The pie-shaped cells of the Pottawattamie County Jail were escape proof. They had no doors. To let an inmate in or out, the jailer rotated the floor until the cell lined up with the one and only opening. If an inmate had an arm or leg hanging out of the cage when the floor began to rotate, the appendage would break, or even tear off. Better known as the Squirrel Cage Jail, today the building serves as a museum—and is believed to be the most haunted building in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The Watson Steam Train in Missouri Valley, Iowa, is one of only a few remaining 1948 Ottaway steam-powered miniature trains left in the United States. While the 12-gauge coal-fueled steam train is fired up only for special occasions, another train—a diesel-fueled Union Pacific replica—takes kids of all ages on rides around the 1,700 foot track.
A few years ago, on our first visit to Omaha, we crossed the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. The impressive 3,000-foot s-curved bridge, one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the nation, spans the Missouri River and connects Council Bluffs, Iowa, with Omaha, Nebraska. So I wasn’t surprised when the bridge was on the itinerary on my recent press trip to Council Bluffs. Even through it’s the same bridge, and I again took the obligatory photo of one foot in each state, seeing the bridge from the perspective of Council Bluffs rather than Omaha somehow seemed a little different.