Previously I had visited Stanton Iowa and wrote about it here. I was back this summer and the day I was there it was raining, but I did manage to get some shots of the coffee pot and coffee cup. You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about.
Stanton Iowa’s claim to fame is that it is the hometown of actress Virginia Christine, best known to television viewers as “Mrs. Olsen” in classic commercials for Folgers. As such the town has seen fit to honor it’s former inhabitant by making the town’s two water towers resemble a coffee pot and a cup on a saucer.
A sign giving stats of the water tower
Coffee Pot Water tower
Coffee Pot Water tower
Sign giving stats of Cup and Saucer Water Tower
Cup and Saucer Water tower
Minnesota is chock full of rural churches in a stark contrast to the trend in the larger cities which is to grow mega churches.
These small churches are special in that it’s a very close congregation typically. The problem they have long term is with the young people migrating to the city, the congregation is composed of older and older members. Things like painting and other maintenance tasks that would have been done by volunteer member labor start to be too much given the age of the members. Fixed incomes of members and a shrinking congregation due to mortality mean less funds for upkeep. I will say though, I see the country churches doing better than their small town counter parts. I’m not sure why that is.
This beautiful town hall is in Cottonwood County, Minnesota six miles south of the town of Storden. In addition to being used as a polling place and township hall it was once a school.
School district No. 5 was formed in Springfield township, from sections 26, 27, 28, 33, 34 and 35, in township 105, range 37. Source.
Springfield Town Hall
Genealogy trails had this little tidbit that I found interesting and mildly amusing.
Springfield township is the second from the western line of the county and is on the south line, with Southbrook township at its west, Amo township at its north, Great Bend township at its east and Jackson county at the south. It comprises all of congressional township 105, range 37 west The main stream and south branch of the Des Moines river flow from the south-east to the northeast of this township, forming the great bend, after leaving and entering Great Bend township. This is an excellent township and the farming interests are good. The people are of the thrifty type, who always succeed in accumulating wealth. Once a barren prairie domain, it has, under the touch and labor of its settlers, come to be known as one of the finest in the county. Its groves, which were planted out by the thoughtful settlers, have come to be of great beauty and utility, both for the fuel and shelter they afford against the severe elements.
I’m not disputing the statement, but I wonder if that observation was of a third party or if it’s more of the case the author putting some personal thoughts down.
Back on June 15th I was out photographing and took this shot. As you can see, things were quite wet then. I liked this shot because of the reflection of the silos in the water.
Silos in the water
A little bit about the type of silos in the photo is excerpted below.
Concrete Stave Silos. Concrete stave silos are commonly constructed of staves that measure 30 inches long, 10 inches wide, and 2 ½ inches thick. A variety of edges were used to ensure a tight fit including tongue and grooved edge, concave and convex edges and interlocking devices. The staves are held in place with metal hoops. Concrete stave silos are usually crowned by hemispherical metal caps. http://www.farmbuildingguide.org/silos.html
Was out and about for a little bit today. Like most of Minnesota we’ve had a wet spring and first half of the summer and things just can’t seem to dry out before we get hit with more rain. Spring planting was late and then the floods came. Rivers and creeks out of their banks, prairie potholes turned into lakes.
Creek still out of its banks
This scene is very common, even now the 19th of July.
More damage from a creek flooding
This creek has returned to it’s banks, but you can see clearly where the flooding was.
This pot hole is pretty much a loss I think The farmer has planted soy beans in it and they are up, but about three inches high. Unless we have a very late frost not much will come of this.
Lastly this is a corn field. The wet conditions have been hard on the corn, stunted growth, yellowing and various heights of corn tell the tale. The fields that do look good are ones that were in ground that does not flood and were planted before the flooding rains. Even those, however, are a couple weeks behind other parts of Minnesota I have seen.
Carver County seems to have taken the brunt of the excess moisture this year. A few roads are still closed due to flood damage to the road. A July 2nd article mentions that the state has sustained an estimated 32 million dollars of flood damage. 9.2 million, nearly 1/3 of the Minnesota total is in Carver County. http://www.kduz.com/2014/07/02/mn-flood-damage-estimatescarver-county-hit-hardest/
A few months ago in the grips of cabin fever, I lashed out in a fit of defiance, and took a day off of work when the sun took occasion to shine. As I’m wont to do, I got in the car and drove the country roads. Sometimes the less idea I have of where I’m going the better. Like most times, this technique paid off.
I came upon a wonderful country church and cemetery. I didn’t’ realize at the time of taking the photos there is a great story behind the church.
Budejovice Chruch, Montgomery, Minn
I Am The Way, Truth And Life – John XIV 6
“Built in 1868 by Czech settlers who later moved to a bigger parish in Montgomery, the Budejovice Church had not been home to a congregation in more than a century.”. The church was adopted by a caretaker and restored. My words would only come up short, so watch the video.
Since the video it would appear the church has had the siding replaced, received a new roof and is having the steeple worked on and looks as in the photo below which is a similar angle to some of the shots in the video.
Budejovice Church, Montgomery, Minn
I couldn’t find any details about the new work.
There is nothing as refreshing to me as simply driving the backroads in search of whatever is over the next hill. It restores my mind and makes me think of time decades ago when the family farm was flourishing.
Roads such as the one above are peaceful things. No traffic jams, almost no traffic, time to pull over and snap a photo without risking your life or endangering other motorists, room to turn around if you decide you want to go the other way, you can travel at your own pace without impacting others, you will see wildlife, the road goes through things rather than around, you feel the road, it’s soft not hard like tar or cement,you might see livestock on the road, you will see tractors on the road, you will see places with character, sanitization is for interstates. [shout out to James Joyce]
Traditional farm houses are an interest of mine. This style was common to the upper midwest. They were added onto as the farm and family grew. This one has a nice porch on the front you can just make out under the tree. This house is in nice shape and is well maintained. Many traditional farmhouses are having the same fate as the barns, so I’m preserving them as part of my rural photography collective.