Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Main Street America January 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:04 PM
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Main Street in West Concord, Minnesota, population 836, photographed in the fall of 2010

MAIN STREET. Those two words paint a Norman Rockwell image in our minds of barber shops and lunch counters, of neighborliness and kindness and close-knit families, and all that is good about small town life.

In the real world, such an idyllic place exists primarily in our imaginations.

Yet, if you look closely enough, if you take the time, you can still find those small towns, those special places that hearken to a simpler era.

In these communities, you can walk down the middle of Main Street without concern for traffic.

You can walk into a café, the hardware store, a bar and watch heads pivot toward you, the stranger.

You’ll feel the questioning eyes, the locals wondering what the heck brought you here, to their little town, their Main Street.

The West Concord Liquor Store in the 1911 City Hall building.

American Legion Post 295 in the 1911 Blaisdell building on West Concord's Main Street. I can only imagine how beautiful this building would be returned to its original glory, minus the siding.

A sign marks one of West Concord's newest businesses, Omar's Cafe. The caramel rolls here are "to die for." I'll share more about this cafe in a future post.

Woody's Auto Literature & More is one of the more intriguing West Concord businesses, located at 150 Main Street. Unfortunately, the business was closed when I was in town last fall.

Businesses along Main Street in West Concord.

The architecture on some of West Concord's downtown buildings is stunning. I hope the community appreciates these historical treasures like this 1913 Smith building.

Herold Flags, another unusual business along Main Street in West Concord, sells flags and flagpoles.

A mural graces the side of a building next to a park along Main Street in West Concord. The community has an annual summer car and truck show and, I think, other car cruises.

DO YOU KNOW of an interesting, or have a favorite, Main Street, U.S.A.?

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling