THE HISTORY OF INGLEWOOD
BY E.M. JONES
Village of Inglewood
Inglewood is a quiet little village on Highway 77 just north of the Platte River, with a dike as its south boundary and Fremont a mile north.
Inglewood, settled over 100 years ago, was first platted in 1918. At that time about 20 homes were located in this area of rich soil, ideal for raising fruits and vegetables; especially watermelons, cantaloup, asparagus, and sweet potatoes. Produce was sold at markets in Omaha and at the stores in Fremont. Prominent names include Andreason and Hansen, the man who named Inglewood for a city by that name in California. Nebraska's Melon King, Mr.Haurigan, shipped his melons and sweet potatoes by rail-car loads to large markets.
The community continued to grow. Many people liked the friendly neighborhood, so built their homes and stayed on, as did their children.
After many years Fremont wanted to enforce their zoning codes and rules on the people of Inglewood. The residents first asked to become a ward of the city, but the council refused.
This caused several long-time citizens of Inglewood to inquire as to the advisability of becoming an incorporated village of its own. The county board said, "Why not! You have everything necessary to qualify." Under the supervision of Duane Koplin and Melvin Jones, Inglewood became incorporated on July 22, 1959.
This started a new era for Inglewood. Many improvements were needed and have been made including; water, sewer, blacktopping of village streets, and the acquisition of a village hall. A volunter fire department was established, which has grown to a fleet of four fire trucks and 19 men.
A full-time chief oversees operations at the modern fire house, complete with office, kitchen, and assembly room. Inglewood's fire district covers an area from 3 miles east of North Bend to one-half mile west of Arlington.
Located next to Fremont, Inglewood has both the security and stability of many jobs and services, and at the same time, enjoys activities known only to small towns. The town has an annual picnic for all past and present residents, a Halloween party for village children, and the annual firemen's dance and dinner. There is also an annual consignment auction to benefit the fire department.
Federal funding was acquired, and local citizens donated many hours to establish a city park, which now has a tennis court, shelter, as well as play equipment for children.
When we look at the modern community of today, it is difficult to visualize some of the early history of this area. The main road to the state capital at Lincoln came through the settlement on what is now Prospect Street, then on Hanson Street to the river bank. Wagons and buggies were then ferried across the deep north channel of the Platte River to Big Island. From there they drove across the island and the south channel, which was very shallow, to the bluffs, where a steep ravine angled up the side to the higher ground beyond. At that point, the driver would hook a cable onto the wagon tongue.
The cable went to the top of the bluff where a drum, turned by horses, helped pull it to the top. Going to Lincoln by this route was a two-day trip.
There were floods to contend with prior to the building of the dike, the last of which was completed around 1912. Businesses then and now, in addition to a number of truck farms, includes a slaughter house processing beef, pork, and chicken. Now there is also a lawn and garden plowing and supply company, a heavy equipment contractor, a kennel and dog training, a truck and car sales, a radiator service, a glass company, a steak house, service station, ceramic manufacturer and school, and a trailer court.
At one time there was a large heated building for storing sweet potato, and for many years Inglewood had its own boardwalk from Washington Street south to Cloverly. We also had our own state senator, Guy Patton.
Inglewood has remained a nice, friendly community in which to live and do business. With a current population of about 325, the town has grown steadily in size and influence through the years.
By E.M.Jones, 1120 Meadow Lane, Fremont, NE 68025