AS A WRITER AND PHOTOGRAPHER, details matter to me. I notice the unusual, the quirky, the odd in places. That includes in Elgin, a small farming town northeast of Rochester.
On a recent walk-about through the downtown area, I came upon a church steeple. Not atop a church, but rather in a residential backyard. I have no idea what the story may be behind its placement there or what the homeowners have planned for the structure. But I found the entire scene interesting.
In that same backyard sits a vintage bathtub repurposed into a planter. The growth springing from the tub suggests these are raspberries. I didn’t feel comfortable moving in closer to confirm my guess.
Just across the way, a boat rests on tires outside a shed. More tires sidle the small building. Again, I didn’t move in to snoop. But I speculated that the owner is an avid angler and could spin a story or ten about the big one that got away.
A row of vintage doors, repurposed as a fence next to an architecturally interesting brick corner building, also grabbed my attention. I love when people get creative. There’s a story here in this functional public art and in that historic building.
As I meandered, I noticed a few other details. Like the colorful fake flowers blooming in a window. That scene simply made me smile.
But when I spotted a BEWARE OF DOG sign on a garage door, I felt quite the opposite. At least no barking ensued, warning me to keep my distance.
I wasn’t in Elgin all that long. Yet, I discovered details that imprint upon my memory. I’ll remember the church steeple in the backyard, the doors repurposed into a fence, the nuances that caught my eye. I take joy in finding these small town quirks/oddities/characteristics and I encourage you to look for the same when you’re out and about.
FYI: Click here to read my previous post focusing on Elgin’s downtown business district. If you have information on any of the discoveries mentioned in this post, please share that with me in a comment.
© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
I loved the church steeple! How odd, but what a find, Audrey! Nice piece, my friend. 🙂
Thank you, Penny. It’s good to hear from you. I’ll hop over to your blog shortly.
Wonderful little town with all of its quirks. Like you, I really enjoy discovering all of these little eccentric details and artistic expressions wherever I go. You are especially good at finding and celebrating them. I also love to wonder about the stories about them…
Thank you, Beth. I appreciate that you also look for those quirks when you’re out and about.
Hummmm… that would be my kind of town! Loved the repurposed doors!!!! Beautiful. I have collected a few Hummmm… from this vacation and can’t wait to share.😊🛶
I look forward to seeing your quirky Minnesota photos. Thanks for appreciating my interesting finds from Elgin.
I think that steeple came from here https://www.lakesnwoods.com/ElginGallery.htm. Love the door fence, wish I could sell a little of that idea to our hoa. Elgin has a web site! Population only about a thousand now. I think Trinity played many of the little surrounding town churches in softball, etc. Thanks for the reminder, that was when our boys got learning permits/early licenses and drove us girls around short distances from home base. Fun, fun.
As always, thanks for sharing your memories, Sandra, and for that link to the possible steeple source.
My daughter’s neighborhood in a new development in the south metro allows white vinyl fences. They stand out and really don’t look very good. There’s a definite unwelcome visual of feeling “fenced in.”
“A row of vintage doors, repurposed as a fence next to an architecturally interesting brick corner building, also grabbed my attention. I love when people get creative. There’s a story here in this functional public art and in that historic building.”
We own this property and would be happy to share our story! We are in the process of opening a Café called Jazz Shepherd Coffee in this cool old building that was once a bank, a post office, and a print shop. Thank you for showing our town, and our home love!!! We will have our doors open during Cheese Days next weekend to show people the space.
Cathy, thank you for commenting here about your new business. I appreciate learning the story behind those repurposed doors. I thought this building may have housed a bank at one time given its corner location and architecture. But to learn it also once served as a print shop, well, that’s a bonus. Best wishes to you in your new endeavor.