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Finding a quiet corner in Siouxland, Homer, NE

21 Jul

When out driving about Siouxland it’s always the little gems that stick out in my mind. One such place I recently came across was in Homer, NE, a small community of maybe 550 people. I had not been to Homer in a few years, but it was with interest and delight to find someone had created a small quiet zone in the downtown area.

The downtown area of Homer, Nebraska Friday June 22, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A path leads into a quiet space near the downtown area of Homer, Nebraska Friday June 22, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I am never bashful in checking out places and I didn’t see anyone on the street as I drove up to park and walk about.  But it is nice that people take the time to create something that they and others can enjoy and give a person a break from a hectic world, no matter one’s occupation or place in the scheme of life. But finding a little solitude and a respite is always a good thing to contemplate and enjoy.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A path leads into a quiet space near the downtown area of Homer, Nebraska Friday June 22, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A quiet space near the downtown area of Homer, Nebraska Friday June 22, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A small signpost gives options in a quiet space near the downtown area of Homer, Nebraska Friday June 22, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Near downtown Homer, Nebraska Friday June 22, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Exploring a Siouxland Community, Hartington, NE

26 May

Driving about in Siouxland one comes across many small communities. If time permits and sometimes I schedule my day in a way to spend a little time exploring a place like Hartington, NE. The small community is the country seat of Cedar County and a courthouse plaque gives some background and history.

A plaque commemorating the history of Cedar County, NE on display in front of the Cedar County Courthouse in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Cedar County Courthouse in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It was fun to see some still Christmas decorations on one of the courthouse trees. Either a reminder or a promise of what is to come again.

Christmas decorations still hang in a tree in front of the Cedar County Courthouse in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A well kept small town, there was some renovation as a former hotel that appears to be once again reinventing itself as a destination to stay during a visit.

Restoration of a former hotel is underway in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Restoration of a former hotel is underway in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

All smaller communities in America share that quiet place except for special events which makes visiting them a chance to slow down, take a casual stroll about and enjoy a less hectic or frenzied moment while still enjoying the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Restoration of a former hotel is underway in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The main street in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The local countryside is seen from the top of a street in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Restored downtown buildings, including a former department store owned by the Globe family in Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Taking a Peek in Siouxland, Coleridge, NE

8 May

A few weeks ago while driving in the Nebraska area of Siouxland, I stopped into the small Coleridge, NE to have a look. Many times while traveling to another location for work or pleasure I will make a mental note to revisit and area to check a place out a bit more. A community of not quite 500 people, it is reminiscent of many small farming communities. The downtown area was lively the morning I stopped by and found an interesting “farm store” downtown with some fare to sell. And a grain elevator anchors the downtown area as in most small, rural communities.  Summer is near and the possibility for more exploration in this land called “Siouxland”.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Residents visit downtown in Coleridge, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A downtown farm store has some equipment and spare parts waiting in an alley next door to the store in Coleridge, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A store window of what may have been a former antique shop in Coleridge, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A grain truck heads out of the downtown area of Coleridge, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Seeing the Unique in Siouxland, Hartington, NE

28 Apr

Each community has its own uniqueness, some which loom larger than others simply because of the size of the community. And it may not be a good or bad thing, or unique to all people. It’s just what catches my eye and which makes me smile.

An off the beaten patch home decor store, Reinvented Mercantile, in Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I saw this mercantile store, maybe a second hand store, which I couldn’t determine if it was open or not. But the color caught my eye as did some of the wares on display outside the store, which was not open at the time. A small mystery that will not send any ripples through the universe. But which I still found intriguing.

Some interesting items for sale at an off the beaten path home decor store in Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

China,some of which was made in Germany, on display in front of a mercantile store in Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And this building facade, while not part of the mercantile store was delightful in its own way, drawing attention to itself and possibly encourage patrons and visitors alike to stop by and explore. Such a large universe and so little time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Shapes and patterns on a downtown building in Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

 

Sunshine in Siouxland, Bow Valley, NE

12 Apr

Like many parts of the country, Siouxland is experiencing an extended winter season with only a spritz of sunshine appearing now and again. It will be nice to see on a regular basis again along with warmer temps, but until then one can only be patient and have another cup of coffee.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Shapes and angles created by sun and shade in Bow Valley, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Stopping by the Siouxland’s Adams Museum, Ponca, NE

31 Mar

As I plan future classes for some of the photography courses I teach through a Lifelong Learning program at a local community college, I like to visit places in Siouxland where I will take people prior to actually scheduling an outing. Sometimes places I have previously visited have changed and I try to know about surprises in advance. Recently I stopped by the Adams Museum in Ponca, NE while taking a drive out that way. The museum was closed when I stopped by but still afforded me an opportunity to shoot photo that I was happy with in a couple of respects. I love light and shadow and the interplay of the two working together, and I also was happy to see the sunshine again. With winter storms still passing through Siouxland and bringing still a little more snow and hopefully more rain, the sunshine was a nice guest appearance until Ol’ Man Winter moves on.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A shadow of the entrance gate to the Adams House Museum in Ponca, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Declaring Fame in Siouxland, Maskell, NE

29 Mar

Fame always seems to be a fleeting characteristic. Notoriety whether good or bad is a way of attracting attention. It had been a while since I had driven into western Siouxland, Nebraska, that is and taken what is known as the Outlaw Trail, in today’s terms, Hwy. 12. It is a stretch of road and history where outlaws famous and not so much travelled as they looked for cover.

Along that route is the small community of Maskell. When I stopped by there in 2013 it had a population of 67, which has now grown to 73, at least by information currently available.

A roadside informational sign for Maskell, Nebraska, a small rural community with a population of 67 which promotes itself as having the smallest City Hall in the United States, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It sits among rolling hills in eastern Nebraska and claims that it has the smallest city hall in the United States.

The claim for the smallest city hall in the United States supposedly resides in Maskel, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Possibly an art deco way of spelling out City Hall on the same building in Maskell, Nebraska, a small rural community with a population of 67 which promotes itself as having the smallest City Hall in the United States, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And it is tiny. I had visited the community in the early 2000’s when I was working for a newspaper and remembered arranging to photograph a council meeting and needing to borrow a fisheye lens to accomplish that fact. A quiet community that posts results of its meetings on the only window in the building.

Minutes of a meeting that took place August 7, 2013, are taped to the window of Maskell, Nebraska’s, City Hall building, a small rural community with a population of 67 which promotes itself as having the smallest City Hall in the United States, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The building and area didn’t look much different than when I last passed through it, the entrance off of Hwy. 12. And a person needs to make the effort to drive through and take a look, and surely will not be disappointed with what they see.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The street leading up to what is claimed to be the smallest city hall in the United States in Maskel, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Maskell, Nebraska, a small rural community with a population of 67 promotes itself as having the smallest City Hall in the United States, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013.

 

Maskell, Nebraska, a small rural community with a population of 67 promotes itself as having the smallest City Hall in the United States, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013.

 

 

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