Tag Archives: Lost in Siouxland

Siouxland History in Action, Grand Meadow Heritage Center

8 Apr

I always enjoy visiting small festival in local venues in Siouxland, like the Grand Meadow Heritage Festival near Washta. The people who run the festival revel in bringing history to life and sharing the past with current and future generations in the area. Today, some teenagers and youngsters probably have no idea how hard work could be one, to two, centuries ago. Reading about it is not exactly experiencing it.

A man runs a belt driven former steam powered wood saw at the Grand Meadow Heritage Festival near Washta, Iowa Saturday Sept. 9, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Men work a belt driven former steam powered wood saw at the Grand Meadow Heritage Festival near Washta, Iowa Saturday Sept. 9, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Having grown up on a farm in the 1960’s and ’70’s with some automation, one could acquire a few blisters while doing chores and other farm activities. At the festival a crew runs a milling operation, cutting lumber from tree trunks and making boards. The saw being powered in the past by a steam operated tractor. This past year it was operated with a newer tractor and again was belt driven.

Men remove a cut piece of lumbar from a belt driven former steam powered wood saw at the Grand Meadow Heritage Festival near Washta, Iowa Saturday Sept. 9, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Most pieces of wood handled a few times before finding a resting spot with others, and then one more time transported somewhere else for use. And what I find as interesting and grateful for is that people still know how to operate this “ancient” machinery, a few years past the industrial revolution and the settling of a continent with growing populations and an expanding frontier.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Men take a break from working a belt driven former steam powered wood saw at the Grand Meadow Heritage Festival near Washta, Iowa Saturday Sept. 9, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Two men demontrate using a chainsaw to trim down a tree trunk at the Grand Meadow Heritage Festival near Washta, Iowa Saturday Sept. 9, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Lingering Winter in Siouxland, Stone State Park

6 Apr

Winter is hanging out much too long this year in Siouxland. And it’s not only in Siouxland, but sometimes being selfish, I only care that it is lingering too long here. There have been brief moments of sunshine, and actual sun shining, but those seem to be few. Recently there was another snow fall. And the sky is grey and hazy.

I began looking at images as black and white, trying to see the possibility of grey tones.

Walking on a cold grey day at Stone State Parkin Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, April 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

On a recent hike before the snow in Stone State Park the browns and greys of this past winter still loomed large and didn’t create any excitement on my part. And with hazy, grey and overcast skies it’s sometimes hard to create images that have any kind of spark to them.

Walking on a cold grey day at Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, April 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But it was nice to get out of the house, go for a walk and breath some fresh air without the intake freezing one’s lungs, or walking, again, through snow drifts. I like winter, being outside and enjoying what it offers, but it’s time to move on, climb new hills and see what a reawakening or rebirth can is in the offering from spring. I just hope it shows up before summer is here, maybe in June.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Walking during a grey cold day at Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, April 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Only the Shadow Knows in Siouxland, Sioux City

4 Apr

A radio program from the 1930’s, “The Shadow“, was a popular detective story about an individual heard but never really seen. And sometimes photography is like that, an image that provokes a feeling, mood or some other etherial interpretation. And sometimes “seeing” something mundane, as a shadow on a building gives fleeting thoughts to something, not really definitive, but there. And there are times when traveling about Siouxland lends itself to such an opportunity, if one only is aware.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Roofers removing old shingles cast reflections on a house next door Wednesday, March 28, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Roofers removing old shingles cast reflections on a house next door Wednesday, March 28, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing what’s new in Siouxland, Maritime Museum at Arnolds Park

2 Apr

Sometimes on a limited time schedule, even a self-imposed one, I like to revisit places in Siouxland, such as the Maritime Museum in Arnolds Park. It has a rich history of the lake region with lots of memorabilia.

Previous photos and advertisement of the Queen cruise ship at the Maritime Museum in Arnolds Park, Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And with some new exhibits underway in the area I got to see a couple new things happening. BREAKING NEWS!!! that online and local media would be flashing across their screens. This not so much. It was fun to see one new item as work was underway and that was a honeymoon tent a couple used in the 1930’s or ’40’s after getting married. It probably made a very memorable experience and bonded the newly-weds even more. If you enjoy the outdoors what is a better way to begin a new life?

Some new items are being added to the Maritime Museum such as a honeymoon tent actually used by a couple in Arnolds Park, Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Also underway next door to the museum and seen through a window but a wholly different exhibit depicts some of the history of the Arnolds Park Amusement Park which celebrated 125th anniversary a couple of years ago.

A facility next door to the Maritime Museum will house historical memorabilia like a slide and another item from a former Fun House from the Arnolds Park Amusement Park in Arnolds Park, Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And sometimes just looking around one gets lucky and can play a bit with available light to create something seen in one’s mind and then shared with others. Light is a beautiful thing and can make an image all the more interesting.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A shaft of light peers into the Maritime Museum in Arnolds Park, Iowa Thursday, March 15, 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.

 

 

Creating a Theme in Siouxland, Iowa Lakeside Labs

27 Mar

Sometimes when out photographing in Siouxland I will revisit a subject or see a new one and work to create a different image or selection of images. There are those days when the light helps you and others when you wished it helped you a little more. So it was visiting the Iowa Lakeside Labs in Wahpeton, Iowa, along East Lake Okoboji. At least I think it is the East Lake. After a couple of years of visiting I am still not certain. This time I concentrated on the stone of the buildings along with nature in its proximity. Winter season was still “in bloom” in the area there with the lakes completely frozen over with only water showing near the shoreline.

A research building at the Iowa Lakeside Labs in Wahpeton, Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Research buildings at the Iowa Lakeside Labs in Wahpeton, Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The sky and sunshine was a bit muted with the light diffused and so looked at angles and patterns.

One of the research buildings at the Iowa Lakeside Labs in Wahpeton, Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

These buildings were constructed in the early 1900’s and has been a constant field study laboratory site and so many trees have sprung up around the buildings. I wonder if planted to partially shade them to help cool them in the summer, and partly by nature’s design rather than man’s.

A detail look at one of the research buildings at the Iowa Lakeside Labs in Wahpeton, Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A detail of nne of the research buildings at the Iowa Lakeside Labs in Wahpeton, Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always find it a good exercise to try and see new in the places I have been. Challenging myself after a few visits when the time of year is full of browns and not spring’s new growth and greenery that helps spruce up a place as the life cycle continues.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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