I see I have two folders for Jackson, indicating there was so much here I had to split it up over two weeks.



I see what they’re doing - making the building look a bit larger, giving a low-slung structure something of a Main Street look.

Hey, I want to start out in a generous mood.


I do believe we’ve found it, after all these years of searching:

The most boring post office in the United States of America.

The clone-stamp-tool facade, brought you by Amalgamated Pressed Tin & Ornamental Diversions

Oh my God

Buckaroo overhang and the big faux-stone of the 60s: this poor thing got whipped with the ugly stick every day of its life.

I guarantee that whatever is behind the building on the right is better than what we see now.

On the left, a nice old small-town variety store, long gone, inhabited by pretenders. That’s just part of it . . .

The whole thing. But what was it?

Gamble? Skogmo? Doesn’t seem to be any of the usual chains, in style or hue. Although Gamble was green / white, so maaaaybe.

“Just do it! I’m tired of hearing people complain about having to squint, or having their rugs fade over time.”

“And no, I don’t care what damned color of brick you use.”

Another in the Tiny Tim school of buildings, the ones that have a seemingly insufficient stick to prop up a crucial corner.


From a contemporary hagiography:

Ranks among the foremost merchants of Jackson, Minnesota. The enterprising business interests are the elements of the advance of a community – the cause of its prosperity; and the men who control these interests therefore deserve all credit for the advancement, progress and prosperity of the section with which they are connected. Mr. Hutchinson is engaged in the clothing business and has a well conducted establishment, which receives a liberal patronage from the citizens of Jackson and the surrounding country.

Born in New York, headed west. Was mayor for a while.

You know, it’s possible that it wasn’t something else. Given the style of the letters, it’s possible this always said that.

The horrid press of the Buckaroo Revival against the inside of the second story, as if the floor was stuffed with owls

"So, I'd like some supplies for my fleet."

"Your name Bob?"

"No, John."

"Sorry, then."


Another New Yorker who made a nice pile in the territories:


The hagiography (lost the link at the moment):

He has 610 acres under cultivation and upon the land are five tenants. He also owns fifty acres of land within the corporation limits of Jackson – a very valuable tract. He has studied closely land values, and his sagacity and discrimination have enabled him to make judicious investments which have brought him rich returns.

He also owns eight lots in the Merriam Park addition to St. Paul, two lots in Albright's choice addition to Omaha, and other town property. Although the greater part of his time and attention have been given to his landed interests, his business ability is not limited to this one line of trade, and in connection with his other enterprises he is now a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company, and was one of the original directors of the State Bank of Jackson, and is still connected with that institution in that capacity.

St. Paul was a ways away in those days. Still is.


Sigh. Poor Ashley.


And again with the bios:

One of the most favorably known citizens of Jackson County, Minnesota. Until recently he has engaged in the hardware business in the town of Jackson, and was recognized as one of the leading merchants of that place, but now he is living retired, enjoying the rest which is the fitting reward of a long life of useful labor.

Born in Scotland. Get this:

He served a five-years apprenticeship to the trade of engineer, and then went to sea as an engineer on a steamship. For four years he cruised among the East India islands, went to India, then to Rangoon in Burmah, and during the war between England and Abyssinia he was engaged in conveying troops and dispatches between India and Abyssinia, being in the latter country during the bombardment of Magdala and at the time of the capture of King Theodore. He was for three years chief engineer for the Bombay and Bengal Steamship Company, which sold the vessel on which he was serving to the Persians with the condition attached that Mr. Fiddes was to remain with the ship for six months.

And that’s the half of it.

He is a gentleman of the highest character, possessed of a wide knowledge of men and the world, and his varied experiences, gained in his travels, has made him a most interesting converser. When Mr. Fiddes left home and started out in life for himself he had no capital save that with which nature endowed him. He possesses an energetic, determined disposition and resolved to win success, a resolution which he has carried out. He has now considerable property, including a fine brick store building and an excellent farm of over 400 acres, one and a half miles from the town, and under a high state of cultivation. All this is a monument to his thrift and enterprise, a substantial memorial to a well-spent life.

Well done, Mr. Fiddes.



I think of a better name for a rural realty company.

Those olde-tyme lamps can all go away. They never added anything.

This is nuts, and I love it.

The cornices are almost post-modern: they suggest the idea of the cornice while commenting on its lack of true function.

Little filigrees and bits of beauty wherever you could put them.

More next week; wonder what comes next. Haven’t seen this folder in a year.