Mystery Monday (8/1)

Posted on 08/01/2011 by Lance Roper in Mystery Monday

Another week, another mystery – now with the ability to zoom! (Zoom.It) Read the guidelines below, then comment and be sure to include a link to a corresponding map. Then, this Friday we will reveal this photos location in the comment section of this post! And, enjoy the latest twist, brought to you by Zoom.It.

UPDATE: We’ve added a close-up of the building on the right.

Here are the guidelines,

If you can correctly identify the photo with a link to Google Maps showing where it is, or should be*, you win! Leave a comment here on the blog or on our Facebook Page. Every Friday we will reveal the photo and congratulate the winner! (The first to post the correct answer & link) (*It is estimated that 40% of photos document places that are no longer standing. So, if you can tell us where the subject of the photo used to be, that will work too.)


Close up

Visitor Comments

I will go ahead and jump in with what I see, All the way to the back is a lot of lumber, a lumber yard?? I wonder if the buildings in a row in black have anything to do with a drying process for lumber. I was thinking more like greenhouses with shade cloth over them. Wouldn't be chicken houses so close in town.

I would say the building next to the Volkswagen Dealer is or was a furniture store.....could be something else now, because this just looks like a depressed area....could be second hand furniture now. Next to that building it looks like a large parking lot and long building, so I would say Motel.

This actually reminds me of Old Bisbee/lower Bisbee or Lowell area in Cochise County, Arizona, back in maybe the 80's. Even the soil in the front right corner.

There is a railroad crossing off the right hand side of the image

I'm not certain that is stacked lumber. The items at center rear appear to be concrete drainage pipes or culverts. The shadows of the left rear items suggest hollow centers as well, possibly.

Great observations, Linda and Randy!

I wonder how many bruises were given on that road considering that there are several "slug bugs" in the back!

I should mention also that this photo is from the state of Iowa.

Chicken barns. Wood would have open sides to aid in drying.
I think the central building is a repair shop/used car dealer. Not enough vehicles to be a new car lot and not all of them are Volkswagons.
The name on the side on the right hand building is tantalizing just beyond resolution ...
Are those dirt mound or sand on the bottom of the image? Or rocks? Could be other construction or an area on the edge of water.

We posted a close-up of the name on the right-hand building! I hope that helps!

Car wash on the left?

Thanks for the close-up, but still can't make out the name on the truck or van. The truck looks like Bobaks Dry Cem Carpet Cleaners and the Van looks like Babolis, so I am lost on that one....just making up stuff in my head....worse than old census records.

Randy, I agree with the culverts and such, but thought I saw lumber too, maybe not.

The black buildings I am really starting to think of as nothing but storage for supplies. Too hot for chickens....still to close in for chickens anyway.....did you notice that these houses and the concrete/culvert place are on another level from main street. So it is not totally flat there.

I think the building to the left, is a veggie/meat/ corner market type place. Notice the cement car parking blocks at the poles on the side, so this is not drive through. That is an overhang....right time of year, big enough for produce to be sitting out. Back lot is pretty big, for delivery trucks. Also notice that the guy with the VW place drives through there, so I would say it is on a corner. Does anyone else see letters in the middle leading edge of that overhang?....MNA or something??

If we could just make the name out on that furniture store, we would have it narrowed down maybe....I have tried to search under spellings that could be close, for back in the 80's, no luck yet. Just can't read it. Maybe someone else's monitor is better than mine.

Last Hint! This property is in Buena Vista County, Iowa.

This may sound silly, but those barns in the back remind me of tobacco barns


This is photo 40-IBV-20, taken in 1971 ( The locator on your web page for this photo is off (about 3 miles east of where it should be), the actual location is on E Lakeshore Drive in Storm Lake, IA, in the block east of Memorial Road.

The Volkswagen building is now vacant, but the building next door, the Furniture / Floor Covering store which you provided a close-up of, is now Lakeshore Cyclery & Fitness ( ... I discovered this using Google Street View.


This website's automatic link maker accidentally attached the ")" to the end of the link to the photo page. The correct link is

Tony, great job! I knew that last hint would help someone out! I'd like to send you a couple small prizes for your victory! I'll be in touch via e-mail.

Thanks to everyone else for your observations! Your participation is what makes Mystery Monday so exciting. Check back on the 8th for the next post!

Any final word on what those barns are in the background?

I have not been able to find anything about those black buildings in the background. They are still there. I don't think they are tobacco barns, as those require a lot of ventilation (to dry the tobacco). They're also probably not for any animals (again, no windows or ventilation). Perhaps they are simply storage buildings for Naven's Memorial (i.e. grave monuments) to which that road in front of the buildings leads (to the right of the photo). Marble or granite certainly wouldn't need any ventilation.

The culverts / sewer pipes / lumber whatever is stored behind the buildings are no longer there, that is just a grassy area now (though it was still in use in 1994 according to Google Earth historical imagery).

Great Job Tony!


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