Another entry in our long stroll down the humble ruins of Dexter Avenue.

Rather idiosyncratic building, with lots of personal touches. A real chimney, or a design affectation? It looks domestic.

Last call:



Original colored tiles above the stairs to to the second floor. The one on the left is different than the one on the right and it doesn’t seem to be a google-camera glitch.


The rest of the building below. The door seems to be throwing up its interior. Slow-motion self-demolition.



Rewind a few years back, when its last incarnation was a “party store.” Booze.


As of 2017 it's all gone.



“Social" Club. Eclectic old-world style:


There are still drapes upstairs. Does anyone live there? Do they blow through the open windows on a winter day?


Blocks, and blocks, and blocks of this.




They still speak of the Tree Who Spoke Like Man, and kept the cars from coming or going



GET BACK UP! The President and CEO of this tidy med-century structure is Dr. Billy Taylor.


If you don't know the name, it's this fellow:

Born in Hoxie, Arkansas, Dr. Taylor is the youngest of seven children: three brothers and three sisters. He spent his early years in Memphis, until his father's death in 1954; Billy was five years old. His mother, Mariah Marie Taylor, moved the family to Barberton, Ohio, where Billy spent the rest of his childhood excelling in sports and in the classroom. The two big football power houses, Ohio State and Michigan, competed for his talent during his senior year. His decision to attend the University of Michigan set the stage for his future academic and athletic achievements. Taylor is still a University of Michigan Legend:

Billy Taylor's life drastically changed when his mother died suddenly on January 4, 1971, only three days after his final game as a Wolverine playing Stanford in the Rose Bowl. In the next 6 months, his favorite uncle murdered his aunt and then took his own life. His girlfriend Valerie was stabbed to death in Detroit. His NFL career was limited by a series of knee injuries. These events started a long downward spiral of depression, drinking, drugs and encounters with the law. Although he completed a Master's Degree in Education, secured a job with General Motors, married and had three children, his slide into alcoholism put him on the streets and led to his divorce.

But he got back up,

Little bit of this; little bit of that. The augur foretells the future.



Not a soul to be found, not a thing to buy - but those corners are ADA compliant.




A humble start to this year's entry. Population: 3,460, give or take a few souls. It has ambition, though: the hotel no doubt made everyone think of the bustling train depot in old Gotham, with its brisk, sophisticated cosmopolitan scene.

It has a Facebook page. One comment: "The rooms are clean upon arrival but not much by way of getting towels and tp on a regular basis if your stay is extended. We ended up having to buy our own. Owners are really friendly though." That counts for more than you might think,

Unhappy brickwork on that green building. But a ghost sign redeems the view:

Owl Cigars. But was it a White Owl? That's what I don't know. Some signs for the White Owl brand said just Owl. If they'd have had modern marketing sensibiilties, they would have had White Owl, Black Owl, and so on, differentiating the flavors.

Barn Owl for the really nasty cheroots.

And what, pray tell, do they sell here?

I have no idea what they're talking about. One guy sitting at a card table with a stack of daily periodicals, waiting for someone to walk by and think "by cracky, I wonder how many they have. I'd like to read a journal from a different city entirely, just to see how many funerals there are for old ladies this week."

That's a lot of turret, Mr. Hetzel.

A Nebraska historical journal says "A majority of the structures are best classified as commercial vernacular. The most prominent, Queen Anne-style building is the Hetzel Block (NH01-044), located on the southeast corner of J Street and Central Avenue. It features an imposing corner tower, carved stonework and an ornate cornice."

And that's a big fat lot of help. Who was Hetzel?

Four buildings? Or one?

The answer can be found in the number of windows.

After all these towns we've explored, you have to admit: this is all too typical. From the rehab to the awning to the paint to the refitted window.


As if a curse had stricken the land.

I have to think there was more to this one, but what remains is spectacular:


The reason for those windows? If you guessed "hall for secret Masonic rites," you're wrong. It was the New Opera House. Again, scant historical information; Auburn seems underwhelmed by its past, or disinclined to share what it knows.

Can't have the Main Streets feature without the OSA, or Obligatory Shingled Awning:

The first-floor windows above the main windows are probably bricked up for good, but the building looks like it could be restored with minimal work.

Providing there was a market for office / residential at the price it would take to fix it up, and I'm guessing there isn't. But that's what they said about Fargo before its renaissance.

The last building in the world you'd expect to house a theater:

It's still in business! The site has a "Save the State" page, though. Uh oh. Turns out it's for a renovation drive. There are no historical photos of the place. There's no history of the place.

I suppose if you needed to know, you'd know, because you lived there. It was originally the Booth - great name for a theater in a state whose capital is named Lincoln - and was renamed the state in 1941, eleven years after it opened.

Finally: The sign version of screen burn-in.

  Love that 9, although I'm sure everyone wondered why they did it backwards.


I believe this old book of biographies has our man:

Previous to his coming to Nebraska Mr. Keedy was for several years engaged in the manufacture of lime at Keedysville. He came west in 1881, locating near what was then called Sheridan, now Auburn, and here he bought one hundred and sixty acres of improved land, upon which he carried on farming until the fall of 1893, when he sold to his sons, and bought two lots in Auburn. Here he built his present residence.

When a young man in Maryland, Mr. Keedy was intiated into the mysteries of Oddfellowship. Politically, he is what is termed an independent, and in religion he also holds independent views, and has never identified himself with any creed.

There has to be a fascinating story about the reason a man named Keedy would leave Keedysville.