Tag Archives: sergeant bluff iowa

History in Siouxland Sergeant Bluff

3 Feb

I always find it fun to explore history, especially if it is close by and local. A friend recently made me aware of a small museum in Sergeant Bluff, The Sergeant Bluff Historical Museum. The small community is named for Sergeant Charles Floyd who was the only person to die on the Lewis and Clark Expedition exploring the west and what would become the Louisiana Purchase, seeking information for President Thomas Jefferson .

The Sergeant Bluff Historical Museum located in downtown Sergeant Bluff, Iowa Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Photos on display of an earlier period of Sergeant Bluff at the Sergeant Bluff Historical Museum in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

While the community is named for one of the explorers of the western U.S., the contents of the museum are more home-based and concerns the community itself and its own past. The area was settled in the 1850’s, mostly by trappers. It was later platted in the middle 1850’s and appears to have become incorporated as a community in the early 1900’s.

A horse drawn school bus with an earlier version of the community’s name on the side at the Sergeant Bluff Historical Museum in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. A docent said the “Sargent Bluffs” spelling was in the late 1800’s and later changed by the state when the community became incorporated. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

A copy of a 1919 horse drawn school bus on display at the Sergeant Bluff Historical Museum in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

At one point the community’s name was called Sargent Bluff’s and later changed to its present spelling of Sergeant Bluff. Exploring bits and pieces of history is always fun since one never really knows what one might find. The museum contained a replica of an early era kitchen and one-room school.

A replica setting of a school room on display at the Sergeant Bluff Historical Museum in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

And treasures were “stuffed” into what available space is there. I was informed the museum has undergone changes over the years, increasing in size and changing locations to better accommodate its collection of items.

In an attempt to display more items a farm wagon was hoisted up onto a platform to allow more floor space for other exhibits at the Sergeant Bluff Historical Museum in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

I always enjoy getting out of my immediate surroundings and visiting other communities, but sometimes those little gems can be found closer to home and provide a fun and informative opportunity as well.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

 

Not quite lost in Siouxland, but hidden, kind of, Sergeant Bluff

29 Jun

I found a cemetery in Siouxland I was not familiar with near Sioux City, Iowa, the Woodbury Township Cemetery located nearer Sergeant Bluff. In the Siouxland area, like many places, there are those places which are just overlooked by most folk. A student in one of my photo classes for the community college’s Lifelong Learning program told me about it. The occupants of the cemetery lived and died in the middle and late 1800’s, although there are newer graver sites.

The link for the cemetery doesn’t say much about the cemetery itself, but is a listing people who are buried there. A number of the occupants fought during the Civil War. Again, a quiet place to contemplate life and ponder what life was like for these earlier pioneering people who populated the area in 1800’s and later. How has life changed and would they even recognize the area they lived and died in?

Guess I won’t ever really know, but still, I think about it.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Siouxland Iowa scenics

29 Jul

Growing up on a farm and living in a rural area of Illinois, the scenery is not much different than what you may find in western Iowa, or southeastern South Dakota or northeastern Nebraska. Farm land, and lots of it. Rolling hills in this area currently resplendent with corn and bean fields, at least those areas not seriously affected by the current drought conditions. And sitting among these acres of farm land are those wooden barn structures that have been used for hundreds of years, but are slowly disappearing in some areas as more economical steel structures replace them. I have always liked photographing the country side, and those old, weathered barns and other buildings that give a sense of nostalgia to what the rural agricultural area was once. But there are fewer of them now. As farms grow in size to compete with multi national companies that own large farms themselves, the barns are falling apart, not cared for, not needed in this faster paced, get it done modern world we now live in. From time to time I will be posting images of scenics throughout the Siouxland area that I come across, for those nostalgic reasons and because I personally find them beautiful to look at, and holding remnants of the past from which this country grew. More work can be found here.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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