Mystery Monday (1/9)

Posted on 01/09/2012 by Lance Roper in Mystery Monday

Welcome to our very first Mystery Monday contest for 2012! Every Monday, we’re going to post a photo from our collection and invite anyone to guess it’s location. The first person to correctly identify the location will win a prize. To start the year, we’ll be offering the winner a $50 discount to any framed photograph in our collection.

Feel free to leave your observations and guesses in the comment box at the bottom of every post.

If you’ve been playing for a while, then you know how this works. If not, be sure to read the guidelines below:

  • 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.
  • Whoever identifies the photograph and posts a link to its correct location first, wins!
  • This week’s winner will receive a $50 coupon for any framed print, or simple bragging rights! Whichever you prefer!
  • In order to win, the photo’s location must be correctly identified by this Friday at 5:30PM EST.

If you know of anyone else who would enjoy this blog (or perhaps someone who would be a great competitor,) please send them here!

Let the games begin!

Visitor Comments

Another great church for my collection! Terrain is a bit hilly, at least there are some decent gullies here, filled with trees. Kind of reminds me of Missouri or there abouts. Several dead trees; possibly dutch elm disease? The only vehicle is a bicycle (near the sign), it has a 50s/60s style to it.

Also, the church is built in the shape of a Greek Cross (a basic "plus" sign), which is a little unusual -- of the nearly 240 churches in my collection, only three or four have that shape.

I wonder if the people in this photograph know it exists. That would be quite a memory!

From what I've read about Dutch Elm disease, IF this is from the 60s AND IF those trees died from Dutch Elm disease, then this photo was taken in a state somewhere east of Chicago. However, that wouldn't really narrow it down enough to help find it. Got any hints for us on this one, Lance?

An insightful guess, but this picture was actually taken in the wonderful state of Iowa!

If it is in Iowa, I would say it is in southern Iowa because of the open bell on top. To much snow falls in northern Iowa for that type of construction. Also this church must be on the outskirts of a small town as there is a sidewalk that starts from in front of the sign and goes to the left out of the picture. What I find interesting looking at the picture is the lone 100 pound LP cylinder that was probably used to run a stove in the basement and what looks to be a coal shoot door. Also it looks like there is a path in back of the church that runs off to the back right of the picture and also maybe a wood shed/out house type building back behind the church.

@Lance, I did say "IF" ... "AND IF". Obviously, at least one of my two postulates is incorrect :)
Iowa, huh? You guys have over 23000 rolls scanned for Iowa! How 'bout a longitude to narrow it down :)

@Wil, I've found churches with open bell towers in Wisconsin; I lived in southern Wisconsin for a year and can attest to the bitter cold and copious snow there :) So, I'm not sure that would necessarily help us narrow down the location.

Tony, that made me laugh. How about I tell you the year it was taken? That should narrow down the results significantly!

This photo was taken in 1972.

Wil, great observations! I would have never noticed some of the things you pointed out!

Tony, I guess that could be with the open church bell towers in Southern Wisconsin. I have lived in NE Iowa most of my life and can say that I have never seen an open church bell tower like shown. I still think Southern Iowa just from the looks of the terrain but I could be wrong.b

Lance, that is one of the things I like about these old pictures is scanning them for some of the historic details that are overlooked and were not the real point of the picture.

Thanks, Lance, that narrowed it down to 953 rolls :) So far I've gone through the counties bordering the Mississippi River and a couple one county west; only 591 rolls to go (unless I overlooked it already)!

Ok, I found the image at and another view (showing the parsonage too) at so I know this church is in Linn County (which is where Cedar Rapids is).

There are flight paths for rolls 5 & 7, but not for this roll (6); however, it looks like the flight path for roll 5 ends where the flight path for 7 begins, so maybe the aerial photographer did not note the beginning of roll 6 (i.e. the flight path you've shown for 5 may also include 6).

I've looked (in Google Earth) in the area bounded by Prairieburg, Central City, and Springville (which is the area covered by the flight paths for 5 & 7); but not had any luck yet. Of course, family/work/etc are keeping me from devoting full attention to this mystery.

Lance, the photo web pages show "The exact location if [sic] this photo is unknown", is that true or do you actually know where this church is located?

Tony, I do have the location of this church!
Here's the link:

This is Jordan Grove Baptist Church.
Here's a shot from the ground:

Your reasoning for why there was no flight path for roll 6 would be my guess as well.

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