Tag Archives: north sioux city south dakota

Spring in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

7 Jul

No matter what time of year, I always like stopping by the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve. Walking through the homestead area this last time I visited I saw some new signage both for directions and for information giving some historical perspective about the family that lived there and preserved this area for its fellow residents of Siouxland. Plus with year round residents it now has (four-legged critters), it is fun to see them and the joy they bring to visitors.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Quiet Refuge in Siouxland, Adams Homestead

30 Oct

It’s not that far away, but sometimes visiting the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve it feels like one has escaped the hustle of city life while taking a walk through the Homestead grounds or through the Preserve itself. The last of the Adams’ family descendants lived on site until their passing and gave the land to the state of South Dakota as a park for local residents and visitors alike to enjoy it. by mid-November the Homestead will be celebrating its annual Christmas at the Homestead which is always fun.

The day I visited in August started out as a little dreary and overcast, which seemed a perfect match for my using a Holga lens to photograph the area on my Fuji X camera. The day’s atmosphere and the lens seemed to create a bit of dreamscape affect which I liked.

I find I am getting different results using this lens with an adapter on my Fuji camera than when I used it directly on my Canon. During the film days I shot with a 120 Holga camera and so know the results I hope to come close to. The digital affect is not quite the same since Holga cameras and their light leaks were unpredictable yet always amazing.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Spring teasing Siouxland, Adams Homestead

20 Mar

Today in the Siouxland area it was another spring-like day, with the temperature reaching near 60 degrees fahrenheit. But in a couple of days, the temperatures will plunge stopping somewhere in the 30’s with the possibility of more snow. A couple of weeks ago Mother Nature teased Siouxland with warm temperatures and I took advantage of that day to go for a walk in the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve just across the state line in North Sioux City, South Dakota. The ground was still frozen then with just melted snow forming large puddles. The homestead area of the preserve is a fun place to walk around and to imagine what life must have been like then, in the late 1800’s when the family that owned the land first moved to the area. I really like photographing the red barn and trying to capture different images of it.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland’s spring thaw, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

10 Mar

Sunday was a really nice day. A record high temperature of 72 degrees was set for March 9. According to area meteorologists this temp set a new record high for the Siouxland area. I took a walk at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota. It’s a nice place to take a walk anytime, except when the wind is blowing fiercely and the temperature is under 10 degrees. I don’t believe there is anytime under those conditions that is a good time for a walk outside. Everyone in the region is hoping this is Spring’s welcoming call. Although tomorrow temperatures are supposed to be in the 30’s with rain and freezing rain. Everyone is hoping for just rain.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux CIty, Iowa

Christmas in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

11 Nov

The Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota, held a Christmas at the Homestead this past weekend with the various buildings decorated in a more subtle earlier Christmas decor. The Siouxland preserve spans 1,500 acres along the Missouri River and came into the possession of the state through the donation of the land by Mary and Maud Adams, granddaughters of the original homesteader Stephen Searl Adams. Mary Adams lived on the homestead until recent years when she passed away. A variety of trails traverse the wooded area allowing visitors to walk a few miles of level terrain, some of it along the river and other parts cutting through a cottonwood grove that had been a favorite of Mary’s when she was a child.

The Adams farmhouse was built in the 1880’s and moved to its current location in 1929 by Stephen Adams as the Missouri River’s channel kept migrating from its river bed, and before a U.S. Corps of Engineers tried taming the river to stay within a set channel. Also on the preserve is the Brusseau House, build in 1865 by Tophield Brusseau who came to the Dakota Territory as a homesteader in 1862. It serves as an example of what a home was like for early homesteaders in the territory.

Also at the the preserve is the Stavanger Lutheran Church and the Lamont Country School.The church was built in 1902 by immigrants from Stavanger, Norway and originally located north of Platte, South Dakota. Maud and Mary Adams purchased the church building in 1993 and had it moved to the homestead for restoration. The school was built in 1908 and closed in 1970. It was moved to this location and renovated in 1991. All together, the homestead provides visitors with a look back in time which some might consider simpler, but then again, earlier settlers faced their own set of problems.

Inside the church a group of carolers sang Christmas songs and inside the school youngsters created their own Christmas ornaments from arts and crafts supplied to them. Santa also paid a visit to the kids in the Welcome Center at the preserve where treats and hot cider and hot chocolate was served. More images can be found here.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland Memorial Day at Floyd Cemetery, Sioux City

28 May

I have lived in Sioux City now almost 12 years. And have attended a number of Memorial Day ceremonies at the Floyd Cemetery in town performed by local American Legion posts and the Marine League and the women counterparts to each of these. The Floyd Cemetery ceremony was not always well attended, but it was always very intimate, with the few people there to honor to those who fought for their country and those who died. Gravestones mark the burials of men who fought in the Civil War, and later. So it was sad to find out Monday morning that the Floyd Cemetery Memorial Day ceremony was not to be, but instead a ceremony would be held at Graceland Cemetery. A larger place, more room for more flags and people, but missing would be the feeling of those long ago warriors, ghosts, who could be standing or sitting in the shade of the older trees at the Floyd Cemetery, receiving their due in heartfelt tributes, and watching the proceedings knowing they had done well.

But in recent years, the American Legion Posts and other organizations have been suffering a decline in membership, something I will address in a later musing, having talked with various members of the local Posts over the last few years.

But this doesn’t mean to diminish the tribute given to those brave men and women who serve and did serve which took place at Graceland Cemetery. I am just thinking that maybe Floyd Cemetery’s Memorial Day service received its own Taps Monday.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland’s Ingemann Danish Church and Memorial Day, Moorhead

27 May

I recently learned that once a year, a church in the Loess Hills of Siouxland holds a Sunday service on the day prior to Memorial Day. The Bethesda Lutheran Church of Moorehead, Iowa, holds a Memorial Day service each year at the Ingemann Danish Lutheran Church. Pastor Carla Johnsen has been tending her flock for the past 12 years. Pastor Johnsen explained,” Every year we come out here (to the Ingemann Danish Lutheran Church) because this church is part of our roots. This was the original Danish church built here in the country.” She explained there was a divide over holy Danes and happy Danes and the church’s congregation split in two. “So we come back here every year to remember God’s faithfulness. That is part of our story, and generation after generation God has been faithful and continues to be to this day”, she said.

Pastor Johnsen said during her sermon that people should remember and celebrate their past, their history and remember those who came before. After service inside the church, the congregation comes outside, Taps is played, then a few American songs are song and the group then enjoys fellowship with one another by having coffee and cookies and other refreshments. The Ingemann Danish Church, built in 1884, was eventually listed on the National Historic Register of Places in 2012.

More photographs of the Memorial Day service and celebration can be found here.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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