First Street East, Independence, Iowa

The panoramic photo of downtown Independence serves us well again, as we can now look up and down First Street East to the east and west (where the Wapsipinicon Mill is visible to the far left). You can see the mill to the left; its view would have been partially blocked if the east mill…

Second Avenue Northeast, Independence, Iowa

Praise the Lord for Frederick J. Bandholtz and his panoramic photos of several towns around northeastern Iowa, including the downtown of Independence. Above you can see straight ahead Second Avenue Northeast, which looks much the same now as it did then. We’ll start up at the north end of the block at Second Street Northeast…

Munson Building, Independence, Iowa

We spotted the Munson Building from a block away, and immediately our interest was piqued. At first, we thought it was the old Buchanan County Courthouse, and then, when we got a little closer, we assumed it was a church. Then we got up close, and I spotted the figure of Minerva, the Roman goddess…

Interior, Wapsipinicon Mill, Independence, Iowa

The interior of the Wapsipinicon Mill is very well preserved, and shows most of the original wood machinery that ground flour and functioned as other types of milling over the life of the building. Of particular interest was a board that had once faced the interior of a grain shoot that had been worn smooth…

Wapsipinicon Mill, Independence, Iowa

Occasionally, I kick myself for coming within one block or less of some amazing building and totally missing it. That is certainly the case of the historic Wapsipinicon Mill in Independence, Iowa, which I drove within about five hundred feet in 2011 and 2018 without even noticing. I corrected those mistakes this visit, and extensively…

Independence State Hospital, Iowa

I first visited Independence, Iowa, which is the county seat of Buchanan County in the northeastern portion of the state, in 2011 and photographed the streetscape improvements in the downtown area (though I didn’t post the photos until 2018). As it turns out, Independence is full of all sorts of surprises, and I will be…

Railroad Machine Shops, Oelwein, Iowa, Revisited

We went back to try and get a better view of what I discovered were old railroad machine shops in Oelwein, which I had viewed back in the fall of 2018 (seventh photo down). Unfortunately, due to the height of the undergrowth, the buildings were largely obscured. But they are massive, and dominate the center…

Gothic Revival Cottage, Fayette, Iowa, Revisited

Back in October of 2018, I visited the town of Fayette in northeastern Iowa, which has a plethora of beautiful buildings, including this intriguing Gothic Revival house, which is the western of a pair. I dawned on me that the house was probably abandoned back then as it now. One thing I noticed is the obvious…

Montauk, Clermont, Iowa

Back in the fall of 2018, I had discovered the town of Clermont in northeastern Iowa, one of the most special places in America. I realized later I had missed one of the most amazing houses in America, high up on the hill above the town. That house and surrounding estate is Montauk, the home…

Round Barn, Hazleton, Iowa

We visited our family’s farm near Maynard, Iowa in mid July and also traveled through an Amish settlement near Hazleton, in Buchanan County. There is a round barn, but it is on private property, so we could not get very close to photograph it. But the landscape is still beautiful in the mid-summer light.