Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Sign junkie October 14, 2011

A note on the door at Medallion Case.

YOU MIGHT NOT APPRECIATE business signage like me. Heck, you may not even pay much attention to signs unless, of course, you are looking for a specific place. Then you would notice.

But I notice signs because I consider them to be works of art, reflections of personalities and history, trademarks of small-town life, and sources of entertainment.

I’m not talking about the mass-produced, generic signage that marks a chain store. Rather, I mean those handcrafted and/or custom signs (and notes) you’ll find on small-town Main Street or along rural roadways.

Recently, signage in Nerstrand, a village of 233 residents in eastern Rice County near Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, attracted my interest.

And because most of you aren’t going to drive to Nerstrand to see these signs, you can just view them here.

Then, once you’ve perused my discoveries, I challenge you to go out into your own communities and search for sign art.

WARNING: If you accept this assignment, you may become a sign junkie just like me.

No confusion about the meat market business located here along Main Street Nerstrand.

Additional signage on the Nerstrand Meats building highlights the products available.

Another business sign along Nerstrand's Main Street.

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

Just so you believe me, here's Grace, under the water tower.

BONUS: I’ve tossed in two signs from rural Dennison also.

This sign at the end of the driveway at 2290 Goodhue County 49 Blvd will direct you to Potpourri Mill Log Cabin near Dennison. That's Vang Lutheran Church in the background.

Once you drive up to the log cabin, you'll see this season appropriate sign outside the front door. Inside you'll find the Harvest Thyme Craft Show, which runs weekends through October 16.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling