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Out and About

By Jane Whitmore - | Sep 17, 2020

With the annual flu season coming on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are cautious about what they do and where they go. Some days there is very little traffic and very few vehicles parked downtown.

School activities are keeping families involved. Football, volleyball and cross country are in full swing with fans and families attending all of the events. So far – so good.

There are plenty of opportunities to be out and about and not be in a crowd. A new book was released about “100 things to do before you die” in a particular city. For the life of me, I don’t recall what city – and it really doesn’t matter. There are plenty of things to do in Palo Alto County that should be explored.

Check out these area attractions:

The Robert Emmet statue and the Blarney Stone are located on Courthouse Square, downtown Emmetsburg. Each has a plaque to read a little history. It’s worth the stop.

The original Old Town Emmetsburg site is located at Riverdale Ranch, 3621 450th Avenue. There is a stone marking the spot that is fun to see.

The trail of the Dragoons is marked with a marker and plaque at Kearney State Park. Check out the history of the Dragoons, who and what they were, and where their journey took them many years ago.

Many buildings are not open to the public right now, but you can still walk/drive by and enjoy the settings of the Victorian on Main Museum, the back side of the Little House on the Prairie, and the Jackman Cabin at the Palo Alto County Historical Museum.

Have you ever looked at the mural in the Emmetsburg Post Office while you were waiting in line? It’s a Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) mural. The W.P.A. was created in 1935 to help provide economic relief to the citizens of the United States who were suffering through the great Depression. W.P.A. artists painted the mural on the Post Office wall. There are also some sidewalks in Emmetsburg that were installed by W.P.A. workers and marks in the concrete indicate this work.

The Shrine of The Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend is open year around for self guided tours. The Sod House, School House and Post Office are located on the grounds of the West Bend Historical Museum and Ag Museum. Again, these buildings are probably not open.

The Lost Island Prairie Wetland Center at Huston Park in Ruthven is not open to the public, but the grounds can be explored. Walk through Huston Park, Emmetsburg City Parks and Basswood Recreation Area and notice the improvements that have been put into place.

Autumn is a great time to be outdoors hiking or biking on the trail. We have so many amenities to keep us out and about – maybe even 100 or more! You have many choices, so it’s up to you to check it out and enjoy.