Finishing Maranatha Project

Maranatha finished the work they set out to do… about an hour before the official end of the project. 28 rooms stripped of old cabinets, walls repaired and repainted, floors repaired and finished with beautiful LVT flooring and new baseboard, new cabinets, bookcases and countertops installed. The physical plant folks upgraded light fixtures, outlets and switches while we were there too.

The cabinets were made before we got there… we just had to stain, finish and install them. The countertops were already made, and stored in a maintenance office on the top floor of the science building. We took them out a door onto the roof, then by “SkyJack” to the dorm, and in windows.

First the lower cabinets are installed, then the cork, and finally bookcases and mirrors.

An almost finished room… at least our part is done! Whoever built the cabinets is supposed to mount the drawers, and I’m guessing shelves in the bookcases.

Here’s an interesting shot of the original buildings. Notice the trolley, labeled “Lincoln, Normal (a prominent street today) and Union College”. And how nice to have a boardwalk from the trolley stop to the main building! The new building was built next to this one, and the original torn down, somewhere around 1970. The tall iron clocktower that now lives in the center of the campus, was erected in 1972 to replace the bells in the old administration building.

This is not the same view at all, but shows a few newer buildings and a pretty sky. That air may look pretty, but a couple of days it hit 104 degrees! (that’s 40 degrees C)

Lest you think everything is perfect when living on the road, I’ll mention windshields. Specifically, ours, which got a small chip right in the center on our way here. Before we could do anything about it, it blossomed into a 30-some inch grin across the front of our motorhome. We are now scheduled for a new windshield, (our second) to be installed in Denver. Next month. Sigh. Very thankful for insurance!

Sabbath morning worship had our kids and their cousin leading the praise music. On the piano was a very accomplished young man (13?) who we’ve seen play many styles beautifully.

We always eat well when Becky cooks, but this time she made “A Cookie”. A whole frying pan worth of cookie! Very nice, even if I did have to share…

We met a nice guy named Ben working at the Maranatha project. He’s worked for Burlington Northern Railroad for over 40 years! He breaks horses, lives on a ranch, and has lots of great stories. We agreed to take him to the train station (how else would you expect him to travel?) late at night, to catch the midnight train westward. He’d never gotten out of the depot in Lincoln before, so we took him to see a few of the sights. A visitor to Lincoln should definitely see the magnificent Capital Building, so we did a short tour.

The good news is that the walls don’t really bulge out like the vertical pano shots on my phone make it seem. Everywhere are beautiful tile mosaics – floors, walls, and ceilings.

Near the top of the tower is a rotunda with mosaics depicting Nebraska’s agricultural heritage.

While checking out the great views across the city, Ben noticed a large train yard out to the west. We decided to check it out. When we found it, we drove right into the yard, as he explained what sort of work was done in all the different areas we passed. He said we had the perfect camouflage, since BN uses white Suburbans for their official vehicles. Knowing that, I could drive anywhere in the yard we wanted! Fun!

Lincoln has a nice downtown that’s been revitalized, with trendy shops and restaurants, and an old locomotive on display. Guess where we went next! Ben recognized this at once as an old Ten-Wheeler, a 4-6-0 in locomotive talk. (four wheels on the forward truck, six drivers, and no wheels behind the drivers)… It was great fun to learn about several components on the old locomotive.

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy (CB&Q) railroad came to Lincoln in 1870, and they built a locomotive factory in nearby Havelock. That town has now been swallowed up by Lincoln. No. 710 was created in Havelock in 1901, originally with huge 72 inch drive wheels, to let it pull passenger cars at high speed. As time went by, more passenger cars were made entirely of metal instead of wood, making them heavier, and No. 710 couldn’t pull as many cars as could newer locomotives. So in 1926 she went back to the Havelock Shop and was converted to 64 inch wheels. This cut her maximum speed, but let her pull long trains of freight cars.

When the 710 was retired in the 1950’s, the Lincoln Railfans Club asked that she be donated to Lincoln for preservation and permanent display. The BN refused, saying she’d be sold for scrap. But one of the club members was an attorney, and wouldn’t give up… and BN ended up donating the engine. It was displayed outdoors in Pioneer Park for years, but the weather was proving too hard on her. She was moved to the present location (under a roof) in 1990.

It was not possible to move 170 by rail, so a super strong lowboy trailer was sent to pick her up. A couple of side boom caterpillars got her on the trailer, which promptly made the gooseneck hitch snap! So she was taken off, the trailer strengthened, and a few days later another attempt was made. It started raining, and when the engine was on the trailer, the whole mess sunk into the mud. It took three cats to pull the trailer through the mud to the road where the truck could pull it.

No. 710 got several months of refurbishing, and then moved to her new home in the Haymarket area.

We also found a bank that is housed in an old train station in downtown Lincoln. The building is beautifully restored, and I thank the bank for keeping such a great historical building alive!

On what must have originally been a track platform, there is a very old safe. It seems to have original lettering, claiming Havelock as its home. It looks to be quite heavy… it’s pushing its way through the brick pavement by just sitting there!

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