Daydreaming on Main Street in Struble, Iowa

Daydreaming on Main Street in Struble, Iowa

Struble, Iowa is in Plymouth County, about thirty miles northeast of Sioux City, and not far from another place we recently visited, the similarly-named Ruble, Iowa.

Struble, Iowa

According to the 2010 Census, Struble is a town of 78 residents, down from an all-time high of 327 in 1910. I was fooling around on Google Earth One day when I stumbled upon Struble, and we decided to visit so we could photograph the abandoned buildings in town. In April of 2016, we found ourselves daydreaming on Main Street in Struble, Iowa, photographing two old banks which stand side-by-side.

Struble, Iowa

The Bank of Struble, built in 1917, stands right next to the former Farmers Savings Bank. It’s pretty unusual for two banks to stand right next to each other. In the years we’ve been exploring little places like Struble, this is the first time we’ve ever encountered this arrangement. If someone knows the story of these two banks, we’d love to hear it in the comments below.

Struble, Iowa

This town has been the subject of some press coverage in recent years, spotlighted in 2008 by AP writer Magdalene Biesanz in a story about Struble resident David Hawkins’ massive collection of John Deere tractors, and again in 2011 in a story about Joe and Marilynn Vollmecke, dedicated public servants who gave generously of their time to keep this tiny city in good municipal shape.

Struble, Iowa

Struble, Iowa

Directly east of the Farmers Savings Bank, a new structure is going up. We were pretty happy to see it, since most of the time, they’re tearing buildings down in little communities like this, not putting them up. It seems to be a good sign for a community that reached an all-time low population of 59 in 1970.  There were a few gentlemen working on the structure next to the bank, and we would have loved to talk to them and learn a little about Struble, but they were hoisting beams into place and we were reluctant to interrupt their work.

Struble, Iowa

On the west edge of town is the amazing St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, which celebrated its centennial back in 2003.

Struble, Iowa

Struble, Iowa

The first part of the marker inscription reads: “Our Lady of Fatima statue was erected in 1958 in Memory of Barbara and James Groetken who died December 12th, 1957 in a truck-car-school bus accident south of Struble on their way to Gehlen Catholic Schools in Le Mars.”

The second part of the inscription on the marker reads: “This marker was dedicated August 10th, 2003 at the parish centennial celebration in memory of all the children of St. Joseph’s Struble and St. Mary’s Maurice who died in their youth.”

Struble, Iowa

Struble, Iowa

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

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2 thoughts on “Daydreaming on Main Street in Struble, Iowa

  1. Such a wonderful town, I enjoy so much reading about forgotten places here in the U.S. Thank you for your posts.

  2. These websites are terrific, guys. I appreciate the effort and the miles you put in to create them. That said, too many times I’ve read how you couldn’t deviate from your schedule (the nice Canadian lady inviting you to coffee springs to mind) or how you don’t want to bother a local when you see them for fear of being perceived as bothersome. Ditch the clock and let the day take you where and when it may and let the folks you’re worried about bothering decide whether or not that’s the case. I think you’ll be rewarded with unexpected discoveries and local knowledge if you do. Just me 2 cents worth.
    P.S. I found and ordered your churches book on amazon and I’m looking forward to giving it to mom tomorrow for Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and yours, guys. Keep exploring and we’ll keep watching.

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