Across the river from Omaha is Council Bluffs, Iowa, home to a very unique building. Built in 1885, this "squirrel cage jail" was in use until 1969. But what in the world is a "squirrel cage jail?"
A model in the gift shop shows how it works.
The round floors and inside walls rotate on cogs, and are cranked by hand. Only when the opening of the cell lines up with the sole door on each floor can prisoners go in or out.
There are 3 levels of cells, with 10 cells per level. Can you see the hand sticking out on the third level? Creepy...
Ideally, each cell held 2 prisoners, although there are reports of 5 per cell.
This is one of only 3 squirrel cage jails remaining in the US.
Leaving Omaha for our next stop on the Lewis and Clark Trail, we passed by this monument high on a hill overlooking the Missouri River.
It marks the grave of the only member of the Lewis and Clark team to die on the expedition - truly amazing considering all the perils they faced.
Sgt. Floyd died on August 20, 1804 from what is now believed to be a ruptured appendix.
They named the hill "Sgt. Floyd's Bluff," and the nearby river where they set up camp "Floyd's River." They are located near the present-day town of Sioux City, Iowa.