Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Grace under the water tower October 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 10:23 AM
This sign on the corner of a Main Street business in Nerstrand directs motorists to Grace Lutheran Church.

This sign on the corner of a Main Street business in Nerstrand directs motorists to Grace Lutheran Church.

Grace Lutheran Church, the church under the water tower in Nerstrand.

Grace Lutheran Church, the church under the water tower in Nerstrand.

I HAD INTENDED today to write about the beautiful fall colors here in southeastern Minnesota. That was the plan. But plans don’t always go as planned.

Although some leaves are turning shades of gold and orange, most remain green, as my husband and I discovered Sunday while driving northeast of Faribault to see the colors.

Despite our disappointment, we still had a delightful afternoon that included churches, old buildings, a school, winding gravel roads, wooly caterpillars, a fallen tree and lots more. I figure I got enough material for about a half dozen blogs from our several-hour auto tour. I see stories and photos in places often overlooked by others.

So, to kick off this motoring series, we’ll stop briefly in Nerstrand, population about 230. Like most small Minnesota towns, Nerstrand’s skyline is marked by grain elevators, the water tower and church spires.

And just in case you can’t find Grace Lutheran Church, there are signs to direct you to the church under the water tower, like one posted on a corner brick building along Main Street. I thought the sign rather clever and Lake Wobegonish.

Speaking of signs, let’s detour to Rice County Road 20 between Cannon City and Northfield. If you’re looking for a house to buy, here’s a real fixer-upper.

The "for sale" sign actually directs potential buyers to a house just down the road. But I thought the signs placement in front of this dilapidated school quite humorous.

The "for sale" sign actually directs potential buyers to a house just down the road. But I found the sign's placement in front of this dilapidated building quite humorous.

This bullet-ridden "home" will need new windows. But you can get a federal energy tax credit to offset the cost.

This bullet-ridden "home" needs new windows. But you can get a federal energy tax credit to offset the cost.

The place will need a new roof too, but there's potential here.

The place needs a new roof too, but there's potential.

(I’ll take you back to Nerstrand in future blogs. There’s much more to see in this charming rural community located near Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, typically one of southern Minnesota’s most colorful parks in the fall. Colors simply were not at their peak on Sunday.)

© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

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