Category Archives: WPC – Reminder

I Set My Mind to Wandering

Back in February, it was freezing cold. I got together with Logan to take a picture for THE WEEKLY PHOTOCHALLENGE theme of WIND. Basically we boiled some water. Put some food coloring in it. Went outside and he threw it up over his head. Here are some of the outtakes:


I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

It is an experiment that we will have duplicate again this winter.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is RED:


WEEK 300 - RED
RED

RED! What a great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is a RED image? A RED image is simply any image where the color RED plays an important part of the composition of the image. For example, the main subject of the picture is RED.

Happy photo harvesting!

Audubon and Guthrie County Auxiliary Images: Vol 2

Here is the second collection of auxiliary images I took while harvesting the town signs of Audubon and Guthrie County with my Mom. The thing is that none of these pictures were taken in Guthrie County and the biggest chunk of them was taken in Shelby County. That is #roadtriplife.


Audubon County
Brayton

Audubon County

Audubon County

Audubon County
Exira

Audubon County

Audubon County - Exira
I would love to see the size of the fire truck that came out that door.

Shelby County - Elk Horn
Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Shelby County - Elk Horn

Audubon County - Kimballton
Kimballton

Audubon County - Kimballton

Audubon County - Kimballton

Audubon County - Kimballton

Audubon County - Kimballton

Audubon County - Kimballton

Audubon County - Kimballton

There is one more collection of photos from this road trip out there.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is WORDS:


WEEK 299 - WORDS
WORDS

But what is a WORDS image? I know many of you didn’t come here fore reading! Top to bottom, left to right… a group of words together is called a sentence. Take Tylenol for any headaches… Midol for any cramps.

But one of the greatest comedies of all-time aside, WORDS are merely collections of letters. You can find WORDS all over the place. Books. Signs. Advertising. Newspapers. Magazines. All over the place. You are literally (used correctly) looking at WORDS right now!

Happy photo harvesting!

Town Sign Project: Marion County

I recently drove around Marion County to harvest their town signs. Marion County includes two of the more famous Iowa towns, Pella and Knoxville.

Here are some facts about Marion County:

+ Population is 33,309.
+ Pella is the largest city.
+ Knoxville is the county seat.
+ Named for Francis Marion, a brigadier general in the Revolutionary War.
+ Home to the Pella Tulip Festival, which is one of the most popular town festivals in Iowa.
+ Home to the Knoxville Speedway an internationally known auto racing track.
+ Home of Central College.
+ Major highways are: IA-5, IA-14, IA-92, IA-163, and IA-316.
+ Adjacent counties are: Jasper, Mahaska, Monroe, Lucas, and Warren.
+ Population is currently at its peak.

Marion County has a beautiful courthouse:


Marion County Courthouse
Marion County Courthouse in Knoxville, Iowa

The Marion County Courthouse is located near the form Veterans Hospital in Knoxville:


Marion County Freedom Rock
The story about the ashes…

Marion County Freedom Rock

Marion County Freedom Rock

Marion County Freedom Rock

Marion County Freedom Rock

With Marion County conquered, here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 21 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

21 counties completed. 21.2% of the Cyclone State conquered!

Here are the Marion County town signs:


Pella, Iowa
Pella, Iowa
Welcome to Pella – A Touch of Holland
Population: 10,352

Knoxville, Iowa
Knoxville, Iowa
Welcome to Knoxville
Population: 7,313

Pleasantville, Iowa
Pleasantville, Iowa
Welcome to Pleasantville – Established 1849
Population: 1,694

Melcher Dallas, Iowa
Melcher-Dallas, Iowa
Welcome to Melcher Dallas – A Coal Mining Community
Population: 1,288

Bussey, Iowa
Bussey, Iowa
Welcome to Bussey
Population: 422

Harvey, Iowa
Harvey, Iowa
Harvey – Home of the Peace Tree – Population 277
Population: 235

Hamilton, Iowa
Hamilton, Iowa
Hamilton City Hall and Community Center
Population – 130

Swan, Iowa
Swan, Iowa
We Honor Our Veterans – Swan, Iowa
Population: 72

Marysville, Iowa`
Marysville, Iowa
<- Marysville 1
Population: 66

I have to say that I was pretty disappointed with Marion County. Pella and Knoxville are pretty big deals. How does Pella not have a tulip or something Dutch on the sign? Maybe the good folks of Indianola are right? FTD. And the race track in Knoxville is a big deal. I’m not a fan of auto racing. I get the appeal of watching things go fast, I just wish racing didn’t lasted so long. Go around the track a couple times. Take off your helmet. Wave to the crowd. We’re all home in time for the start of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. That being said, I’m going to give Knoxville the worst town sign of Marion County. Even though Hamilton doesn’t even really have one and Marysville only has a DOT sign. But at least it has an interesting crack. The most interesting thing about the Knoxville sign is the Laser Car Wash sign behind it.

But who has the best town sign in Marion County? Even though it is a DOT sign, I like the Harvey sign. I would like it even more if I could have found the “Peace Tree”. Melcher-Dallas has a nice sign, but I’m giving this best sign to Pleasantville.


Pleasantville, Iowa
Pleasantville – Best in Show – Marion County

There were a couple of towns with alternate town signs, both better than their main town signs:


Pella, Iowa
Pella – Alternate Town Sign

Melcher Dallas, Iowa
Melcher-Dallas -Alternate Town Sign

Pleasantville, Iowa
Pleasantville – Alternate Town Sign

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Popejoy, Iowa
Best in Show – Franklin County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Menlo, Iowa
Best in Show – Guthrie County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

East Peru, Iowa
Best in Show – Madison County

Pleasantville, Iowa
Best in Show – Marion County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Creston, Iowa
Best in Show – Union County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

Next time we check in with the Town Sign Project, it will involve Tama County.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is UP IN THE AIR:


WEEK 298 - UP IN THE AIR
UP IN THE AIR

UP IN THE AIR! Another great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

But what is a UP IN THE AIR photo? It is simply a photo of something that is UP IN THE AIR. A bird. A plane. Superman? Well, if Superman isn’t standing on the ground. A good idea is to just throw something into the air and photograph it. Or a good candid portrait is to throw something in the air and have them try to catch it. This is a great candid portrait technique.

Happy photo harvesting!

Town Sign Project: Clarke County

Clarke County includes Murray, Iowa. The Murray town sign was the last town sign I harvested on the last road trip I took with my Mom.

I recently returned to Clarke County to get the one town sign I was missing.

Here are some facts about Clarke County:

+ The population is 9,286
+ Osceola is both the largest town and county seat.
+ Was formed in 1846 and is named for James Clarke, a Governor of the Iowa Territory.
+ Major highways are: I-35, US-34, US-69, and I-152.
+ Adjacent counties include Decatur, Lucas, Madison, Union, and Warren
+ The population peaked in 1900 at 12,440.

The Clarke County Courthouse is pretty lame:


Clarke County Courthouse
Clarke County Courthouse in Osceola, Iowa

The Clarke County Freedom Rock is located near a cemetery in Murray, Iowa:


Clarke County Freedom Rock

Clarke County Freedom Rock

Clarke County Freedom Rock

With Clarke County conquered, here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 20 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

20 counties completed. 20.2% of the Cyclone State conquered!

There are only 3 towns in Clarke County. Here are their town signs:


Osceola, Iowa
Osceola, Iowa
Osceola – Proud of Our History – Ready for the Future
Population: 4,929

Murray, Iowa
Murray, Iowa
Murray – Since 1868
Population: 756

Woodburn, Iowa
Woodburn, Iowa
Woodburn – Founded 1868
Population: 125

If you were to go to the Wikipedia page and look up Clarke County, it would also list the town of Weldon as being partially in Clarke County, but mostly in Decatur County. However, since I have switched to the Iowa Department of Transportation is the arbiter of what towns are in a county, Weldon is not in this collection. The Iowa DOT does not consider Weldon to be in Clarke County.

Only 3 signs to choose from in Clarke County. It is pretty obvious which is the worst. Woodburn’s sign isn’t really even a town sign. It is a sign that hangs on what looks like a stage in what looks like a town park.

Osceola and Murray have about equal signs, but I’m going to give Best in Show to Murray for sentimental reasons.


Murray, Iowa
Murray – Best in Show – Clarke County

Osceola and Woodburn have alternate signs, well Woodburn has a DOT sign.


Osceola, Iowa
Osceola Alternate Sign – Looks Kinda Familiar

Woodburn, Iowa
Woodburn Alternate Sign – For being a DOT sign, it does have some character

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Popejoy, Iowa
Best in Show – Franklin County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Menlo, Iowa
Best in Show – Guthrie County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

East Peru, Iowa
Best in Show – Madison County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Creston, Iowa
Best in Show – Union County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

Next time we visit THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT it will involve Marion County. Home of Iowa’s second best tulip festival and a really big race track.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is GOVERNMENT:


WEEK 297 - GOVERNMENT
GOVERNMENT

What is a GOVERNMENT photo? A GOVERNMENT photo is any photo that involves something that involves the GOVERNMENT. Went to a public park? That is GOVERNMENT. Driving on a road? That is GOVERNMENT. Of course there are GOVERNMENT buildings like courthouse, police departments, fire departments, post offices… Everything military related is GOVERNMENT. Everything dealing with public schools is GOVERNMENT.

Think about the following quote when you are contemplating your GOVERNMENT image:

The worst thing in this world, next to anarchy, is government.
-Henry Ward Beecher

Happy photo harvesting!

Wide Angling

This is a collection of some more of the first pictures I took with the Tamron wide angle lens. some are at the courthouse. Some around the high bridges. Some around the Kate Shelley Museum:


Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

I do love that wide angle zoom lens!

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is LIGHT:


WEEK 296 - LIGHT
LIGHT

A LIGHT image is pretty simple. It is merely a picture where LIGHT plays a major compositional element. A wise person might argue that any picture they take is a LIGHT picture because all photography really is, is the capturing of LIGHT. But warning, when you take a picture of LIGHT, don’t face your camera straight towards a bright LIGHT.. You will surely damage it. The camera. The LIGHT will be just fine.

Think about the following song lyric when you are contemplating your LIGHT image:

I saw the light, I saw the light
No more darkness, no more night
Now I’m so happy no sorrow in sight
Praise the Lord, I saw the light
-Hank Williams

Happy photo harvesting!

Austin & Porter 2020 C

Here is the final collection of images from the 2002 photo shoot with the Degeneffe Boys:


Degeneffe Boys - 2020

Degeneffe Boys - 2020

Degeneffe Boys - 2020

Degeneffe Boys - 2020

Degeneffe Boys - 2020

Degeneffe Boys - 2020

Degeneffe Boys - 2020

Degeneffe Boys - 2020

Degeneffe Boys - 2020

Degeneffe Boys - 2020

Degeneffe Boys - 2020

Degeneffe Boys - 2020

Degeneffe Boys - 2020

Degeneffe Boys - 2020

I look forward to the 2021 Degeneffe Boys Photo Shoot.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is HANDS:


WEEL 293 - HANDS
HANDS

A HANDS image is pretty simple. It is merely a picture where the composition involves either HANDS or things that HANDS use, like gloves. It should be an easy theme, since almost everybody has HANDS or knows somebody with HANDS. I mean, even a clock has HANDS.

Think about the following quote while you are contemplating your image:

A man who works with his HANDS is a laborer; a man who works with his HANDS and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his HANDS and his brain and his heart is an artist.

-Louis Nizer

Meditate on this quote and I have no doubt your submission will rise to the level of art!

Happy photo harvesting!

The Christmas Star

I don’t know if you remember this by now, but back in December Saturn and Jupiter were really close to each other in the sky, creating the phenomenon known as The Christmas Star. I went out in the country south and west of Ogden with my Mom to take a look at it and take a few pictures.

I was never really in love with how the pictures turned out, but you can have a look:


The Christmas Star

The Christmas Star

The Christmas Star

The Christmas Star

The Christmas Star

These are the last of the 2020 images to share that aren’t related to portraits. I’ll get to sharing those portraits again soon.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is SHADOWS:



SHADOWS

A SHADOWS picture is pretty simple. It is a picture that includes a SHADOW(S) as part of the composition.

Happy photo harvesting!

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

Congratulations to Micky on winning this years Roundball Oracles Basketball Pool.

His name has not been etched on the list of immortals:

PAST ROUNDBALL ORACLE CHAMPIONS

2021 – Micky Augustin
2020 – Tournament Cancelled
2019 – Becky Parmelee
2018 – Paul Golden
2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

And congratulation, I guess, to Rachel for “winning” this year’s “The Sara” for last place:

Past “The Sara” Winners:

2021 – Rachel Gildersleeve
2020 – Tournament Cancelled
2019 – Russell Kennerly
2018 – Robert Henning
2017 – Shannon Bardole
2016 – Laura Priest
2015 – Derrick Gorshe
2014 – Sara Lockner

Both of your trophies have been ordered.

Here are the final standings:

ROUNDBALL ORACLES – YEAR 16

1. Michael Augustin – 275 points
2. Jorge Rios – 252 points
3. Jordan Toot – 240 points
4. Corey Faust – 233 points
5. Tim Peterson – 229 points
6. Mike G – 228 points
7. Dawn Krause – 216 points
8. Joey Randazzo – 210 points
9. Elizabeth Nordeen – 204 points
10. Kio Dettman – 203 points
11. Humble Narrator – 202 points
12. Angie DeWaard – 202 points
13. Brandon Kahler – 199 points
14. Bill Wentworth – 194 points
15. Toby Sebring – 191 points
16. Carla Stensland – 188 points
17. Andree Jauhari – 187 points
18. Lowell Davis – 184 points
19. Dylan Groves – 179 points
20. Jesse Howard – 177 points
21. Derek Dohrman – 174 points
22. Joseph Duff – 170 points
23. Robert Henning – 168 points
24. Jackson Faust – 167 points
25. Sarah Karber – 151 points
26. Michelle Haupt – 143 points
27. Rachel Gildersleeve – 142 points

Hopefully in 3 or 4 years Iowa State will be good enough to make the tournament again.

+++++++

This is your reminder that there are two themes to work on this week:


WEEK 290 - SLICE OF LIFE
SLICE OF LIFE

It was apropos that the theme was LOVE the week that we had to say goodbye to Mom. I don’t know anybody that embodied the various definitions of LOVE than my Mom. It is strange that the very next theme is SLICE OF LIFE. SLICE OF LIFE is a theme that was designed to honor my Dad. For those of you that don’t know, my Dad passed away when I was 9 years old. His legacy is a large part of the reason as to why I got into photography. He had started a postcard company called Slice of Life.

Therefore, a SLICE OF LIFE image is an image that looks at your local town and capture an image that could be used as a postcard. His postcards were black and white, if you want to go the extra mile.

The second theme to work on this week:


WEEK 291 - DRINKS
DRINKS

This theme isn’t very complicated. It is merely a picture of a DRINK or DRINK(S).

Happy photo harvesting!

Jasper County Auxiliary Images

This is a reminder that at this point you have 1 hour to get your picks in for my NCAA Tournament Pool. Click on the link below to get started:

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

Good luck!

+++++++

I need to wish my Aunt Linda a happy birthday today. Happy birthday Aunt Linda!


Bennett Family Reunion

Slice of Life Volume 5

August 29, 2017

Slice of Life Volume 4

Bennett Family Reunion

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

+++++++

A couple months back I traveled the roads of Jasper County to harvest their town signs. Here is a collection of the non-town sign pictures I took on that trip:


Jasper County
Newton, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County
Kellogg, Iowa

Jasper County
Oakland Acres, Iowa – A town that shoves it in the face of towns that don’t “heart” their children.

Jasper County

Jasper County
Lynnville, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County
Sully, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County
Monroe, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County
I absolutely love this church motto.

Jasper County

Jasper County

I want to visit Jasper County again this year and go to their drive-in movie theater. One of only like 3 left in the state.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is STREET PHOTOGRAPHY:


WEEK 288 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

It is here. Judgement Day. The last theme that didn’t get double digit submissions. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. 76 weeks ago. September 23, 2019.

There were only 7 submissions from 7 people:

+ Jen Ensley-Gorshe
+ Andy Sharp
+ Kim Barker
+ Humble Narrator
+ Stephanie Kim
+ Tamara Peterson
+ Jesse Howard

But what is STREET PHOTOGRAPHY? Why is it so scary and intimidating?

Sorry, Chris from 5 seconds ago. I reject your premise. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY isn’t scary or intimidating. It is awesome!

Some of the best and most famous photographers in history were STREET PHOTOGRAPHYers.

+ Dorothea Lange
+ Helen Levitt
+ Diane Arbus
+ Robert Frank
+ Fan Ho
+ Vivian Maier
+ Robert Doisneau
+ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Okay, great, you are thinking, but you still haven’t defined STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. Is it pictures of a street? No, but it is photography that often takes place on the streets.

Here is the best definition: “conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places.”

The 2 most important things. RANDOM and PUBLIC. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY is often mistaken for CANDID PORTRAITS. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY has to be done in a public place. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a portrait. It can be a piece of art. It can be a building. It can be a sign. It doesn’t have to be on a street. It can be at a sporting event. It can be at an art festival. A farmer’s market. The most common place would be a business district. It only has to meet those 2 criteria: public and random.

What is public? I mean that is pretty obvious. It can’t be in your house or in your friend’s house. It has to be somewhere in the public. Where other people can be.

What is random? That simply means that you didn’t go to wherever you went with the intent of taking that picture. Something about the place you went to compelled you to take that picture. You may have went there to take a picture, but not a pre-planned picture.

Some people think of STREET PHOTOGRAPHY as candid portraits. It isn’t, but it certainly can be. However, the picture can be of street art like the example. Egene Atget, was the first STREET PHOTOGRAPHYer. He took pictures of buildings.

I’ll make one last comparison. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY is to photography what jazz is to music. It is all about improvisation. This is perhaps why I love it so much.

Okay, one last thing. Most of the great STREET PHOTOGRAPHYers worked in black & white. I’m not saying your submission should be in black & white, but it is something to think about.

Also, think about this quote before thinking about your STREET PHOTOGRAPHY creation:

“The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected you find in the street.”
-Robert Doisneau

Happy photo harvesting!

Postcard Recreation Project – Interurban Depot

I did want to make a personal announcement of minor consequence. Today, my credit card balance is officially back to zero. I didn’t have much credit card balance, but it hadn’t been back down to zero for a few years. Here is the happy moment:


03-09-08
File Photo

So the only person that has anything on me is my mortgage company. At least until my next car purchase, but that is probably about 2 years away.

+++++++

This batch of pictures for THE POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT feature the old Boone depot for the Interurban Railroad. Also known as the Fort Dodge, Des Moines, and Southern Railroad. Also known as The Fort Dodge Line.

The old Boone depot doesn’t exist any longer, so I had to do a little bit of research to figure out where it once was and I had to do that research because I thought I knew where it was, but I was wrong. I knew it was on Story Street, but I thought it was on the west side of the street and on the south side of the tracks. Where the current Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad Downtown Depot stands. However, it was actually on the east side of Story Street and the north side of the railroad tracks. I deduced this by looking at addresses in old phone books, a video on YouTube of trains on the line from 1950-55 and also, I confirmed it with my Mom, who used to ride the Interurban to visit family in Fraser as a kid.

Here is some historic information on this railroad from American Rails.com:

The Fort Dodge, Des Moines & Southern Railway (reporting marks FDDM) was officially incorporated during the first decade of the 20th century to serve the state capitol of Iowa with points north as an interurban road. However, the history of its line dates as far back as the 1880s, as a standard rail line moving coal from mines in the northern regions of the state. In many ways the FDDM&S (or sometimes referred to as the FtDDM&S or just as its slogan, “The Fort Dodge Line”) never acted like a true interurban although it was once electrically operated and used trolley/interurban equipment. Freight was just as important as passengers and this concept allowed the company to thrive for many years, well after the interurban industry collapsed after the 1920s despite its very high operating ratio. Eventually, the road dieselized and was acquired by the Chicago & North Western in the late 1960s which promptly abandoned it less than 20 years later. Today, part of the route is operated by the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad.

The earliest beginnings of the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railway started with the Crooked Creek Railroad, a three-foot narrow-gauge line chartered in 1875. The CCR would complete an eight-mile route from Judd, near Fort Dodge and a connection with the Illinois Central, to Lehigh and a cluster of coal mines. Ten years after it began the CCR upgraded its route to standard-gauge and shortly thereafter in 1892 it purchased the Webster City & Southwestern Railroad. The WC&S was another coal hauler, connecting to the CCR and running 14 miles east to Webster City. These two railroads essentially made up the northern lines of what would later become the FDDM&S. To the south, in 1893, another predecessor was chartered, the Boone Valley Coal & Railway Company.

This system, also a coal hauler, built a small line serving mines near Fraser (northwest of Boone) to nearby Fraser Junction and a connection with the much larger Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway. In 1899, the owners of the BVC&R chartered the Marshalltown & Dakota Railway as an additional coal route with high aspirations of pushing this system from Newton (east of Des Moines) to Sibley, Iowa in the state’s northwest corner. Along the way the line would pass through towns such as Fraser, Story City, Gowerie, and Rockwell City. In 1901 it was renamed as the Boone, Rockwell City & Northwestern Railway, and again in 1902 as the Newton & Northwestern. By 1905 the line was opened from Newton to Rockwell City and also had a branch to Colfax. While over 100 miles in length it never made it any further towards Sibley. New owners acquired the N&NW in 1905 and again renamed property, this time as the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railroad.

While the FDDM&S continued to concentrate on coal it also began to focus on the movement of gypsum near Fort Dodge and general industry located around Des Moines. Additionally, its owners began looking at electrifying part of the railroad as an interurban. It remained focused, however, on freight and in 1906 purchased the Ames & College Street Railway to serve that town. After completing an extension from Hope to Fort Dodge, and establishing an interchange with the Des Moines & Central Iowa it now had a through route between both of the state’s major cities (easily Iowa’s largest interurban). Service along the entire route opened on November 4, 1907. Soon after, its owners realized that the the N&NW’s route from Newton to Rockwell City offered a non-sustainable freight potential and decided to electrifying only part of the route between Hope and Midvale on a 1,200-volt, DC system.

In 1911 the Midvale to Newton section of the N&NW was abandoned and much of the entire FDDM&S route was electrified to some extent. Small editions continued to be added, including a branch from Kelley to Ames (which finally directly connected its Ames & College Street subsidiary) and the purchase of the aforementioned Crooked Creek Railroad in 1916. This route was also energized. For freight service the railroad utilized second-hand General Electric-built freight motors (it acquired more beginning in 1942 from the Oregon Electric) and used Niles Car & Manufacturing Company interurban cars for passenger operations. Part of the reason for the road’s success was not only due to its freight traffic but also had numerous interchange partners (sometimes in more than one location) with Class I lines including the Milwaukee Road, Illinois Central, Chicago & North Western, Burlington, and Rock Island.
The Great Depression hit the line hard and it fell into receivership in 1930, emerging in 1942 as the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railway. Beginning in 1954 the FDDM&S began dieselizing its motive power roster while at the same time ended virtually all of its remaining passenger services (branch line services began to be discontinued as early as 1926). Its diesels consisted almost entirely of General Electric products, 44-tonners and 70-tonners along with a Plymouth 65-ton switcher. In 1955 the railroad was purchased by the Salzburg family, which owned a number of shortlines including the Louisiana & North West and Wellsville, Addison & Galeton.

By the 1960s the railroad had cut back to its main line between Des Moines and Fort Dodge with the eastern extension to Webster City. It also was still operating a remaining section of the N&NW between Hope and Gowrie. In 1968 the C&NW acquired the FDDM&S from Salzburg and, unfortunately, was not kind to the road. It immediately began cutting back services and by 1983 was looking to abandon the entire Fort Dodge-Des Moines route. Part of the system, a 12-mile section between Wolf and Boone was spared, and is now operated as the tourist line Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad.

That is a lot of history to digest. I found 3 postcards of the old depot and it is a shame that it was torn down. It might not have been a beautiful building, but it was interesting. I hope that somewhere the big concrete Boone at the top of the depot has been preserved, but I’m sure it was probably destroyed with the building.

I decided to only recreate 2 of the 3 postcards, because 2 postcards of a building that doesn’t exist is enough. I also created a modern interpretation of a postcard of the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad’s downtown depot:


FTDDMS Depot at Boone Iowa - Original
FTDDMS Depot at Boone Iowa – Original

FTDDMS Depot at Boone Iowa - Redux
FTDDMS Depot at Boone Iowa – Redux

Interurban Depot, Boone, Iowa - Original
Interurban Depot, Boone, Iowa – Original

Interurban Depot, Boone, Iowa - Redux
Interurban Depot, Boone, Iowa – Redux

B&SVRR Downtown Depot - Modern Interpretation
Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad Downtown Depot – Modern Interpretation

Next time we check in with THE POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT, it will involve some Boone churches.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is PICTURE IN PICTURE:


WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE
PICTURE IN PICTURE

A PICTURE IN PICTURE image isn’t just an outdated feature on a television (maybe it still exists but I haven’t used it since 1983), but it is an existing picture(s) put in your PICTURE. There are several ways to do this. One is simply to photograph an photograph that is on your wall. Another way to do this is grab a box of old prints (for you young bucks, people used to get their pictures “developed” and printed on photo paper) and spread them across a table or floor and take a picture of it. You can organize them in a way that makes sense to you, or just spread them out and enjoy the chaos. Another way to do this would be to open up a folder of images on your computer and use the Snipping tool to create an image of digital thumbnails. I’m sure there is also a way to do this on a Mac, but it probably involves paying an extra $200 for less functionality and a cute little fruit logo. Hopefully, you will find away to take an old picture and find a new way of thinking about it.

Let me just throw this out there… Photomosaic?!?!?

Think about the following quote by Ansel Adams when composing your image:

There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.
-Ansel Adams

In this project, you are both the photographer and the viewer, even if you weren’t the photographer of the initial image. Meditate on that and I have no doubt you will create a great PICTURE IN PICTURE interpretation.

Happy photo harvesting!