In 2008 the Bob Kerry pedestrian bridge was opened and connected the towns of Omaha and Concil Bluffs. It makes for a very pleasant outing. It is beautiful and interesting. The grade is easy and has nice views. There is a park at each end.
We have done this in the evening a few times and each time it has been good for people watching and a nice end to the day . Even in the summer when Council Bluffs can be quite warm it tends to be breezy and pleasant.
I reccomend that you take an after dinner stroll if you are visiting town.
Only 17 of these rotating jails were built and the Squirrel Cage Jail was the only one that had 3 stories. There are only 3 of these jails left in the country. It was built in 1885 and used until 1969. The prisoners are located in "pie-shaped" cells within the rotating center. Only one cell could be opened at a time and the jailer rotated them until he got to the prisoner he wanted. I'm surprised the jail was operated so long since there was no way to quickly evacuate the prisoners in case of fire. I remember being told that some prisoners would stick their arms in the rotating bars to break them and get sent to an infirmary.
This is a neat little tour that you'll probably never get to see anywhere else.
Age 6 - 12: $5.00
Age 5 & under and HSPC Members: FREE
AAA Discount available
Group rates available
Ask about discounted combination admission for the Squirrel Cage Jail and RailsWest Museum
Call for up to date hours.
If you're doing genealogical research or just like historic cemeteries, there are plenty of them in CB.
Fairview Cemetery - Lafayette and N. 2nd St. at the top of Oakland Ave. - graves from the second quarter of the 19th century. Amelia Bloomer, Mormon pioneers, Kinsman War Memorial. Also present is the Black Angel, a statue with an urban legend attached. Just don't look into her eyes!! Fairview also has a lovely view of the area.
This is the only one I have a name and address for at the moment. I'll add more later, hopefully.
Bayliss Park is a neat park that takes up an entire block across from the old public library, now Union Pacific Museum. It's undergoing renovation right now and I think they're replacing the entire fountain in the center. They used to have activities in the summer for kids on the park lawn.
Even with renovations I'm sure you can still visit the war memorials and pioneer memorials that are closer to the sidewalks. It's just a nice refreshing place in the middle of town.
The General Grenville M. Dodge House is a must. It's especially fun around Christmas or the 4th of July. Just about every room in this old mansion built in 1869 has a Christmas tree and on the 4th there are usually Union soldier re-enactors who fire off their guns.
General Dodge is an important figure in CB and railroad history.
Last tour starts at 4
Closed Mon, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and the whole month of January.
General Admisson: Adults, $7; Seniors (over 62), $5; Students (6-16), $3; Children (under 6), free.
Special rates for commercial tour groups.
The Union Pacific Museum is only a few years old. It's housed in the old CB Public Library, a Carnegie library opened in 1905. It's a beautiful building on the inside and out. Those who practically grew up inside will notice they've done some remodeling. The (new) double-staircase inside the old entrance is how it was originally (so I was told). The old elevator is now gone.
If I remember correctly, there is also a history of CB law enforcement in part of the building.
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Closed Sunday and Monday
LIKE SIMILAR INSTITUTIONS IN OTHER STATES, THIS SCHOOL PERFORMS AN INVALUABLE SERVICE FOR ITS HEARING-IMPAIRED CITIZENS. They have a beautiful 80 acre campus in the southeastern part of Council Bluffs.
This is a state, tax-supported school open to all hearing impaired students younger than 21 years of age. The school does not charge for room, board, laundry, tuition, school supplies, transportation or limited medical and dental care.
THERE ARE THREE MAIN CASINOS IN COUNCIL BLUFFS. Two of them are riverboats moored in the Missouri River (Ameristar and Harrahs). The third is the "Bluffs Run" Casino which is just a couple of miles inland.
They are all good casinos. For some reason we usually end up at the Ameristar.
THERE ARE STILL A FEW DRIVEIN MOVIE THEATERS AVAILABLE IN AMERICA, AND THIS IS ONE OF THEM.
From the photo you can see a couple of the movies that were "hot" in the summer of 2006.
THIS FREE MUSEUM has three floors of exhibits and is very interesting. Many exhibits are interactive.