Tag Archives: luverne minnesota

Points of Interest in Small Towns around Siouxland, Luverne, MN

3 Mar
The Hinkly House sits on a street just outside of the downtown Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When out exploring places in Siouxland and elsewhere sometimes there is not enough hours in the day. Or one visits on the wrong day. During an excursion north of Siouxland in Minnesota a museum and a former Carnegie Library caught my eye. The Hinkly House is a museum of local history, but only open a couple months out of the year and then only on Thursdays according to its website.

I’m always a sucker for history and the chance to learn a little more about a place. However this particular trip I was headed to a state park just outside of the community of Luverne, the Mounds State Park for a bit of a hike and as it turns out some views as some of the park in located on a hill. And with the drive and shorter fall days I didn’t take the time to research the area other than to just enjoy the drive and visit. Planning is always good, but spontaneity is also good at times.

The Hinkly House sits on a street just outside of the downtown Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Hinkly House sits on a street just outside of the downtown Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The former Carnegie Library located in Luverne now houses a music venue where lessons and performances are found, giving local folk a chance to learn and listen at the Luverne Street Music.

The Luverne Street Music is located in a former Carnegie library building in Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Beyond what I read on the organization’s website not much other information was found while visiting, but it was nice to see the building continuing service, as so many former Carnegie Library Buildings do in the small communities where they were built. Still serving the public in some form or another and most times through some kind of educational function or manner.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Visiting Blue Mounds State Park outside of Siouxland, Luverne, MN

13 Dec
Taking a stroll on one of the trails at Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always like taking road trips to places I have not yet visited, even when the destination lands me outside of the Siouxland region. There is so much to see, and photograph, no matter where one travels.

Earlier this year I made a trip to the Blue Mounds State Park in southern Minnesota. Not a long drive and a very pleasant place to visit with enough trails and interesting rock formations because of the granite found within the park. I didn’t ask but assumed the granite was quarried in earlier centuries to use in construction of local buildings, but which is now part of and within the state park.

Granite used to be quarried for surrounding regional buildings in earlier days seen at Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Granite outcroppings are found throughout the Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The park is surrounded primarily by farmland, and is home to remnants of original Minnesota prairie. There is also a heard of bison that live within the park’s boundaries but evidently are shy when it comes to visitors.

Farmland surrounds Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Farmland surrounds is seen from a hilltop at the Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Bison graze on land of the Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I tried to time my visit for fall colors at the park, but that type of venture anywhere is always hit and miss. There hadn’t really been much of a cold snap even though there had been some brisk, cold nights. But the park has the makings of some nice foliage if it ever cooperates and one gets lucky to visit on such a day. Walking the trails was just a nice way to spend part of a day and when at some of the higher points in the park, nice vistas. There is also a visitor’s center, but it was closed for the season. Another reason to go back sometime between Memorial Day and Labor Day when there might be more park activity. Time will tell.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Signage for hiking trails at the Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Frederick Manfred was an early proponent for the Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Visitors center at the Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Groves of trees and prairie grass and granite is seen throughout the Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Farmland surrounding the Blue Mounds State Park is seen from atop a hill within the park, situated near Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Farmland surrounds is seen from a hilltop at the Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Viewing Nature Photography up close at the Brandenburg Gallery, Luverne, ME

11 Dec
Viewing the Jim Brandenburg Galley in Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As much as I enjoy getting out into Siouxland and photographing places and people and events that I encounter, I also really like viewing photographs that other folk have also created. Back in October on a road trip into southern Minnesota it was completely by happenstance that a friend and I found the Brandeburg Galley in the small community of Luverne, MN. I had not previously visited this community, but had heard about a state park Blue Mounds which is nearby. The park was the destination but then finding a place to eat and wandering about a bit I came across the county courthouse and and also another interesting stone building. A sign said the Brandenburg Galley, and the name didn’t give me pause until I asked someone about photographing inside and the person said sure, Jim would like that. Then the light bulb came on as the name Jim Brandenburg did mean something. Context is everything sometimes, and Brandenburg is famous for his wildlife photography, much of which appeared in National Geographic magazine for which he photographed a number of years. The small gallery is welcoming and with seating one could spend considerable time just sitting and looking at the photographs handing on the wall. Like many, I am awed by various people’s capabilities to capture these nature scenes. And many spend countless hours, days and maybe months on location to make these images. Of course the majority of us don’t have the time or financing to do the same, and more than likely don’t spend the time to really think about or read about what was involved in capturing the images.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Viewing the Jim Brandenburg Galley in Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Viewing the Jim Brandenburg Galley in Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Viewing the Jim Brandenburg Galley in Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Visiting the Jim Brandenburg Galley in Luverne, MN Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
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