History

Kearney--1888:

The streets were mud; there were no sidewalks, but--there were streetcars! At first they were horse-drawn but ran on tracks. When electric power was made available in late 1888 by the Kearney Canal and power plant, Kearney boasted the first electric streetcar system west of the Mississippi!

Out of a wish to commemorate Kearney's Quasquicentennial with a permanent contribution to the community, the streetcars were reborn as trolleys. Providing a public transportation system had long been the dream of Dr. Robert Rosenlof. The local physician saw it as fulfilling the need of those who could not drive or did not have cars to move around the city especially for health care needs. However, before community funds were raised, Dr. Rosenlof died. One trolley is christened "Rosie" in his honor. The other trolley is named "Carl" to recognize the contributions to the community by Carl Spelts, president of the Q-125 Commission.

The two trolleys made the cross-country journey from the Molly Trolley Manufacturing plant in Ogunquit, Maine, arriving in Kearney in July of 1998. Today the trolleys serve community and commercial needs as a charter service.