The Illinois city is bigger. Much bigger. Over one hundred thousand in Illinois. Here? Six hundred and fifty.

There’s a lot here, really. Really!

First of all, this station. It bears no clue to indicate its original affiliation, but we can expect it was a standard (sorry) two-bay / showroom / crappers ‘round the side model. The pumps might give us a hint, since they appear to be original. Don’t know if they still work.

Then there’s the old truck, something for the duffers to enjoy. Give it a little nod as you go past.

I think I snipped this because I thought there’d been a gas station in there somewhere . . .

. . . but now I’m wondering about the area with the rails. Grease pit? A place to dump things that would be carried away and sorted by gnomes?

“Honey, I don’t know what that means.”

“It’s a play on words!”

“But I don’t know what that means.”

Perhaps the proprietess was named Misty.


I’m not surprised by the Buckaroo Revival - and this is the full Buckaroo - but by the name. Skogmo was part of Gamble-Skogmo, a variety chain with its HQ in Minneapolis.

Turns out there are local Skogmos, so.

Sometimes they turn it into a park, a flower garden, a war memorial.

And sometimes it’s just ah, to hell with it.

The old sign, without its words . . .

Looks like a tomahawk inexpertly buried in someone’s skull. NO THE OTHER END

You can imagine a knot of angry farmers, standing around with balled fists, wishing that fool banker would come out and explain things

Perhaps it was sold. Perhaps they moved to a nicer building.

It’s the front-door from a 60s suburban house that really sets it apart.


Ah, a sign of past prosperity. We all know what this was, right?

And how do we know? Because of the color scheme that was evident in this chain and HoJo and the World’s Fair of ’39. It was a familiar combination that spoke to the age, and  - thanks to HoJO and Rexall - lasted longer than most.

UMB, early 70s edition.


Don’t laugh. These places are important. It doesn’t look like much, but those buildings were ubiquitious in the 60s and early 70s, probably because they were cheap.

They don’t do a lot for the street, though.

On the other hand, that’s almost modern art.


“Ssshhh! They’ll hear us, and then they’ll knock on the door, and then we’ll have to do something! Just crouch down under the desk.”

Those streetlights were quite the municipal investment, and a strong statement for the continued importance of Main Street.

Now I really, really want to know what goes on downstairs.

Was it a separate business? Seems so. It seems like a needlessly obvious way to make people wonder about your basement.

Like I said, Cheap.

No need to replace that M. Everyone knows what it is.

One can assume the parking lot was rarely full, so this wasn’t a problem.

Finally: A Nearer-My-God-to-Mies mid-century church, with the “steeple” disengaged and rotated, the facade stripped of anything that would draw the eye or raise the spirit except the cross. Which, I grant, is a lot, but you know what I mean.

It’s still better than corrugated steel.