Tag Archives: rural nebraska

Small Communities in Siouxland, Waterbury, NE

7 Jan

A pathway leads to a former school, now apartments in Waterbury, Nebraska Saturday, August 6, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When I visit small communities in Siouxland, I don’t really have any objectives in mind when photographing. Mostly justing taking photographs of what interests me visually. In some cases this “documents” a place and in other cases it does not. It just shows what I personally found interesting. Not having seen a place in more robust times I have nothing to compare the present to the past.

A former church now possibly a residence in Waterbury, Nebraska Saturday, August 6, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I just enjoy the visual elements and attempt to find something appealing to share with others, and whether it is successful or not is something someone else will have to answer.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A former church now possibly a residence in Waterbury, Nebraska Saturday, August 6, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Santa in Siouxland, Rural Nebraska

20 Dec

During the “winter months” which could be from November to April, depending on the temperature,  I find it nice to get out of the house and into the country for a drive especially when the temperature is north of 15 degrees. To me temperature is important if you plan to photograph something and don’t want to lose your fingers or nose from the cold. And some days with wind gusts up to 20 miles and hour on the “prairie”, it’s just bone chilling.

I took a drive into Nebraska, checking out a small town for a possible story idea I want to pursue. On the drive I detoured down a gravel road and found a fun site, Santa in a barn. Maybe he was just scouting for a place to take a power nap during his busy night next week, but it’s not always in the city where one can find fun decorations.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Rural Nebraska

Cook’s Blacksmith Shop Museum

9 Aug

Recently C.O. Cook’s Blacksmith Repair shop museum was open in Ponca, NE. According to some literature it originally opened in 1884. I wasn’t able to glean a lot of information about the place, except that it functioned as a working smithy shop until sometime in the 1970’s as far as I understand. There are a number of original tools on hand that makes one realize what kind of technological advances have occurred. But it also makes one realize the craft that was involved in the work done. A local young man, Luke Sorensen, demonstrated some smith work using a portable forge he said dated from the late 1800’s. At this visit I met another local gentleman, Harold Curry, who said he grew up in the Ponca area and can remember as a boy men lining up with their horses waiting for them to be shoed.  The local Ponca Historical Society oversees the museum along with the blacksmith repair shop. President Jackie King-Coughlin said the shop is open roughly three times a year. That same day the Adams House Museum was also open and I will share some thoughts and photographs of the historic place in another post. Reprints can be found here.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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