Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Discovering the character of Pequot Lakes at the hardware store August 17, 2018

This sign hangs on the side of the hardware store. You won’t find a fire warden sign in southern Minnesota.


WHENEVER I VISIT a small town, I am drawn to the details that give a community character. Like Thurlow Hardware and Rental in Pequot Lakes.


The bobber water tower in Pequot Lakes.


I visited this central Minnesota town nearly a year ago. This area and parts north are decidedly different from my home region in the southeastern section of the state. To the north, lakes and woods abound and Paul Bunyan lore is prevalent in tourist attractions, business names and more. Pequot Lakes, for example, features a water tower resembling a Bunyan-sized bobber.


Inside the hardware store are lots of taxidermied animals hanging above the aisles.


A northwoods culture prevails, stamps upon these towns.


I always look for signage that reveals more about the place I am visiting.


These folks also appreciate their heritage.





These details I noticed, along with vintage signage, as I checked out that small town hardware store.

TELL ME: Do you explore small towns? If yes, what draws your interest? Give me a specific example, if you wish.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


10 Responses to “Discovering the character of Pequot Lakes at the hardware store”

  1. Even the ladder has signage – no falling off please. I am sorry but that deer looks like it ran through the wall – never seen one like that – usually just the head. Happy Exploring – Enjoy the Weekend 🙂

  2. Almost Iowa Says:

    We were in Pequot Lakes not long ago and had breakfast at the A-Pine Restaurant (it’s on the highway). Their pie is to die for. Yup, I had pie with my breakfast. (I’m back to dieting now) 🙂

  3. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Great architecture and signs. Curious why the sign says “Christmas Coffee Party” in Norwegian

  4. Judy M Says:

    The deer looks odd to me.

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