Alliance was a bit out of my way, but like most visitors, I was drawn here by Carhenge, the replica of Stonehenge made with some of Detroit’s finest products, just north of town. Even though Carhenge was my destination, Alliance made for a nice stop.
Alliance has several neat and tidy downtown blocks, which is exactly what I had come to expect in Nebraska’s small towns. It’s obvious that downtown’s old anchor store was the imposing Newberry’s Hardware. The store even had its own water tower, which still bears the company name. The Newberry building now sits vacant (as of 2008), but it has been granted historical status by the state of Nebraska, and a nonprofit organization now owns it, along with three other old buildings on Box Butte Avenue. Exactly what will be done with the old buildings is still up in the air, but at least it seems they are in good hands.
Next to the old Newberry store, the stylish Alliance Theater is still showing movies.
Alliance’s alleys are fun to walk down, too. In fact, alleys are where I take some of my most interesting small-town pictures.
Redmans Shoes is still open for business.
It’s good to have options, when you can only go one way.
Once I emerged from the alley, I crossed Box Butte Avenue for a look at the Box Butte County Courthouse.
By far, my favorite place in Alliance is Patty’s Zesto, a burger and ice cream stand on 3rd Street (Nebraska Route 2 — the main east-west road through town). At first, I stopped to take a picture of the shop’s neat neon sign, but when I saw the woman behind the counter watching me, I felt obligated to check out the selection. The Zesto shop has dozens of flavors of milkshakes, and the woman (was it Patty? I’m not sure…) recommended blueberry. It was, by far, the best milkshake I had tasted since my experience with a huckleberry milkshake outside of Glacier National Park.
Note: This trip was first published in 2008.