Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A photographic tour of downtown Fergus Falls May 30, 2013

A snippet of Fergus Falls' downtown.

A snippet of Fergus Falls’ historic and pedestrian friendly downtown.

I SINCERELY HOPE the fine people of Fergus Falls in west central Minnesota appreciate their historic downtown. It’s a gem.

A stroll through the downtown business district on a recent Thursday evening left me gaping at the detailed architecture, words imprinted in granite, sculpted eagles and sculpted otters, stately brick buildings, a lovely old theatre, quaint signage and art, yes, art.

This Otter Tail riverside community of nearly 14,000 along Interstate 94 an hour southeast of Fargo impresses me. Join me on a photographic tour and I expect you will feel likewise.

The Kaddatz Galleries features the work of noted Fergus Falls artist Charles Beck, known for his woodcut prints.

Kaddatz Galleries features, among other art, the work of noted Fergus Falls artist Charles Beck, known for his woodcut prints.

Examples of Charles Beck's woodcut prints in the Kaddatz Galleries.

Examples of Charles Beck’s woodcut prints in the Kaddatz Galleries.

Words chiseled in granite on the front of a building. I would love to know the story behind this.

Words chiseled in granite…I would love to know the story behind this. The inscriptions cover the bottom front of the building.

A Mexican restaurant adds a jolt of color to the downtown.

A Mexican restaurant adds a jolt of color to the downtown.

When I inquired at Kaddatz Galleries about the identity of this street corner statue, I didn't get an answer.

When I inquired at Kaddatz Galleries about the identity of this street corner statue, I didn’t get an answer. The gracious gallery tender says plans are in place to identify public art. Good idea.

I spotted The Fergus Falls Daily Journal tucked into a door handle downtown.

I spotted The Fergus Falls Daily Journal tucked into a door handle downtown.

Another stately corner building.

Another stately corner building.

I stared for awhile at this sculpture atop the historic River Inn before realizing these are otters. The inn sits along the banks of the Otter Tail River.

I stared for a while at this sculpture atop the historic River Inn before realizing these are otters. The inn sits along the Otter Tail River. I believe this building today houses only apartments and does not operate as an inn.

A downtown barbershop complete with a barber's pole charms visitors like me.

The Uptown Barber Shop, complete with a barber’s pole, charms visitors like me.

This hulking federal building houses courtrooms and the post office.

This hulking federal building houses courtrooms and the post office.

Stunning eagle sculptures span the entries into the federal building.

Stunning eagle sculptures span the front entries into the federal building.

Audience members filter into an historic theatre for a play presented at a Center for the Arts.

Audience members filter into an historic theatre for a play presented at A Center for the Arts.

Just another shot of businesses in downtown Fergus Falls.

Just another shot of businesses in downtown Fergus Falls.

FYI: To view previous posts from Fergus Falls, use my blog search engine to check my archives. I posted last week and during the week of June 12-18, 2011, on my first visit to Fergus Falls.  Also, watch for more posts from this community.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling