I recently rediscovered a small handful of photographs that show small town, Midwestern hospitality at its best. Lanesboro is in bluff country inland from the Mississippi River in the southeast corner of Minnesota. Known for many Victorian and Edwardian homes converted to bed and breakfast use, the town treats its many visitors in such a way that they want to return and urge their friends to come too! In addition to the Opalotype bicycle outside the Arts Center posted here on February 27th, here are another three images. My wish is that, whether here or elsewhere, you too may find a restful haven of goodwill and generosity.
First is the side of a warehouse on a bluff above the Root River with an amazing, sliding door that rolls on a heavy iron rail above the lintel. Decorated with ivy that’s turning red-gold with the season, the door and the brick wall look well together in matching shades. An old reel mower still gives good service reminding me of the one my father pushed as he crisscrossed our yard in a neighboring Midwestern state. Focal length: 28.0 mm; 1/60 sec; f/5.6; ISO 400Next is the old railroad trestle on the southwest corner of town. Where Milwaukee Road–Iowa & Southern Minnesota Division–trains once carried grain from the prairies, it’s now part of the Root River State Trail, an expansive pedestrian and bike trail that connects several picturesque towns in the valley. Focal length: 17.0 mm; 1/125 sec with the camera braced against the far rail and a vertical timber; f/5.6; ISO 400; AEB-Aperture Priority; Evaluative metering Last up is the Spud Boy Diner believed to have been built in the mid-1920s by the Goodell Dining Car Company at 30 Main Street, Silver Creek, NY where: “Quality Dining Cars [are] built of the best, latest equipment and fully complete; Sold on easy terms $4,750” It spent the next 75 years as a popular, trackside eatery in Wellington, Ohio. Turns out there’s a lot of history at Spud Boy! A most interesting part was the restoration by new owner, Gordon Tindall, over more than five years, inspired by a group of devoted diner connoisseurs, and supported in part by private donations and the American Diner Museum.
If you want to read the history and see photos of the restoration process, take a look at http://www.nydiners.com/cecilmove.html. The superbly renovated Spud Boy Diner opened for business in Lanesboro in the late spring of 2012; to find them and see what’s on the menu, check the Spud Boy Diner website at: http://spud.nydiners.com/ Focal length: 17.0 mm; 1/45 sec; f/5.6;ISO 400; Aperture Priority; Evaluative metering