Finding History in Siouxland, Laurel, NE

10 Apr

While driving about in western Siouxland recently I passed through the small community of Laurel, NE. According to some online sites roughly 940 to 1,000 people reside there, depending on which site one reads.

Downtown main street in Laurel, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The community’s site states that recent investment is helping the place to grow and thrive in the most recent century. I enjoyed a couple murals in town that alluded to the community’s and region’s past, notably the railroad, which passed through  so many early communities and allowed them to grow and thrive with the expansion west, and the Pony Express of which I couldn’t find any information whether it passed through the immediate area or not. Most references for the Pony Express stated the route through Nebraska generally followed the Platte River which is more south of Laurel.

Wall murals remind residents of past history in Laurel, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A tribute to the history of the Pony Express is painted on the side of a downtown building in Laurel, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

References did state that the community was named for a daughter of one of the founding citizens and founded in the late 1800’s. Some information noted that actor James Coburn was born in Laurel.

It was interesting that there were some still original streets  reflecting the use of brick so many communities used for years.

Some streets retain their surface in Laurel, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

To me there is no end to the fascination of small town America, and sometimes I feel I am barely scratching the surface as I tool about looking for places to visit or that I happen upon. And like many small communities, Laurel also had a grain elevator near its downtown that services the surrounding agricultural community.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Some “old fashioned” wall advertising is painted on a brick wall next to a pub in Laurel, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A small grain elevator operates in Laurel, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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