Saturday, July 21, 2012


It was so fun posting the Wadena pictures that I thought I'd keep the momentum going and post some more of my favorites from Volga and Strawberry Point, Iowa.  When possible I will include the corresponding postcards that prompted my visit, but often times something else caught my eye. That was part of the fun!

I think I'd like to start off with my favorite building that I encountered during my swing through Eastern, Iowa. It was in the town of Volga. The only postcard that I have from the town features the Olinger Hotel and dates back to 1908.

There is not a lot of town left in Volga, and certainly not this big brick behemoth, but there is this beautiful building. This was love at first site!!
 I sat in front of this building snapping photo after photo while a local pulled up in a pickup and just watched me. He was shaking his head in disbelief, but I think this is one of those cases of not appreciating what's in your own back yard.

Friday night we stayed in Strawberry Point at The Franklin Hotel. This is a notoriously haunted spot in Iowa and I'd hoped to hear some thing that go bump in the night. My Mom insists that she heard footsteps walking on the floor above us at about 2:30 in the morning, only to realize that there was no floor over us, we were on the top floor as far as we knew. But I slept through the ghostly ruckus.

I have quite a few postcards from Strawberry Point, and sitting on the patio of The Franklin after supper and a walk, we were able to match up quite a few of them.

The locals said the postcard photo above was kitty corner from the Franklin Hotel, but that was difficult to see. Below is the same block, but perhaps you can see my disbelief.

I think that this postcard is easier to point out the block seen above.

Much easier to spot was the block down from the hotel. All you had to do was count up the windows and line up the bubble windows to see this was the indeed identical. The Franklin Hotel is visible in the far right hand side of the postcard. This dates 1909.

Here is the same view today in Strawberry Point.

The last postcard that I succeeded in matching involves several residencies on Mission Street. Here is how the block looked in 1907.

Jump in the time machine - and here it is today.

I went for an early morning walk through town - leaving my mother alone in the room with the ghosts and found some wonderful sights down the gravel side streets. I got caught in a shower, but I didn't mind. Here is an old feed building that I fell in love with. The cupola on the roof drew my attention from blocks away.

Across the street from the Franklin Hotel was a unique building that was one of my favorites. It had been an insurance office for decades, but had recently been bought and it's future is uncertain. It was rounded much like the corner of the hotel, but it had a post modern feel with the large windows and curvy roof. I would make it a coffee shop, but hey that's just me.

If you get to Strawberry Point you have to stop for breakfast at Back Home Country Cooking. For six bucks I got an endless cup of coffee and a gigantic Fiesta plate of food. I ordered the #11, which was called something like "GRILL EVERYTHING". It was every breakfast food out there covered in cheese and gravy. The standout was their spicy sausage that they make themselves. They also specialized in pies, with ten different varieties listed on a blackboard for you to choose from. I loved it, and the owners were very friendly and fun.

I still have a few more towns to get to - so come on back tomorrow.


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