ON THE CITY WEBSITE, Wanamingo is described as a classic small Midwestern town in Southeastern Minnesota. That seems accurate.
What then is a classic small Midwestern town?
It is a place where, on a Saturday afternoon in March, two guys lean on the back of a pick-up truck and converse outside a bar and grill.
It’s a place where a notice in the park information center requests help in finding Belle, a missing Siamese cat.
It’s a place where a friendly young couple walks their curly-haired puppy, allows a visitor to pet him and then wishes the out-of-towner a good afternoon.
It’s a place with solid brick buildings in a downtown occupied by businesses like a meat market, a bar, a cafe, a garage, law and insurance offices, and grain bins banking the north end of Main Street.
Wanamingo has that small town rural feel, that sense of life moving at a slower pace. Traffic is minimal downtown, even though Minnesota State Highway 57 doubles as Main Street. And, yes, the main street is named Main Street.
In this classic small Midwestern town, kids drop bikes in yards.
A life-long resident tinkers with a light post outside Trinity Lutheran, a stalwart brick corner church that holds the histories of so many local families. Births, marriages, deaths.
Wanamingo, platted in 1904, is not Utopia. No place is. But it is a community of about 1,100 that seems, from outward appearances, to care, to want to look its best, to be the kind of place folks want to visit or call home. It is a classic small Midwestern town.
FYI: Check back tomorrow for the second post in my “from Wanamingo” series. I’ll take you inside the Area 57 Coffee Cafe.
© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling