Chatfield is known as "The Gateway to Bluff Country" and "The Chosen Valley." Twenty-eight hundred souls. On the second weekend of August, it has "Western Days." Usually I remember why I visited a city; it's usually a matchbook or a motel. But I can't tell right now.

It'll come to me. Okay: let's begin.

It’s actually a hopeful sign. The store on the left looks rehabbed enough, and the one on the right could be shamed into losing its Buckaroo Revival shingles. The cornice could be stripped and redone. 1897, it says: it’s made it this far, so there’s that.

Someone popped a nice roll for that screen:


The name may be at variance with the modernism, but when you think about it, this is Old Tyme now, just as 1910 was Old Time to 1957.

Perhaps it’s the Y that doesn’t work. That implies old British Things.



It’s odd paint jobs like this that split up a building and render the top an afterthought.



At least the old windows are still doing their job; someone may have put in glass blocks to slow down the light, but it still makes its way inside.



What’s on the first floor? A basketball court?



Look at the size of the front door. Something's not right.


I love the building on the right - you know it’s a screen over an old undistinguished brick structure, and the town has enough of those. As I keep saying, facades like this made the downtown feel modern and up-to-date.



As for the one on the left, it’s . . . odd, and makes you wonder again how tall the first floor was.


Well, we had a problem with tenants just standing in the hallway on the second floor, admiring the view, not getting any work done. They’d be so transfixed by the view they’d forget to to in their offices or rooms.




You might have noticed by now that the town has lots of brick, lots of old brick - you can tell by the narrow windows - and that most of the ornamentation was done with brick.



You could get some nice effects on the cheap if you had men who were good at their job, and knew a few tricks.



One building in that hue would be okay. Two, less so. Two, together? No.



Ah, now I know why I went to Chatsfield. I bought a postcard.



What do you think this was? Right.




Schmidt’s Beer, if you’re curious.



And that's why we went to Chatfield.