Tag Archives: homer nebraska

‘Tis the Season in Siouxland, O’Connor House, Homer, NE

30 Nov

With Thanksgiving barely behind us, some local organizations and groups are already in the full swing of celebrating Christmas in Siouxland. But that’s understandable as people are less inclined to attend some celebrations the closer, and sometimes more hectic, it gets to the actual holiday.

The O’Connor House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and each year is decorated for a Christmas celebration in Homer, NE Saturday November 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Each individual bedroom in the O’Connor House is decorated for a Christmas celebration in Homer, NE Saturday November 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The O’Connor House in Homer, NE hosts two weekends where different groups or organizations each step up and decorate a room in the historical house with a Christmas effect. And the historical home of a first settler is staffed with volunteers to tell visitors about the family and life of the house and on the plains. One volunteer actually grew up in the house as a boy, after the O’Connor’s lived there in the late 1860’s, when his parents rented the place. Duane Harris tells some fascinating tales about the original owner, Cornelius O’Connor and life during the early settler days when the area was shared with the Native Americans who had lived there for generations.

Dakota County Historical County volunteer Duane Harris grew up in the O’Connor House and now tells visitors during a Christmas celebration about some of the home’s history and about the original occupants in Homer, NE Saturday November 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Each room of the home is staffed with people relating stories about that particular space, either something about the family, or related to those possibly in one of the many photographs that dot the home.

Visitors are greeted by Dakota County Historical Society volunteers in each room to share a bit of history about the O’Connor House and its first occupants during aChristmas celebration in Homer, NE Saturday November 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Photographs of one of the O’Connor children on display at the O’Connor House during a Christmas celebration in Homer, NE Saturday November 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Of course one important room is the kitchen where there are people baking cookies in a wood-fired stove with great success. Gingerbread cookies never tasted so good. And each room looks so homey one feels inclined to just sit, have some hot cider or chocolate and enjoy the ambiance.

Dakota County Historical Society volunteers busy in the kitchen baking cookies and gingerbread men cookies in a wood fired stove during the Christmas celebration at the O’Connor House in Homer, NE Saturday November 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Each of the bedrooms in the O’Connor House is decorated for a Christmas celebration in Homer, NE Saturday November 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The O’Connor House is decorated for a Christmas celebration in Homer, NE Saturday November 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Of course the one takeaway I enjoyed most was a small sign almost hidden in the pantry near the kitchen. Reassuring people to not feel guilty about the Christmas holiday or enjoying its bounty.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A sentiment of many holiday patrons is seen on a shelf near the kitchen at the O’Connor House during a Christmas celebration in Homer, NE Saturday November 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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©)

Siouxland’s Irish history, O’Connor House, Ponca, NE

9 Nov

This weekend and a previous weekend was the annual open house in Siouxland for the O’Connor House, a preserved piece of history in Dakota County, Nebraska. Catherine and Cornelius O’Connor, the original homesteaders, both arrived in America as children from Ireland after the great famine there. The two moved to the area and settled near St. John’s City, an Irish settlement, now known as Jackson, Nebraska. The residence, completed in 1875 by Capt. Cornelius O’Connor, was restored and is run by the Dakota County, Nebraska, Historical Society. Visitors can tour the O’Connor House two weekends in early November as the holiday season kicks off. The house is decorated for Christmas by various people from around the area.  Another blog entry by an ancestor of Capt. O’Connor who visited relatives in the area talks about her trip to visit the homestead that is listed with the National Register of Historic Places.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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