A Landing a Day

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Archive for May, 2009

Pontiac, Illinois

Posted by graywacke on May 10, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan – I landed in an old standby USer which is now getting perilously close to PS-land . . . IL; 31/32; 6/10; 3; 161.4. I’m now a measly 0.1 away from a new record low Score. For the fifth time, I landed in the Vermillion R watershed (making the Vermillion the 132nd stream with 5 or more hits); on to the Wabash (19th hit); to the Ohio (104th hit); to the MM (683rd hit).

Here’s my landing map, showing close proximity to the town of Pontiac (pop about 12,000).

landing

Here’s a broader view:

pontiac

From the town’s website, a little history:

In 1837, the city was named Pontiac in honor of the legendary Ottawa Indian chief. A sawmill opened in 1838; the first grain mill opened in 1851. Because of its strategic location along the rail line connecting Chicago, Springfield and St. Louis in the late 1870s, Pontiac became an important regional trading center

Its location along the original Route 66, one of the nation’s first major interstate highways and traveled by hundreds of thousands of people from 1926 to the mid ‘60s, also contributed to the industrial and retail growth of the community.

Here’s a picture of a cool Route 66 mural:

pontiac rt 66

And this of Abe in Pontiac:

abe in pontiac

And a very nice courthouse:

courthouse

Here’s a picture of the Yost Museum in town (I love the architecture):

Yost Museum

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Anamoose, North Dakota

Posted by graywacke on May 6, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan – First, let me apologize for my one-week absence from posting.  My excuse?  I was down at our beachfront house in Eleuthera in a no-internet zone.  I could have gone to an internet cafe, but I had trouble motivating myself.  So, I’m back home and will hopefully get back to my one-a-day mode.

Back to my regular post:

Well, I was just one USer away from a new record. But as soon as I saw the lat/long (47/100); I knew I was doomed. The 47th parallel is way up north, and the 95th line of longitude more or less separates ND from MN (and I’m 5 degrees further west). The inevitable OSer . . . ND; 47/40; 5/10; 2; 162.6.

I landed in an area with lots of lakes, but few streams. The drainage was quite vague, but I settled on a southwesterly flow of water towards to the Sheyenne R (8th hit); on to the Red R of the N (34th hit); on to the Nelson (51st hit); on to Hudson Bay.

Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Anamoose:

landing29

Here’s a map showing what I mean about the vague drainage (no creeks connecting the lakes):

landing210

Anyway, here’s a broader view featuring Anamoose:

anamoose

Hey – Anamoose has a website!

anasign

In 1893, the Soo Line Railroad Company was expanding their line and hired many people to help them lay steel and ties. Among these people were many Chippewa Indians who often noticed a dog that roamed the area. They spoke often of the dog in their native language and began referring to this area as “Anamoose”. Although the pronunciation has changed some, the meaning remains the same. Anamoose means “dog” in Chippewa.

The train would pass here at 4:00 am and 12:00 noon. Anyone wanting to travel by train used a lantern to stop the train. The lantern was waved back and forth across the tracks until the engineer would toot the whistle to let the intended passenger know he had seen the signal and was stopping.

During the next few years many new businesses were built which included a General Mercantile and Hardware store, Post Office, Livery Stable, Depot, two Elevators and a Hotel. Later a Lumber Yard and a Harness Shop were built as well as an Implement Store.

In the year 1898, there was a large prairie fire West of Anamoose that burned for several hundred miles. A rancher living a mile west of town built a fire break 100 feet wide from the railroad track West of his house down to the water in the lake South of town. It saved most of the town.

By 1915 Anamoose had a population 669 and was growing. At one time we had a Bowling Alley, a Drug Store, three Cafes, three Grocery Stores, a Theater, Photographer and Jeweler. We had two Doctors and a Veterinarian, Attorney, three Banks, two farm implement dealers, a Land Office and the Grand Opera House. There was also a Funeral Director, Four Gas Stations, and two Garages. There was a Shoe Repair and a Hardware Store, two Barber Shops, two Beauty Parlors, a Creamery and ever so much more. Over the years, we have seen many businesses close their doors, but to those of us who remain here, this is our town and we LOVE IT!

I found a couple of pictures of abandoned farms near Anamoose:

abandonned-farm-house-near-anamoose

abandonned-farm-south-of-anamoose

I came across this picture in a “glacial geomorphology” website:

f5h

Here’s the caption: Small hill-hole pair at Anamoose, North Dakota. Lake basin in foreground is the source depression for material shoved into the hill in the background. View in the downglacier direction. Anamoose is a classic locality for this type of landform in North America (Bluemle and Clayton 1984). Photo date 6/86; © by J.S. Aber.

So, it sounds like a glacier gouged out a bunch of dirt and piled it up in a hill. The gouged out part filled with water, making a lake.  As a geologist, I think I should be more excited about this than I am . . .
KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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