On the Side of the Road
Obscure sites observed on the side of the road during our travels.
Gee's Bend, Boykin AL
We took the ferry over to Boykin AL to experience the historic Gee's Bend Quilting Collective. We had a nice conversation with the Ferry Captain, very interesting individual, and was a nice start to our journey. Gee's Quilting Collective is truly an amazing piece of southern history/Americana.
Below is taken from their literature.
Collective History of The Quilts of Gee's Bend
Gee's Bend is a small rural community nestled into a curve in the Alabama River southwest of Selma, Alabama. Founded in antebellum times, it was the site of cotton plantations, primarily the lands of Joseph Gee and his relative Mark Pettway, who bought the Gee estate in 1850. After the Civil War, the freed slaves took the name Pettway, became tenant farmers for the Pettway family, and founded an all-black community nearly isolated from the surrounding world. During the Great Depression, the federal government stepped in to purchase land and homes for the community, bringing strange renown as an "Alabama Africa" - to this sleepy hamlet.
The town's women developed a distinctive, bold, and sophisticated quilting style based on traditional American (and African American) quilts, but with a geometric sim- plicity reminiscent of Amish quilts and modern art. The women of Gee's Bend passed their skills and aesthetic down through at least six generations to the present. In 2002, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in partnership with the nonprofit Tinwood Al- liance, of Atlanta, presented an exhibition of seventy quilt masterpieces from the Bend. The exhibition, entitled "The Quilts of Gee's Bend," is accompanied by two companion books, The Quilts of Gee's Bend, and the larger Gee's Bend: The Women and Their Quilts, both published by Tinwood Media, as well as a doc- umeary video on the Gee's Bend quilters and a double-CD of Gee's Bend gospel music from 1941 and 2002.
The "Quilts of Gee's Bend" exhibition has received tremendous international ac- claim, beginning at its showing in Houston, then at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the other museums on its twelve-city American tour. Newsweek, National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation, Art in America, CBS News Sunday Morn- ing, PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the Martha Stewart Living television show, House and Garden, Oprah's O magazine, and Country Home magazine are among the hundreds of print and broadcast media organizations that have celebrated the quilts and the history of this unique town. Art critics worldwide have compared the quilts to the works of important artists such as Henri Matisse and Paul Klee. The New York Times called the quilts "some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced." The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is currently preparing a second major museum exhibition and tour of Gee's Bend quilts, to premiere in 2006.
In 2003, with assistance from the Tinwood organizations, all the living quilters of Gee's Bend-more than fifty women-founded the Gee's Bend Quilters Collective to serve as the exclusive means of selling and marketing the quilts being produced by the women of the Bend. The Collective is owned and operated by the women of Gee's Bend. Every quilt sold by the Gee's Bend Quilt Collective is unique, individually produced, and authentic - each quilt is signed by the quilter and labeled with a serial number. Rennie Young Miller of Gee's Bend is the Collective's president.
Pink Flamingo, Abiquiu NM
Cute metal pink flamingo situated next to Bodes Market in Abiquiu NM. There is no plaque and no indication of the significance of this display. Cool, none the less.
Metal Art, Fruita CO
Some amazing metal art capture the local outdoor activities. The display is in the center of two round-a-bouts by the Rest Area/Visitor Center.
Pueblo Railway Museum, Pueblo CO
Outdoor exhibit with some old train engines and cars on display.
Steelworks Center of the West, Pueblo CO
Wonderful museum covering the history of the steel industry in Colorado.
Mostly focusing on the history of CF&I (Colorado Fuel & Iron Company) that eventually became Evraz.
Rosemount Museum, Pueblo CO
Built in 1893, this 37-room mansion was home to the John A. and Margaret Thatcher family and was named for Mrs. Thatcher's favorite flower. It remained a family residence for 75 years. Designed by noted New York architect Henry Hudson Holly and two years under construction, the mansion was completed in 1893. Nearly all furnishings, accessories, decorative arts, paintings, custom woodwork, wall and window treatments are original to the home.
The guided tour is 1+ hour long and gives a complete tour of the house and history of the Thatcher family.
Armed Forces Museum, Wastas SD
This private military exhibit was opened to the public in 2010 by collector Tom Rancour. He acquired and restored vehicles, including jeeps and tanks from World War 2, and more recent conflicts. The small arms on display are from armies around the world.
The Unnamed Statue, Wastas SD
A full color, 27ft tall, fiberglass statue of Buffalo Bill, the famous frontiersman, clad in his frilled buckskins. Built in 1967, stood in Sioux Falls for decades, moved cross-state to this location in 2021.
Crazy thing, I don't remember ever seeing this in Sioux Falls!
The Pink Tractor, Grand Rivers KT
This quaint store front is located by Patti's 1880 Settlement in Grand Rivers KT.
The store itself is a woman's clothing store but I found the store front really unique.
Kentucky Dam, Grand Rivers KT
This hydro-electric generator impeller is located by the visitor center of the Kentucky Dam located on the Tennessee River. This is one of the dams that forms the Land Between the Lakes. This dam forms Kentucky Lake and another dam on the Cumberland River forms Lake Barkley.
Pana IL, Whiskey Bill
The Whiskey Bills located in Pana Illinois. Unfortunately this Saloon and Liquor Emporium wasn't yet open when I ran across this place.
Memorial statue for the firefighters who have served in the area. Located at the south end of town by the fire house.
Chamberlain South Dakota
Statue is located at the entrance to the St. Joseph's Indian School.
There are many unique and beauitiful western sculptures scattered around town.
Hey Sam Walton!
Right in the town square of the very nice town of Bentonville is the Walmart Museum. In the same location of the first Walmart and where it all began. Quite the interesting museum and story.
Now that's a Big Mac!
A whooper of a Big Mac statue located outside the Rapid City McDonalds. Actually a pretty incredible statue.
Smith Mine Disaster
Ghost mine from the 1940's. 70 miners died from an explosion and/or subsequent toxic gas that filled the milne.
Pioneer School House
Old pioneer school house that is still standing. Door is unlocked so you can go in and explore but it is loaded with junk and has an unpleasant odor.
Chief of the Crow - Plenty Coups
Beautiful statue of Plenty Coups, Chief of the Crow. Lived from 1848 to 1933.
Located at the end of the main drag going thru town.
Aladdin General Store
This step back in time general store is located in a town with a population of 15 and has been around for 130 years. Downstairs has a variety of treats and trinkets and the upstairs in loaded with antiques. They recently added a bar that I'm sure will be popular during the Sturgis Rally. This place really brings me back.
Inspiring statue located outside the Spearfish City Hall entrance.
Old Time Horse Traders
The bike path meanders thru this beautiful little park that has multiple horse statues in honor of Arnold and Twyla Jorgenson. We have been riding our bikes thru this park for years and just love it.
A trip across South Dakota wouldn't be complete without a drop at Wall Drug in the town of Wall. No doubt this is a tourist trap but I will say the many shops inside the "drug store" carry quality product.
The cafe seats 500 and has decent food but it does come at a price. 2 egg, hashbrowns, bacon and toast was $12.99!! Breakfast sandwiches were $10.99. At least the food was good.
Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa intersect at this location. The actual intersection of the states is in the middle of the road and when I was a kid this marker WAS in the middle of the road. This was finally moved to the side of the road after cars kept running into it.
Land O Lakes Daily Cow
Large fiberglass mascot stands outside the local Land O Lakes plant.
Pigs Can Fly !
Don't know the history of this "sculpture" and there is not plague providing any information.
Located by Monks tap house on 8th street in Sioux Falls SD.
Lifelike sculpture of a 19th century Irish potato farmer carrying a bucket of potatoes pays tribute to the Sioux Falls' large population of Irish immigrants and their love o' the spud.
The sculpture is located at the entrance of McKennan Park.
The golden pig on two legs is located at the entrance to the Smithfield meat processing plant. The facility originally was the Morrels meat processing plant.
Grasshopper Assumption Chapel
Beautiful chapel built to remember the grasshopper plague that created havic back in the late 1800's. After the Governor issued a day of prayer for the plague a freak sleet storm killed the grasshoppers and eggs.
The ground are very peaceful and brings you to another time. The chapel is open and is very quaint.
Bass Fish Statue
Big fish statues are a common site in Minnesota. This one is located on top of a gas station and bait shop.
Twin Towers Relic
The jagged edges of the beam did not come from the terrorist attack, but from metal crosses cut out of it and given to families of the victims. This was one of the last pieces of the World Trade Center given to a town as a memorial
The memorial is located right in front of the Rockville Fire Department
Wayward Pizza Man
Abandoned Little Caesars pizza man sitting among a bunch of U-Haul rental trailers.
Wonder what the back story is on this!
A sculpture of a half-melted electric guitar along with other guitars, banjo, violin, tambourine and musical notes that spin with the wind located outside an apartment complex.