Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

If you’ve never explored Montgomery, Minnesota, that is January 20, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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A snapshot of downtown Montgomery last Saturday afternoon as strong winds whipped a light snow.

A snapshot of downtown Montgomery last Saturday afternoon as strong winds whipped a light snow.

“WHAT’S IN MONTGOMERY?” friends asked when I mentioned that my husband and I had been there Saturday afternoon.

That would be Montgomery, Minnesota. Not Alabama.

What’s in Montgomery, a small town of nearly 3,000 that lies a half hour to the northwest of my Faribault home? I’m always surprised when people know little about nearby communities.

Vintage signage on historic buildings is part of Montgomery's charm.

Vintage signage on historic buildings is part of Montgomery’s charm.

So I rattled off a lengthy answer: Montgomery Brewing Company, Franke’s Bakery, Hilltop Hall (and the Curtain Call Theatre), Pizzeria 201 (with farm-to-table food), Quilter’s Dream, Bird’s Nest Thrift Store, Herrmann Drug, Card & Gifts, Big Honza’s Museum of Unnatural History, LaNette’s Antiques ‘n Lace, Main Street Barber, the Montgomery Veterans Project and several bars.

Of course, there’s much more to Montgomery and my list may not be totally current. I’ve posted about all of these places in the past.

Simply another view of the business district.

Simply another view of Montgomery’s business district.

If you enjoy exploring small towns like Randy and I do, you will appreciate Montgomery, a community with a deep Czech heritage reflected in its self-proclaimed Kolacky Capital of the World title and its annual summertime Kolacky Days celebration.

I love the look of this town with historic downtown buildings, cozy neighborhoods and a definite rural and patriotic feel. Flags line a section of the main drag. A grain elevator abuts train tracks on the north end, next to the grocery store.

Montgomery, at least when I’ve visited numerous times, is soothingly quiet and inviting. Not touristy. But welcoming in the sort of setting Norman Rockwell might have painted.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


18 Responses to “If you’ve never explored Montgomery, Minnesota, that is”

  1. Dan Traun Says:

    I will have to add that vintage sign to my collection someday 🙂 Have you visited the brewery? Just beer; no food?

    • Yes, we stopped at the brewery on Saturday. I left my camera in the van. We liked the atmosphere of the brewery, the people and the beer. You can purchase some snack type foods at the brewery. And Pizzeria 201 delivers. So, yes, you can definitely have food with your beer.

  2. I spent a semester at Montgomery High School for a class that was not offered at the High School I attended. I still have friends in the area. Does that bring back memories and all the way back to my high school years – YIKES! Great Captures even though they gave me a bit of a chill – ha! – Happy Day – Enjoy & Stay Warm 🙂

  3. Gunny Says:

    Just go through reading of one of my Aunt’s who immigrated from Norway in 1854. She describes the process of the house freezing as Winter set in that they lived in. Those photos you have taken brings back memories of mine of my Grandmother’s house going through a freezing process! Bur! While living in Minnesota, if the temps dropped to -20, my car would not start and I had to run to school. Reason for the “running” was two-fold. I needed to get there faster than walking and secondly to stay warm! The beer sign (I was 21) was also a reminder of having a nice “cold one” when being in an overheated establishment where on one occasion I think the inside temperature was near 90 degrees!

  4. Beth Ann Says:

    Love the small towns and there is always something to discover in them, isn’t there? From people to places—there is just a special feel to places like these.

  5. Littlesundog Says:

    Jeepers, Audrey… those are some awfully blustery looking photos. Love the vintage signs. Those are always a terrific find.

  6. Sank Says:

    I’ve been to Montgomery more than a few times. Had drinks at the Monty, visited the new microbrewery, which is really nice. The lodge I belong to has a booth at Kolaky Days in August.

    • Nice to hear you exited the burbs for rural Minnesota. I’m as impressed by Montgomery Brewing as you. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Kolacky Days. And now, with your endorsement, I’ll have to check out the Monty. Good to hear from you, Sank.

  7. Jackie Says:

    We share the love of road trippin’ and exploring small towns. Rick and I have never really ventured North or West of Faribault. I guess it’s just getting a little further away, but not too far to make it a potential venture. Some day……

  8. Sweet Posy Dreams Says:

    There are so many of similar looking towns in the Midwest. As we pass through, I often think about the people who live in them. What do they do for a living? For entertainment?

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