The Town Sign Project: Vol. 4

On Saturday I took a small road trip west of Boone to collect some more signs for the TOWN SIGN PROJECT. Here is what I got:

Ogden, Iowa
Ogden, Iowa

Beaver, Iowa
Beaver, Iowa

Grand Junction, Iowa
Grand Junction, Iowa

Churdan, Iowa
Churdan, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa
Jefferson, Iowa

Paton, Iowa
Paton, Iowa

Dana, Iowa
Dana, Iowa

Alleman, Iowa
Alleman, Iowa

Full disclosure, the Alleman sign picture wasn’t taken on Saturday. It was taken a long time ago and I never posted it.

Fun Facts

Ogden has no affiliation with Thornton Wilder. (I’m hoping at least one person is sitting at their computer and giving that joke a slow clap. I’m hoping at least two people are Googling Thornton Wilder right now.)

If you had ever been to Beaver, you would know why they lack the civic pride to put up a real sign. Which is kind of sad because you could do a million fun signs with a name like Beaver. I have it on good authority that trains have to slow down when passing through Beaver, otherwise the 2 buildings in town that haven’t fall over… will fall over. After my post last week comparing Garden City’s creepy horror movie vibe to Beaver’s I was approached by Michelle and Elizabeth. Michelle badly wants to visit Beaver. Even after I shared with her some of the horrifying images from my old photo project “The Beaver Machete Massacre”, she still wants to visit it. Elizabeth has actually been to Beaver, but the trip scared her children badly. They continue to have nightmares and their future therapy bills will be monstrous. While I was in Beaver, I did have a truck follow me around the town. Maybe the Beaver sign should read:

“Beaver, You’re Not Welcome – The Opposite of Small Town Hospitality”

Out of this collection I like Grand Junctions sign the most. Jefferson’s the least. Jefferson is obviously missing a golden opportunity by not having a picture of their fuzz blasting cats. I suppose now that they aren’t going all Rambo on their feral cat population, it is a lost opportunity.

But imagine a picture of Clint Eastwood holding a .44 Magnum on a criminal cat. Then the words over it:

“Welcome to Jefferson – Go Ahead. Make Our Day”

I was actually impressed by Churdan. They had quite a bit of photogenic things in that little town.

Paton has a nice and boring “Welcome to Paton” next to their “business district”. It has a scrolling message board and everything. Boring.

Dana is what Beaver should strive to be, if Beaver had any kind of pride at all. I mean any pride at all!

8 thoughts on “The Town Sign Project: Vol. 4”

  1. I hadn’t noticed the new Ogden sign. But I hope that someone was slyly referencing Our Town there, rather than it being an accident.

    I had to go door-to-door in Beaver in high school to campaign for my grandpa. I think one guy came to the door with a gun.

  2. You went door to door in Beaver. I notice you didn’t say that you went door to door to door. Because that would be one more door than Beaver has.

    It doesn’t surprise me that somebody came to the door with a gun. I bet Trump carried Beaver 3 votes to 0.

    About the Ogden sign. They have replaced or more like updated the sign west of town on US-30 with the new slogan. That actually disappoints me because I think it actually looks worse than it used to. They’ve also added a sign when you come into the town from the north. I don’t know if they have one when you come from the south.

  3. In all candor, there MAY have been three houses in Beaver back then, as the housing bubble hadn’t yet burst. I’m positive that town is painted red.

    I’m trying to remember when Charlie and I went to Ogden that way from the southeast this past winter. I don’t remember the sign at all. I think I drove into town from the west after Shannon’s wedding this summer, but it was dark and I don’t think I looked at the signage. I thought the old one at least had some character.

  4. Another co-worker claims that his Mom has 2 rental properties in Beaver. You want to talk about a business model I’m not going to endorse, it is buying rental properties in Beaver.

    If I had the money to buy the entire town, I would consider it. If you could bulldoze the entire town and make a development from scratch, you probably could attract some people.

    How bad of a shape does a town have to be in to not even be able to support a bar. If I were to rank all the towns in Boone County, these would be my power rankings:

    1. Boone, Iowa
    2. Madrid, Iowa (Sorry Ogden, but Madrid has an ice cream shop that I enjoy)
    3. Ogden, Iowa (If The Lucky Pig didn’t suck so bad, I would give them a shot at being ranked over Madrid.
    4. Boxholm
    5. Luther
    6. Pilot Mound
    7. Fraser
    8. Berkley
    9. Beaver

    My Story County Power Rankings

    1. Ames
    2. Colo – They have a good tenderloin spot.
    3. Everybody Else
    Second to Last – Huxley
    Last – Gilbert

  5. I just realized that this list is wrong.

    Slater would go above Colo because they have an even better tenderloin.

    Also Kelley should get points for having a phone booth and basically building a monument to it.

  6. I think that Boone Co ranking is fair. I have nostalgia for Pilot Mound because my grandparents’ farm was there, so I’d probably move that up to after Boxholm… but since the Storm Cellar restaurant closed, Deck’s is literally the only thing there other than the bar. I feel like Fraser and Beaver are more “multi-house dwellings” than towns.

    Story County… I am curious about the hate on Huxley and Gilbert! I don’t disagree with it, I’m just interested in the origin story. Nevada has Starbucks, so I’d put it somewhere in the top 3.

  7. Your point about Nevada is well taken. I forgot about legit Starbucks, with racist Starbucks taking up all the news.

    I do not know what Deck’s is in Pilot Mound. I put Luther up higher because they have a barbecue restaurant. It isn’t very good, but they have a restaurant.

    Boxholm’s rating is probably inflated because of Shorty. But they used to have a restaurant owned by an Elvis impersonator that sang on Saturday nights. Unfortunately, they closed the restaurant down before I ever saw this greatness.

    I probably really should put Berkley over Fraser because they few buildings there are at least in decent shape. The B&SVRR cutting a path through Fraser inflated their ranking.

    Huxley. Huxley isn’t a town, it is a speed trap masquerading as a town. Plus call your school Huxley. None of this stupid Ballard garbage.

    Gilbert is just a town full of rich snobs that have done things such as harass gay high school students, run out a military veteran football coach, and I’ve also heard a less publicized story about a church telling a family to not bring their special needs daughter because she was a distraction.

    I give Gilbert some small props for The Open Flame, but even the last time I was there, it took me (not an exaggeration) almost 45 minutes to get and pay for my bill.

  8. I already never really went to racist Starbucks because it’s so corporate – but dude. That’s just so horrifying.

    Deck’s is the gas station. Deck Crouch is the owner, and he’s a super-nice guy. His wife used to coach our basketball team in 4th/5th grades, and Deck was also our bus driver. He’s sort of a town staple. But other than that… not much there.

    Shorty is a huge draw to Boxholm! I think they used to have a farm toys museum, didn’t they? That also has to help some. I remember Kris’ Korner (terrible spelling) as the bar/restaurant, I wonder if that was the Elvis impersonator’s place. I haven’t gone there since I was about 10.

    Huxley really IS just a giant speed trap that they just attempted to legitimize with a Fareway. But it didn’t work. Also, they are sorely lacking restaurants for a dwelling that size. Ballard isn’t a thing, it makes no sense.

    I agree on Gilbert. I learned from Shannon that they are by far the richest town in Story County… and yet I don’t see them on any of the public rosters for giving. I’m going to guess they also largely voted Trump. While I used to enjoy The Open Flame, I agree – service has gone way downhill.

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