Tag Archives: sioux center iowa

Celebrating Fall Harvest in Siouxland at the Heritage Village, Sioux Center

7 Oct

An annual event in Sioux Center is the Heritage Village Harvest Festival that celebrates early pioneer life in Siouxland. The Friday of that particular weekend local schools generally bring some of their school children to visit to see what life was like one or even two centuries ago without the modern convenience of grocery stores or indoor plumbing.

School children try their hand at pumping water during the Heritage Village Harvest Festival in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday Sept. 15, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Heritage Village volunteer Dave Schelhaas gets a young volunteer to help dig potatoes in the garden during Harvest Festival in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday Sept. 15, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Volunteers dress up in period outfits and help to explain to the children and visitors alike the types of life and “appliances” previously used by settlers who first arrived in the immediate area in which the children live and the kind of life they encountered.

Visitors wait their turn to look inside a small sod house which was a normal dwelling during early pioneer days during the Heritage Village Harvest Festival in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday Sept. 15, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Heritage Village volunteer Gloria Hoekstra shows young students from a local school how butter is made during Harvest Festival in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday Sept. 15, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Children are rightfully amazed at how people lived decades ago and how much progress has been made. So many, even living within an agricultural area such as Iowa, have never been to a farm and their parents probably don’t have a garden. So a little dose of history and the understanding of so many things we take for granted today is beneficial to them and other visitors too. When I hear of people talking about “simpler” times I must consciously keep from rolling my eyes and asking which times? Before air conditioning or after it. And for whom. Not all people enjoyed the benefits of progress as they were first introduced and so I wonder how much simpler times were then.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Looking for the Unexpected in Siouxland, Sioux Center

14 May

When I previously worked for newspapers as a staff photographer, I was always on the look out for the unexpected. Big and little things in life that seem out of the ordinary for the context in which you find it. While visiting Dordt College a bit ago with a class, we walked over to the small campus and was looking at the spring blossoming trees and sculpted art work that graces the campus grounds. And then, unexpectedly, I see a young woman “dumpster diving” a large trash bin. Dumpster diving has been around a few decades, as those less affluent in some parts of the country look for items that might be valuable to them while not valuable to the person who tossed the item into the trash.

It seemed a little out of place at this small Christian college, but then again, one man’s/woman’s trash is another’s treasure. The young woman explained she was looking for salvageable items she could use for next year’s term and unlike going through the trash in places like New York City or Los Angeles, these items were probably in a little better shape.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing Color in Siouxland, Heritage Village in Sioux Center

9 May

On my most recent outing with students in my Lifelong Learning class of Photo Safari we spent a good portion of the class at the Heritage Village in Sioux Center. It was a brilliant spring day and colors just seemed to pop everywhere one looked. The Heritage Village is a historical montage of area history with a sod house similar to what early settlers may have lived in, as well other stores like a leather maker, general dry goods store and a blacksmith shop. It was just a nice day to be outside, enjoying the spring weather and taking photographs.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing Sunshine in Siouxland, Heritage Village in Sioux Center

21 Feb

Like many parts of the U.S. recently, Siouxland had an unexpected warmup and it was nice to see sunshine again. The quality of light is sweet, hard and very defined. And it was just nice to be outside with a jacket and hat and not freezing too much to look for photos. Spring is approaching, and Mother Nature was really teasing this past week.

I took a trip up to Sioux Center and visited the Heritage Village. A historical replica of what could be found in the area during the early settler days and more recent, at least if one believes the 1940’s and 50’s are more recent. But it was just a nice day to enjoy and see the sunshine.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Celebrating History in Siouxland, Sioux Center

5 Sep

Sioux Center, Iowa, is another Siouxland community that celebrated its quasquicentennial this summer, or its 125th anniversary. And there was again a parade. I enjoy small town parades, even though most are similar to one another. Most times Shriners participate, as do owners of antique tractors and the various businesses in the community and with these milestone anniversaries, generational families. A day when people get together and enjoy one another’s company, taking their minds off current events and celebrating what is good right at home.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Sunny Side of Siouxland, Heritage Village

29 Feb

This past December I took a trip north to Sioux Center, Iowa, when it was a sunny day just to get out and about and photograph. After a few dreary days of overcast skies, it was nice to see and feel the sunshine, even though it was still cold. I stopped by the Heritage Village to check if it was open, and spent a little time just enjoying the sun and walking about. Now that March will be here in another day, I am looking forward to getting out more and seeing sunshine again on a daily basis. As nice as overcast days can be, the sun just adds another nice element to the photographic mix.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing Color in Siouxland, Heritage Village

17 Feb

The last few days have been fairly drab and dreary, with overcast skies and the potential for snow off and on. The sun peeks through the clouds at times, but the little it is seen makes one long for that first day of spring with sunshine, blue skies and warmer temperatures. Earlier in winter I took a trip north to Sioux Center, Iowa and visited the Heritage Village. It was a sunny, cold day. But the sun just makes some colors pop some days and I was lucky on my visit there to see this barn door. I remind students in some of my photo classes not to get lost in the forest when looking at trees, and the same is true when out shooting, that one sometimes forgets to isolate those areas of interest which by itself may not be significant, but can still make a nice photo.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Color at Heritage Village in Sioux Center Iowa, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga ©)

Color at Heritage Village in Sioux Center Iowa, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga ©)

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