Sioux City, Iowa (Day 28) Lake Charles' Sister City
This morning I woke up totally exhausted after 27 days of being on-the-go morning, noon and night. We spent a lazy morning in Big Hat and played one game of Phase 10 before eating lunch and heading out for the day.
Our first stop was the Sioux City Public Museum, a free museum featuring the history and culture of the area in state-of-the-art displays. We watched a video about the city’s history which included the great floods of 1892 and 1953, the great fire of 1904, and the crash of United Airlines Flight 232 in 1989. We saw Native American artifacts, pioneer artifacts, historic transportation vehicles as well as many interactive displays and other videos. There was also a big archaeological dig for dinosaur bones for small children.
Each year from 1887-91 Siuox City residents held a fall festival and built a corn palace—the first of its kind—to advertise their prosperity . The palaces were frame buildings with corn and other grain products nailed and glued to the exterior and interior walls. The festivals were held in late September or early October and lasted two to three weeks. After the festivals ended, the palaces were torn down, the wood was sold and the corn was given away. Debt and poor attendance in 1881, the Floyd River Flood of May 1892, and the beginnings of a national economic recession all contributed to the cancellation of the annual festival in 1892 and thereafter.
Next we learned of the great fire of 1904 that started on the evening of Dec.23 in the Pelletier Department Store.
Pretty paper Christmas decorations hung everywhere and the store was filled with shoppers. In the crowded basement, a salesman prepared to demonstrate some mechanical toys powered by a small steam engine. The salesman struck a match to light the engine. Horrified onlookers watched as the head of the match flew off and landed in a "snowdrift" of white cotton. In an instant, the cotton caught fire and the flames ignited hanging paper streamers. Fire Chief George Kelly happened to be in the area at the time. He noticed the wisps of smoke curling up from the basement. Immediately, he called in the alarm. The firemen were there in minutes, but the building was already ablaze. Soon the six-story Massachusetts Building was engulfed in flames.
Quickly, the flames jumped across the street to the Toy Building. Then the fire swept westward, devouring the Prugh Block at 314 Nebraska Street and the Leader Hotel to the south. The fire spread quickly until more than two blocks were ablaze. By morning two and half blocks of the down was destroyed. Amazingly, only on man was killed when trying to jump from a four story window and was killed by the fall.
Look at the real smoke coming from the video screen through the brick and into our room.
United Airlines Flight 232
in 1989 United Airlines Flight 232 crash-landed at Sioux City, Iowa, after suffering a catastrophic failure of its tail-mounted engine which led to the loss of any flight control. 184 Survivors. 112 Dead. Just the previous year a mock airline accident had been staged to make sure all emergency personal would know what to do. With just 15 minutes notice emergency person were on the field along with every available fire truck and ambulance.
The Great Floods of 1892 and 1953 on the Floyd River cause castatropic damage. Three hundred thousand people were left homeless. The lumber yards, stockyards and railroads were torn apart by the wave of water. Cattle try frantically to swim in their flooded pens at the Sioux City stockyards
There was fun stuff there also--
Kids during an archeological dig in this big room searching for dinosaur bones.
After visiting the Museum we walked to the Palmer Candy Company to get some fudge.
After the museum and the candy company, we went to see one of only four life-size carvings of Jesus and his apostles at the last summer.
There are only four life-size carvings in the world of Jesus and the last supper
Once we came back to Big Hat we rested a little before Tom took Ben to the swimming pool next door.