For some reasons I decided to do a few then-and-now shots, perhaps because the place isn’t particularly interesting. We’ll see.

The church before:

The church after, with new decorations on the painted wall.


Oooh, a post-war grocery store. Do we have a better shot?

Yes, but alas.

It's hard on a town when the grocery store goes out. Hard.

Putting the urns around the door helps to reduce its off-centeredness, but it’s not enough.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Midwest

Looks like it got a thick coat of stucco; I’d bet there are bricks beneath.


Des Mart: a fine post-war facade, if a bit rote. Nice to see it intact, and well kept; not a trace of rust.


I can hear the Herb Alpert play. I don’t know why. But I do.


Post-war building in the “public service” style, which could include utilities.

Old man Brenner comes out once a month, wild-eyed and smelly

See? The same “public service” style.

OUMBist of the OUMB.

The modern interpretation of the Main Street commercial strip has been, for decades, an almost instant failure.

No one loves this stuff.

The side was done in 60s Flintstone style.

Something interesting: the high school. I’ll bet it was a WPA building. If not, at least it was built during that era. Kids must have felt pretty spiffy: this was as modern as Buck Rogers.

Finally: a bit of the bygone times.

There's more . . . but there isn't, really.



What distinction might the city have? "At the 2020 census, the population was 2,358. It is the first city alphabetically, both by city and state, in the Rand McNally Road Atlas."

The only question . . .

. . . is whether it’s been something other than a gas station for longer than it was a gas station.


“I’m going to get me some of those farmer tires, that’s the ticket.”

Dead pumps? They seem to be ready to dispense, what with the hoses and state stickers and Self-Serve sign. But all that could be old.

Well, there’s a nice old sign, and it seems to be lovingly maintained.

Hold on a second

Philco? Buster Brown?

“Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.” Uh - okay

That leering dog, that boy in the strange effeminate clothes. What was the dog’s name? Pug? Champ? I can’t recall. There’s no reason I should. The brand was around when I was a kid, and one of the stores had a comic book about his adventures.

It goes back much farther, as you may know.

Buster Brown is a comic strip character created in 1902 by Richard F. Outcault. Adopted as the mascot of the Brown Shoe Company in 1904, Buster Brown, his sister Mary Jane, and his dog Tige, were well known to the American public in the early 20th century.

Tige! Right. And there were Mary Jane shoes for girls, no?

Okay, I get it. The town decided to make its main street a neon sign museum. What a marvelous idea!

The old CASE tractor sign.

A reminder that Pennsylvania was once known as a petroleum state, at least in the early days of the industry.

It was a product of Dryer-Clark, incorporated in 1925.

In Oklahoma.

You have to wonder if the merchants didn’t occasionally wish for a sign that said what they actually sold.

Unless they were all antique dealers.

A missed opportunity to splash on some orange paint, I think.

Unless the original Rexall livery was all blue; entirely possible.

Modern signs, although the “Henry County” sign’s design could now be considered vintage.

Just doesn’t seem as if anything that looked like that belongs in the vintage category.

I guess we’ve run out of signs.


Oh, c’mon. Bank of Hank is right there, use it.


OUMB with the Yamasaki fluted columns.

They’re everywhere. Slit windows and brick, as usual. Would’ve looked much nicer if they’d gone with marble, that costs more.

Brick’ll do.

OUMB, repurposed: now the office for an oil company.

More brutish than the Yamasaki-inspired model, but like all banks, it had to have columns. Because banks have columns. It shows they’re solid.

The tiny little Archie, which we met in the Clippings the other day.

Not quite what I expected, considering the story’s revelation of a big new screen.

I don’t know why it says Williston.

You know what it was, of course. And that makes us want to zoom up into the heavens and see if we can find any trace of the old tracks.