The photos that follow are pictorial signposts that Karl Mueller saw during his journey From Prussia to a Prairie Homestead. The pictures are arranged in the order the journey took, starting out in Flatow West Prussia, then proceeding to Baltimore and to the Chicago packing plants, the Wisconsin lumber camp and finally to the gold rush in the Black hills. The last picture, a tall grass prairie vista, symbolizes his goal, the place where he will find his land and build his home.
Flatow Railroad Station: The rail station in Flatow where Karl got off the train when he returned from serving in the Prussian army and where he departed from Flatow to begin his journey to America. The station still stands today.

Flatow from across Pond: There are many lakes, ponds and forests in the area in and around Zlotow, Poland, formally Flatow West Prussia. Much of the information about Zlotow, formally Flatow was furnished by a current resident of town. His name is Janusz Justyna. He furnished many photos of the town including the ones used in this web site.

Flatow Church: This is the church referred to in the first chapter of the book Finding the Way and is where the authors grandfather was baptized and confirmed. The church was Lutheran, but since WWII was converted to a Catholic church. According to Janusz Justyna, there are no more Lutherans living in Zlotow. Janusz explained, "Remember, the Poles did not start the war."

The Ship SS Ohio: The SS Ohio is the ship that the author’s grandfather sailed on when coming to America.

Ship Docked at Locust Point: Ships bringing immigrants to America through Baltimore docked at Locust Point. The docks and warehouses at Locust Point have been removed since that time.

Baltimore Immigrant Processing Center: The Baltimore immigration entry facility was not fancy, it was a converted warehouse, but it processed many of the millions of the people that poured into the country from Europe during the nineteenth century.

Back of the Yard scene: As the Chicago packing plants were being built, the neighborhood around the plants grew with them to provide for the needs of the plant workers. Packing plant work was dirty, physically demanding and the compensation was hardly adequate to provide for the essential needs of the workers. The neighborhood reflected the condition of the residents. This worker neighborhood did not have a formal name and people started referring to it as the Back of the Yards. The name stuck. It was a crowded and gritty place with few amenities. The packing plants are gone, but Back of the Yard still exist and is still a crowded and gritty place where many recent immigrants from Latin America live.

Working in the Plant: The work was dirty and hard, the hours were long, and the pay was poor, but the flood of immigrants provided all of the willing workers the meat packers needed.

Logging camp: Logging camps in northern Wisconsin had a short life span. They were hastily built in the middle of a virgin pine forest and would be busy places until all of the forest withing easy reach had been clear-cut. The camp would be abandoned and the work would move onto a new camp surrounded by a standing pine forest. Men, yielding only axes and saws, clear-cut the great northern pine forest of the United States in a matter of decades.

Load of logs: Logs were transported to streams on sleds that could haul tremendous loads on iced sled tracks. In the spring when the streams were running high, the logs would be pushed in for their journey to down-river saw mills. River rats would guide the logs down the stream to saw mills.

Wagon train: Wagon trains were the only source of supply for prospectors and miners in Deadwood and the surrounding area for many years. The shortest wagon trail was just under two hundred miles long. Twenty yoke or more of oxen would pull up to three heavily loaded wagons hooked together.

Deadwood 1876: The streets of Deadwood in 1876 were chaotic. The space between the buildings was filled with men, debris, building material, trenches, animals and transport.

Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickock:Deadwood was a magnet for flamboyant western characters and among the most famous were Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickock, Both of these Deadwood icons find their way into the story being told in Finding the Way.

Miner’s cabin: Miners often built cabins on their claims. It was a place to live and a way to keep an eye out for claim jumpers.

Lithograph of the Fort Pierre town site: Fort Pierre was built on a stretch of flat land about a quarter of a mile wide bordered by the Missouri River on the east and high bluffs on the west. The lithograph shows the original site established in 1817 by Josph LaFramboise. The current town is located further to the south where the Bad river joins the Missouri.

The Tall Grass Prairie: Nearing the end of the long journey, Karl is in the tall grass prairie where he will find his land and build his home.

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Copyright Al Wellnitz. All rights reserved.