To the outside observer or first-time visitor, Nemaha might seem quaint. But this close-knit community, with it's confident slogan of "A Mighty Small Town", sure has plenty to be proud about.
Located just north of the newly completed four-lane Highway 20 and not far from the border separating Sac and Buena Vista Counties, Nemaha, with it's population of about 85 as of the last census, is a farming community with some lovely homes, a few businesses, a beautiful old church, and a nice city park.
On a recent Saturday afternoon (before some of the snow melted), I stopped by to check out the town while in the area. It's been a number of years since they performed (as best as I can tell about a decade), but for awhile...the name of Nemaha was quite synonymous with square dancing antique Farmall tractors. A quick search on Google or Youtube will yield you some great stories and videos about this unique performance group. Of course, there may not longer be square dancing Farmalls, but agriculture is still a huge part of the local economy. There's a large grain and feed Ag Partners location in town.
I found a large snow covered corn pile. I see fewer of those this year with the weather challenges affecting last year's yields.
There's also a Fast Stop (FS) fueling station, which is nice to have. There are a lot of similarly sized communities around Iowa that do not have a public fuel station.
I found a couple of other businesses in town, including a woodworking business on the west side. Cook's Woodstock, which has been around for over 35 years, makes furniture and custom cabinets.
Closer to the Main Street area, I found Schiltz Manufacturing, a business that makes grain handling and bin unloading equipment.
Frontier Communications has a small telecommunications building in town.
There are a few other buildings in town that are in varying stages of use and condition.
The Nemaha Fire Station doubles as a community center with a side door on the back end of it.
This old brick building is listed as the Town Hall but I'm not sure that is it's current use today. It appears to be more of a garage.
This small white building on a corner, dwarfed by the elevator in the background, is the post office.
There is a small brick garage here that helps with road maintenance and snow removal. It appears to be owned by the county.
I found a beautiful United Methodist Church building. They sure do not make church buildings like this anymore, unfortunately.
There is a nice city park that, I imagine when not covered with ice and snow, is a fun place to spend time in warmer weather.
There is a nice array of single family homes that are situated along beautiful tree lined streets.
At the northwest corner of town, you can find a sign denoting the spot of the consolidated school building. Before they consolidated into other districts, Nemaha was home of the Blue Jays.
You can see what the large brick building once looked like as depicted in the etching below the brick arch.
These days, there is a small park-like area with a smaller, newer brown building.
There's also an older set of bleachers.
Across the street, someone is storing an old boat and camper.
Despite Nemaha being low in population, I did find it to be quite mighty in what it offers. As someone who has traveled to a lot of small towns around our state, Nemaha is doing quite well for itself comparatively. I hope to get back sometime when the weather is warmer and everything is greener to get an even better appreciation for this mighty Northwest Iowa community.
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Sac County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through this site.