Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Rural signage: Steer me to Pumpkinland October 24, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
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WHEN TRAVELING THROUGH RURAL MINNESOTA, and anywhere for that matter, my husband and I rely on good old paper maps and atlases to navigate in unfamiliar territory. Yes, we are old-fashioned that way, without GPS or smart phones.

We also count on signage to get us to specific destinations. Rural areas offer creative home-spun signs so I’m always scouting for eye-catching signage worthy of photographing.

En route to extreme southwestern Minnesota this past summer, I spotted signage for two businesses in the Vernon Center area, along Highway 169 south of Mankato.

First, the Vernon Center Market:

Photographed a month ago near Vernon Center.

Photographed this summer near Vernon Center.

There are several reasons I like this sign. Right off, the steer graphic catches my eye and tells me, without reading a single word, that this advertises a meat market. Second, the arrow tells me exactly where I’ll find the Vernon Center Market. Across from the Ball Park. Perfect. So small-townish. I also appreciate that business hours are listed, although I doubt a motorist would catch that while driving by.

And then there’s Pumpkinland, also near Vernon Center:

Pumpkinland near Vernon Center.

Pumpkinland near Vernon Center.

You can’t miss the sprawling sign, painted in a readable font. And the graphics are limited to pumpkins. Simple. Clutter-free. Quick to get the necessary business information out there.

And great for a passing photographer to photograph from the passenger side of a moving van.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


12 Responses to “Rural signage: Steer me to Pumpkinland”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Oh Pumpkinland looks amazing!!! I don’t even have one single pumpkin at my house right now which is kind of crazy! Maybe I need to make a trip to Pumpkinland!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      No pumpkins at my house either and I may not purchase any. Sad. But with the “kids” grown and gone…

      I’m not even sure Pumpkinland is open any more. The website was last updated in 2008.

  2. Mere Frost Says:

    I am into interesting signs as well! My mom always said that less is best!Actually..I think my mom was referrring to fashion when she said that. 🙂 In other words…you don’t need all your jewelry on for one outing! LOL You could fall in a pool! (my thinking) LOLThat just leads into “safety first”! 😉
    I like signs that are right to the point and you can’t miss! Nice and simple! I don’t have a GPS either. It takes all the fun out of exploring! 😀

    Speaking of pumpkins…I am still working on my squash and pumpkins…got my huge turkey roaster sitting on the counter filled with pumpkin, just waiting to be de-fleshed! New word here! Me and Shakespeare! R-i-g-h-t!!!!! Ahuh! LOL
    Have a great day Audrey! ((hugs)))

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      With a turkey roaster full of pumpkin, you most definitely won’t need to visit any Pumpkinland. De-fleshed works for me.

      I think your Mom was right. Less is often best.

  3. My eye is drawn to signage too – loving your captures, especially Pumpkinland:) Happy Thursday!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I only began appreciating rural signage in recent years. I don’t know why it took me so long. But now I find myself searching out those signs, especially unique and handcrafted ones.

    • The best signage I found was this summer on the Cannon Beach, Oregon Library with their wooden art of books and objects – so cool!

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        Yes, you do have a knack for finding and photographing some sweet signage to share with us on your blog.

  4. Jackie Says:

    I’m intrigued by unique signage as well, Love the two you captured, especially “pumpkinland” I think it’s just the simple clean look 🙂

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, oftentimes less is better. What I like about the meat market sign is the “across from the ball park” directions.

  5. hotlyspiced Says:

    The image taken in the summer is beautiful. It looks very serene and if I was a cow, I think I’d be pretty happy in those fields – as long as there wasn’t a sign above my head saying, ‘meat market’ xx

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      LOL. Wouldn’t want to let a cow into that unripened cornfield to munch on leaves during the summer as they’d end up bloated with gas and quite ill. Farmers, within the last month, began harvesting corn here in southern Minnesota.

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