Travelers driving along U.S. Highway 75 through Fort Calhoun are sure to notice a sign for Calhoun Oil, especially if they're in need of gas. More than 150 years ago, that lot is where The Tew, the city's earliest hotel, was established during the early years of pioneer settlement in the 1850s.
If, while filling up their cars at Calhoun Oil, travelers walked a few blocks, they'd see a house at 220 N. 15th St., the Nicholas Rix home, where Margaret Hitchcock Doorly, wife of former Omaha World-Herald publisher Henry Doorly, lived in the 1960s.
These are just two of 27 places in Fort Calhoun people can visit during the Washington County Historical Association's free historic home and building self-guided walking and bike tour Saturday.
"(The tour) is just to understand the history of the town because there's an awful lot of history here that people don't know about," Executive Director Julie Ashton said.
The tour is an all-day event, where participants can walk or bike to the city's historic homes, buildings and sites to see pictures and read information about what those places are today and what they were 100 years ago.
Participants can pick up a brochure at the post office, the first stop on the tour, or any of a number of businesses in the city. The brochure lists information about each location and a numbered map for walkers and bikers to follow. At each location, a picture will show what it looked like decades ago, and a numbered sign will correlate to the place's listing in the brochure.
The tour will also include free ice cream at the Frahm House at 1 p.m. followed by a barbershop quartet at 2 p.m.
Tour displays will remain up through Sunday, so people who are unable to take part in activities Saturday have an opportunity to do so.
"People can, at their leisure, go around the town," Ashton said. "It's just to get people out to see the history and maybe homes that they've gone past a thousand times."