Angel Mounds State Historic Site is nationally recognized as one of the best preserved prehistoric Native American sites in the country. The Evansville African American Museum was established to continually develop a resource and cultural center to collect, preserve, and educate the public on the history and traditions of African American families, organizations, and communities.

trucking museumThe Evansville Museum Transportation Center features transportation in southern Indiana from the latter part of the nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century.

The Reitz Home Museum is Evansville’s only Victorian House Museum

Transportation the city boasts road, rail, water, and air transportation systems. Public transit includes the Metropolitan Evansville Transit System – METS – which provides bus transportation to all sections of the city. Evansville has several multi-use trails for bikes and pedestrians as well as on-road bike paths that help cyclists get around the city by bicycle.

Public and Private Port facilities receive year-round service from five major barge lines operating on the Ohio River. The river connects Evansville with all river markets in the central United States and on the Great Lakes and with international markets through the port of New Orleans.

willard libraryEvansville has been a U.S. Customs Port of Entry for more than 125 years

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Des Moines Iowa

prehistoric native Americans skyscrapers sky walks museums and botanical gardens

Des Moines traces its origins to May 1843 with the construction of a fort on the site where the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers merge. The fort was built to control the Sauk and Meskwaki Indians, whom the government had moved to the area from their traditional lands in eastern Iowa.

des moines east villageNative American Tribes did not fare well as the illegal whiskey trade and the destruction of traditional life led to severe problems for their society. At least three Late Prehistoric villages, dating from about AD 1300 to 1700, stood in or near what developed later as downtown Des Moines. In addition, 15 to 18 prehistoric American Indian mounds were observed in this area by early settlers. All have been destroyed during development of the city.

birthplace of des moinesArchaeological Excavations have shown many fort-related structures; soldiers stationed at Fort Des Moines opened the first coal mines in the area, mining coal from the riverbank for the fort’s blacksmith.

Present Day Des Moines changed from the 1970s to the1990s, as several new skyscrapers were built. In the 21st century, the city has had more major construction in the downtown area. The Principal Riverwalk features trails, pedestrian bridges across the river, a fountain and skating plaza, and a civic garden in front of the City Hall. Existing downtown buildings were converted to loft apartments.

des moines art centerA Cultural Center with Art and History Museums and Performing Arts Groups

The Metro Opera House has been a cultural resource in Des Moines since 1973. The Opera offers educational and outreach programs and is one of the largest performing arts organizations in the state.

The Des Moines Art Center presents art exhibitions and educational programs as well as studio art classes. The Center houses a collection from the 19th century to the present. An extension of the art center is downtown in an urban museum space, featuring several exhibitions a year.

The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is a collection of 24 Sculptures

des moines botanical centerThe Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is an indoor conservatory of over 15,000 exotic plants. Developed by the city’s Asian community, the Gardens include a three-story Chinese pavilion, bonsai landscaping, and granite sculptures that highlight the importance of diversity and recognize Asian American contributions in Iowa.

The East Village begins at the river and extends about five blocks east to the State Capitol Building, offering a blend of historic buildings, eateries, boutiques, art galleries, and a wide variety of retail establishments and residences.

4th street downtown des moinesTransportation Des Moines has an extensive sky walk system within its downtown core. With over four miles of enclosed walkway, it is one of the largest of such systems in the United States. The public transit system consists entirely of buses, including regular in-city routes and express and commuter buses to outlying suburban areas.

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destination management · food and wine itineraries · Rivers · Travel · Wine Trails

The Wine Trails of Pennsylvania

A Moderate Climate and Rolling Terrains make for some of the best wine growing conditions in America. Pennsylvania produces over 1.6 million gallons of wine yearly; it is the country’s fifth largest grape producer, seventh in wine production as well as number of wineries.

Berks County Wine TrailThe Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail all 16 participating wineries enjoy a favorable climate for growing native and hybrid grapes, as well as more delicate grape varieties. These wineries also produce delicious fruit wines, including offerings infused with apple, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, cantaloupe, elderberry, peach, and rhubarb. The trail stretches from just north of Harrisburg to State College.

Hershey Harrisburg Wine Country is comprised of fifteen family-owned, award-winning wineries that produce over 250 handcrafted selections of whites, reds, and blushes.

The Mason-Dixon Wine Trail boasts a mix of 17 established vineyards and emerging vintners. Many tasting rooms are housed in rustic and historical properties, spanning from York County, into Maryland. Wineries offer festivals, concerts and events throughout the year.

Mason Dixon Wine TrailThe Pocono Wine Trail is comprised of seven family-owned vineyards and wineries as well as hiking, skiing, and snowboarding, specialty shops and spas.

The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail and its eight wineries and wines are made with Chambourcin, the Valley’s signature grape and the only grape grown by all member wineries. The red grape is so powerful in the Lehigh Valley that it covers a total of 40 acres and is crafted into approximately 150,000 bottles each year. Visit nearby Bethlehem for a stop in a rejuvenated city full of history, art, culture and Moravian Book Shop, the world’s oldest bookstore.

Eleven Wineries line the countryside landscape of greater Berks County. From sparkling and sweet dessert wines to dry table wines, the county’s fertile soil lends itself to a variety of styles.

The Brandywine Wine Trail Includes Six Wineries Located within a 50-mile Radius

pocon wine trailBucks County Wine Trail’s seven participating wineries are located just minutes apart in the Delaware Valley whereas the Montgomery County Wine Trail’s four wineries offer unique and satisfying experiences. In addition to traditional varieties, this trail offers wines you may never have tried before — like meads, ciders, and even veggie wines. You can also create your own custom wine. The trail also intersects with the Bucks County Wine Trail, so wine lovers can easily add seven additional stops to their journey.

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America · cultural itineraries · destination management · food and wine itineraries · Historic Towns · intercity transit · Mobility · mobility network · Rivers · Transit Calculator · Travel · travel plan

Seven Ways to See the USA

American City and Country Destinations

East to West – Pennsylvania Kentucky Minnesota South Dakota and Seattle

Bucks County is one of the three original counties created by William Penn in 1682. Pennsbury Manor stands on the point of land formed by the Delaware River between Morrisville and Bristol. Painstaking research went into restoring the prim-fronted, three-storied, brick manor-house, rebuilt on the original foundations.

DCIM999GOPROThe Lehigh Valley Gave Birth to America’s Industrial Revolution

Lehigh Valley Allentown was a rural village founded in 1762 by William Allen, Chief Justice of Colonial Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. By 1829 Allentown expanded from a small Pennsylvania Dutch village of farmers and tradesmen to a center of commerce. With the opening of the Lehigh Canal, many canal workers made their homes here.

Gulf of Mexico and the South AtlanticNew Orleans Mobile Savannah Charleston

Mobile Alabama is located at the head of Mobile Bay and the Central Gulf Coast. Mobile was founded by the French in 1702. During its first 100 years, Mobile was a colony of France, Britain and Spain; it became a part of the United States of America in 1813.

Gingerbread House in SavannahSavannah was founded in 1733 on the Savannah River, it became the colonial capital and later the first state capital of Georgia. Its port was of strategic importance during both the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Mississippi River Towns and Trails – Minnesota Illinois Memphis and New Orleans

Minnesota means clear blue water from the Dakota language. Nearly 60 percent of the population lives in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the center of transportation, business, industry, education, government and an internationally renowned arts community. The remainder of the Land of 10,000 Lakes consists of western prairies, forests in the southeast and mining, forestry, and recreation in the North Woods.

Mississippi the Inland and coastal WaterwayIllinois River Towns Scenic Vistas Tranquil Landscapes and Historic Sites

The Great River Road in Illinois National Scenic Byway runs along the banks and bluffs of the Mississippi River, through quaint river towns and urban cities as it hugs the western border of Illinois for 550 miles. Experience an Illinois winery, brewery, farm, u-pick, or local farm to table restaurant.

Texas Cities the Hill Country – Houston Austin San Antonio Dallas Grapevine Fort Worth Guthrie

Houston is the largest city in Texas and the US South as well as America’s fourth-largest. A cosmopolitan destination and home to an energetic arts community, Houston was founded in 1836 near the banks of Buffalo Bayou. The city was named after former General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and commander at the Battle of San Jacinto, 25 miles – 40 km – east of where the city was established.

Museum DistrictAustin, on the eastern edge of Texas Hill Country, is the state capital, the live music capital of the world, a center for film, home to the University of Texas and Formula 1’s Circuit of the Americas raceway. The city’ parks and lakes are popular for hiking, biking, swimming, boating and other outdoor pursuits as well as a ballet, world-class museums and a unique shopping experience.

Traveling the USA on Route 66

U.S. Route 66 also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America and the Mother Road, was one of the original highways in the United States. Established on November 11, 1926, it became one of the most famous roads in America, running from Chicago to Santa Monica California and covering 2448 miles – 3940 Km.

This Road served as a major path for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and was instrumental in the growth of the communities through which it passed. People doing business along the route became prosperous due its growing popularity.

Grand TetonRocky Mountain States – Montana South Dakota Wyoming Utah and Colorado

Western History and Culture Montana has many unique guest ranches of different types: dude, working, or luxury resort ranches that offer a diverse array of activities from horseback riding to fly fishing, spa treatments to gourmet meals, hiking to rafting.

Rapid City is centrally located to visit the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park and the Badlands. The historic downtown with notable buildings such as the 1914 First National Bank building at 7th and Main. The West Historical District is residential in character; portions of 18 blocks contain examples of the city’s finest late 19th century and early 20th century structures.

Southwest and Pacific Coast Trails – Phoenix Palm Springs LA Sonoma and Oregon

Minolta DSCPhoenix is the cosmopolitan heart of Arizona, the soul of the American Southwest and where you will find sports venues, live music, rooftop lounges, museums, theaters and art galleries.

Downtown and its Cityscape two block entertainment district is also home to the Phoenix Convention Center and Arizona State University’s downtown campus; all served by one of the newest light rail systems in the nation.

Seven Ways to See the USA

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Virtual Hotel Towns in US Historic Districts

economic development virtual hotel towns and diffused travel accommodations

An Economic Development model designed to offer quality stays that do not impinge on the local lifestyle while promoting year-round resilient growth that favors restructuring, preservation and local resources.

laclede landing.jpegVirtual Hotel Towns address the demand for sustainable, quality tourism in urban and rural areas by focusing on the interaction between visitors and locals as well as developing and promoting a community’s historic preservation efforts, traditions, values and architecture.

The Diffused Hotel is an innovative concept designed to revive small historic Italian communities by converting historic buildings into a virtual hotel village. Points of reference include:

Main Street Properties are managed by owners who also provide hospitality services

Travel Accommodations are derived from converted buildings in historic districts

A Central Reception provides Travel Related Services, including food and communications services.

Columbus Italian VillageCommunities with Guest and Host Interactions that Highlight Local Lifestyles

Local Businesses capable of managing incoming travel services benefit from a centralized marketing and sales program. Resources generated from inbound travel transactions are made available to Museums, Theaters and others on Main Street and in Historic Districts.

Local Projects integrate architecture with digital media and engage visitors through interaction with local citizens. Water resources and energy efficiency projects are also community attractors as domestic and international business and government visitors will come to study, learn and acquire knowledge and expertise in these fields.

Main Street GalenaA Virtual Hotel on Your Main Street and Historic District

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Business · Cultural Heritage · cultural itineraries · destination management · Geography · Historic Towns · Travel · travel plan

Ardmore Oklahoma

business culture and tourism

Ardmore is the hub of a ten-county region known as Lake and Trail Country in South Central Oklahoma located 90 miles – 140 km – from both Oklahoma City and Dallas Forth Worth. It was named after the Philadelphia historic main line town and a town in County Waterford, Ireland.

Ardmore downtownArdmore is the word for Hills or High Grounds in Irish

Founded in the summer of 1887 during construction of the Santa Fe Railroad, Ardmore grew over the years into a trading outpost with its cotton growing fields and the world’s largest inland cotton port.

Oil Discovery nearby in 1913 led to entrepreneurs and wildcatters flooding the area, becoming the largest oil-producing county in Oklahoma and energy center for the region.

Ardmore central parkGeography Ardmore is located south of the Arbuckle Mountains, an ancient, eroded range spanning some 62 mi – 100 km – across southern Oklahoma. The geology includes uplifted and folded ridges visible within the shoreline of some of the surrounding lakes. The city of Ardmore is part of the Washita and Red River watersheds, just north of Lake Murray which flows into the western reaches of Lake Texoma.

Transport the historic Santa Fe depot in downtown Ardmore links the town with Chicago, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Dallas-Fort Worth and DFW Airport via the Heartland Flyer and Trinity Railway Express.

Southern Tech built a state-of-the-art Engineering Technology Building to house programs which directly address the employment needs of manufacturing companies. The Bio Technology Program is a hands-on opportunity to learn and experience biotechnology techniques and applications in human health, agriculture, environmental science, forensics and pharmaceutical production.

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