KEARNEY — New items on display at The Archway at I-80 Exit 275 in Kearney help tell the story of the Transcontinental Railroad. The items include several that were recently donated to The Archway by the family of Samuel D. Sullivan, who managed the Union Pacific Depot in Rockville during the early part of the 20th century.
In the display are Sullivan’s Underwood typewriter from 1915, a kerosene lantern used to inspect railcars, and Sullivan’s telegraph key. The display also features a photo of Sullivan at his desk in the depot sending a message on the telegraph.
“Since 2019 is the 150th anniversary of the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, we were thrilled to get an email from Samuel Sullivan’s grandson, who offered railroad related items to the Archway,” said marketing coordinator Mark Foradori, “The Archway doesn’t keep a large collection of artifacts, but we do periodically change some of our displays of items that help us to tell the story of the history of the Great Platte River Road. It’s particularly interesting to have a photo of Mr. Sullivan using the telegraph key that is now on display.”
Additional items are on loan from Paul Braden of Kearney and include a Wye Level, which was used by surveyors to plot the slope of the terrain where railroad tracks would be built and an iron link and pin coupler. Link and pin was the original style of couplers used on North American railways. The artifacts are featured in a new display case near the Archway’s Golden Spike exhibit with other items on long-term loan from the Union Pacific Museum.