It's the County Seat. It has 12,600 souls, and it's named after the captain of the USS Ironsides. Every year they have a Swine Time festival. Let's take a look at their downtown.

E. J. Perry ran a construction company, so this was a billboard of sorts:

This page says the structure next door is also the E. J. Perry building, which seems wrong; they're obviously built in different stages with no attempt to link them together. It's possible E.J. built on the corner first; that would be a nice prestigious location. Did he build two stories, then add a third? It's almost impossible to say either way. Perhaps he built something next door as well, but if you're going to build something that advertises your name, you'd want to make it bigger.

Sometimes I save a particular shot, then ask myself later: why?

Perhaps the lone tree, the blank wall - and perhaps it was the awning over the door. Completely unnecessary, unless you wanted to stand in the doorway for a while without getting heat stroke. I suppose it told you where the door was, but that couldn't have been too much of a mystery.

Well, it has to get better, and it will. But:

It looks as if nothing has occupied the storefronts since the crash of '29.

Was it always thus?

I don't think so; must have been a bank. It's too ornate for a City Hall. There's a time when everyone's feeling flush and full of civic pride, and sure, shoot the moon, build something that puts the town on the map. But such excesses seem wrong for a city hall; they connote wastefulness.

For a bank, of course, it means STRENGTH.

This makes no sense.

It's an utterly undistinguished building; it would look nicer if the original hues of the brick hadn't been painted over. But what's with the upper floors? What are those small squares? Did they brick over large windows - and wouldn't those windows have looked out of scale to the rest of the building? Rise, oh shade of E. J. Perry, and answer our cries!

Another example of the smothering power of paint:

It does even out the areas that look different because they were bricked, but maybe the answer to that problem is to leave them as they were originally. But no. Someone always had to close up a door or a window.

Also an example of the decorative effects you can get with brick, and nothing else.



I hope the owner was named Young:

Because that says "corsets in the modern colors" more than the hip styles of today's with-it teens.


A perfect little downtown store. Men's clothing, in this case. I can smell it now - pipe tobacco, leather, polish. At least that's what these places were like when I was a kid.

Okay, I don't think that's original.

Of course, it's not. And it precedes its current occupant. That's a classic post-war makeover, covering up the facade with something modern - in this case, patterned stone, which from my experience wasn't too common. Usually a metal screen would suffice.

It's distinctive, which is different from attractive, but it's certainly interesting.

Nothing to see and nowhere to enter; move along.

It looks as if it could come back to life at any moment, though. Someone wanted to preserve what it was while taking away everything for which it was used.

"We got a good deal on this paint."


This sort of raw, forlorn vista suggests that the children who may have wandered through the store on trips downtown with Mom are now eking out their senior years as Wal-Mart greeters, where the real action is.


"So after we've bricked 'em up, we're going to paint 'em, right?"

"Aw, who the hell cares."

For Rent. For Sale. For Pity's sake.


We can't end with something like this . . .



Looks like a completely different city, doesn't it?