Independence Mental Health Institute, Revisited

I thought the photos of the impressive Second Empire expanse of the Independence State Hospital were too cloudy, so we went back on a bright sunny day to get better photos. See the original post from July of 2021 for more original historical photos and plans on this Kirkbride plan institution.

Sinclair Dinosaur Sighting

It has been over a decade since I last spotted the rare Sinclair Dinosaur, brontosaurus sinclairensus, in its natural habitat of a gas station. This one is in Iowa, in an undisclosed location. Note that the owner has chained it to the canopy support to prevent theft. The one in Dutchtown, which I photographed in…

Around Buchanan County, Iowa, July 2022

In a clockwise route, we explored various small towns in Buchanan County, starting in the northeast with Lamont, where we first spied this foundation above left behind but incorporated into a horse enclosure. There was also a half-flounder downtown on the main street, though I don’t know how old it was. Another sight was a…

Fayette and Upper Iowa University, Revisited

We returned to Fayette, which I looked at back in the fall of 2018. This time, the weather was sunny, and I was able to catch a more cheerful view of the town. I actually photographed this Queen Anne beauty below, which is now an AirBnB where my family stayed during our time in the…

Family Farm, Deer Creek Township, Illinois, June 2022

I took a short trip up to my family’s farm east of Peoria and the crops were just starting to mature out in the fields. I didn’t expect to find these flowers growing so big on the north side of the old ice house. And the tree that is just about dead seems to have…

Around Marshall County, Illinois, June 2022

North of Washburn is the town of La Rose, which is in Marshall County. The country actually has two parts on either side of the Illinois River. The town is dominated by a grain elevator, a part of which looks to be quite old. The booth for the truck scale is still standing, much like…

Around Woodford County, Illinois, June 2022

I went around and looked at some of the towns northeast of the family farm. I started with Eureka, the county seat of Woodford County. I could have sworn I had featured the courthouse before, but apparently not. Got to love the bank where they filled in the windows–who needs natural light when there’s amazing…

St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Church, Peoria, Interior

I was absolutely stunned and delighted to find some magnificent paintings on the interior of St. Mark’s when I went inside on a quiet Saturday. There’s a long story about how the parish renovated the church to undo changes done in the mid-Twentieth Century, but one of the major alterations was to embrace the work…

St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Church, Peoria, Exterior

Up the hill in Peoria away from the South Side is St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Church, which has roots going back to 1891. It is interesting in that it has only two front portals. As is typical of many German Gothic Revival churches, the spire is offset and transitions to an octagonal shape above the…