It was a fantastic weekend of biking, road-tripping to southern MN, and visiting family for Mother’s Day. However, the most peaceful moments of the weekend were during my Sunday morning photo-stroll through Mapleton. As most families were either already at church or preparing to leave for church, there was barely a car or person on the streets. Having been born and raised in Mapleton, I think it’s always fun to examine what has changed in this city of 1700 in the last 20 years and what has remained the same. I will need to give myself this photo assignment every time I travel to my parent’s house, as the following photos only scratch the surface of the character and nostalgia of this small community.
Standing in the middle of Highway 30 and looking down Second Ave towards the house I grew up in. I would always tell people we live one block south of the liquor store. Here is that “one block.”
My parents purchased this old church parsonage just before I was born. Over the last 40 years my dad has done an amazing job restoring the exterior and interior to an updated version of the original Craftsman style.
Nicest looking house on the street. . . in my opinion.
The Lucas Troendle House, or the Solie Mansion as we used to call it, is a fixture of Mapleton. I think I have ever only been inside once or twice , but was convinced on more than once occasion that it was haunted.
Anyone who has lived in Mapleton for more than 5 minutes knows exactly where this is. The Municipal Building in Mapleton has such a distinct smell–due to the adjoining Municipal Liquor Store–that I would often stay outside when my mom and I would walk “uptown” to pay the property taxes, water bill, etc. What kid hasn’t tried to climb these decorative bricks?
I wonder how many uncomfortable calls have been made from this phone booth over the last 40 years? I can still remember checking the coin slot for change every time I rolled by on my bike as a kid.
The north side of Main Street in downtown Mapleton. I think it looks better now than when I was a kid 30 years ago. However, I would love to go back in time and take a peak into Finnegan’s Grocery Store which was the building on the far right.
These mirrors were added outside of the grain elevator long after I moved out of Mapleton, but I’m sure we would have found fun uses for them as kids.
I was a pretty good kid growing up. However, I can say that I snuck out on more than one summer night to sit at the top near the American flag on the Mapleton Grain Elevator. Looks like this guy needs some fresh paint.
It’s been nearly 30 years since this building was referred to as Mapleton School. I’m glad I was part of the transition to Mapleton, Amboy, Goodthunder (MAGT) and eventually Maple River two years later.
I’m not sure who lives in this house that sits one block south of my parent’s place, but it was always mustered yellow when I was a kid. A motivated couple painted it a number of bright colors about 20 years ago, but it looks like it is in desperate need of a fresh coat. . . or some maintenance-free siding.
I always tell people that I get a different view of the world from behind the handlebars of a bike. I think that is also true about the view I receive from behind the lens of a camera. I can’t think of anywhere else I would have rather grown up and it sure is fun to attempt to capture elements that resurrect some of those great memories.
Brady Prenzlow owns Prenzlow Photography, rides for Erik’s Bike Shop, teaches at North Hennepin Community College, and loves everything about cycling from behind the lens and behind the bars.