Vintage photo from Arabia, Nebraska
In the 1950s and 1960s when I was growing up, Arabia, Nebraska, was just a set of corrals next to the railroad tracks. The headquarters of the Arabia Ranch (owned at that time by Johnny Drayton) was a mile or two across the meadow from the old cattle pens along the railroad. The only settlement around Arabia was the cluster of little houses and bunkhouses where the Arabia Ranch employees lived.
Whenever I traveled through eastern Cherry County in the back seat of our family car, I watched for Arabia. Most of the scenery along Highway 20 was sandy, hilly pastures with occasional cows and windmills. In comparison, Arabia and the Arabia Ranch were rather interesting.
|"Larry of Arabia", 1937.|
Photo courtesy of Larry Wilson.
Used with permission.
The Wilson family's automobile, a 1935 Pontiac, appears in the background. They were driving to Valentine, because Larry's father Lawrence was interviewing there as a school administrator. He was offered the job but did not accept it, and so the Wilsons did not move to Valentine.
I see that Highway 20 was paved in 1937. My father had childhood memories of a sandy road to Valentine that went through pastures. Travelers had to open and close some barbed-wire gates along the way. That was probably in the late 1920s, around the time that Highway 20 was commissioned as an official route.
I'm amused to see in the photo that a small tumbleweed has blown in and lodged itself against the population sign -- or maybe it is growing there. Some things don't change much.
Memories of Arabia, Nebraska
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