Tag Archives: sioux center 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 ©)

A Charred History in Siouxland, Sioux Center

21 Jan

A few weeks back on what was a warm day for winter I visited Sioux Center, Iowa, and in particular stopped by the Heritage Village there. I was sad to see there had been a fire in one of the buildings, and learned later through someone I know that the fire might be suspicious in nature. Fires happen, especially in winter, but to intentionally set a fire in a place that teaches local history to local area residents is really sad and disturbing. I haven’t heard much since visiting there in early December but I am certain that some of the items lost in the fire were irreplaceable pieces of history that someone local had donated. And a setback for those who volunteer their time to teach history and raise funding to support the village so area children and adults can actually see what life was like for their ancestors.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Decorating Siouxland for Christmas, Orange City and Sioux Center

25 Dec

A couple weeks ago I met a friend in the northern part of Siouxland in Sioux Center to talk about helping with a project he is involved with and then took some time to look at decorations in Sioux Center and Orange City, Iowa. Both are conservative communities, leaning more on the red side of the scale than the blue side if one keeps track of that sort of balance. The residents of these communities have a deep abiding faith in God, and so their outlook for Christmas decorations tend to be minimal. They celebrate the Christmas season for the reason the Bible gives as opposed to the secular view bandied about, although that probably doesn’t mean gifts are purchased and shared among families and friends.

The decorations are nice, simplistic and fitting. Hung with care, reflective of their own nature, and sharing their joy with residents and visitors alike.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Christmas decoration in Orange City Iowa, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga ©)

Christmas decoration in Orange City Iowa, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga ©)

Christmas decorations in Orange City Iowa, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga ©)

Christmas decorations in Orange City Iowa, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga ©)

Christmas decoration in Sioux Center Iowa, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga ©)

Christmas decoration in Sioux Center Iowa, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga ©)

Learning Siouxland History in Heritage Village, Sioux Center

8 Oct

In early September I had the good fortune to visit Heritage Village in Sioux Center, Iowa, when it was open and volunteered by people portraying early settlers and on hand to explain about life on the prairie and what it was like for early settlers in the region. On that particular day close to 1,000 area school children visited the Village and watched in awe almost trying to understand how early settlers survived with what they had then. The kids were fascinated with hand water pumps, churning butter, and living in a sod hut like early farmers in the area. Places like the Heritage Village give us a snapshot of where we have been and truly how far via technology we have traveled, yet also the independence of early pioneers. It was a good day and reminder of life in general and to appreciate what one has at hand.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

 

A walk back in time in Siouxland, Sioux Center

11 Sep

Heritage Village in Sioux Center, Iowa, will be hosting its heritage days soon, a look at early American history of the area. Everything from a mud hut that early pioneering families would live in on the prairie to a wood frame farmhouse and a replica of a farm. I came across the village while attending the Sioux County youth fair earlier this summer. I had never noticed it before, but it is an amazing place to spend some time, and will be even more interesting when open with people there to help one understand early pioneer life in and around the part of Iowa.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland Youth Fair in Sioux County, Sioux Center

12 Jul

This week begins the start of the annual fair openings for various communities and counties around the Siouxland region. I visited the Sioux County Youth Fair this past weekend.

It officially starts Monday with 4-H kids and FFA (Future Farmers of America) members bringing in their items to be judged on Monday, and they will be showing their items for competition and these can range from photography, animal husbandry, arts, crafts, baking, engineering, etc.

The showing that took place this weekend was an open show for beef people and goats owners which allows people outside the immediate area to compete as well. During the regular fair competition it is generally just those people who live within a certain geographic area that competes in their county fairs.

The participation of possible 4-H members has grown since I was a 4-H member in the latter 1960’s and early ’70’s. In those days, 4-H mainly consisted of kids in the rural areas of their communities, basically farm kids. Today it’s very inclusive of children living in towns and cities.

And the projects available for competition has grown as well. The credo of 4-H has always been learn by doing. And like any worthwhile activity such as sports, there is work involved in participating and doing well. These youngsters have spent considerable time creating their projects or tending to their animals. Records have to be kept and information learned, especially with animals. Those raising animals may have to later recall that info when asked by a judge.

So it’s fun to reminisce and watch a younger generation, or two, or three, go through the growing pains I went through in completing a project. And by today’s standards, there is so much more competition for kids’ attention than when I was that age.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Ag Day in Siouxland, Sioux Center

26 Apr

A small Christian-based college in Siouxland is Dordt College located in Sioux Center, Iowa. The school offers a four year program in agriculture and every year has an Ag Day on campus, where students and visitors alike can see various aspects of agriculture, mostly in the form of farm animals, equipment and talking with those attending. Plus there is a little bit of humor involved with a bale roll contest, a tire throwing contest and dress up in “old farm clothes” for a photo. Plus this year there was a pulled pork lunch with chips and beans. Pretty down to earth lunch fare.

It is amazing, having grown up on a farm, to see the changes occurring in farm equipment. To see some of today’s tractors and other implements compared to the “antique” tractors on display that day on campus there is just no comparison. Today’s machinery is huge. A planter set up to move on the road, which is different from how it looks being used in field was enormous. At least one, if not two, city buses long. Everything is bigger and better, although that is not necessarily true. But that is another story for another day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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