After spending some time in Coin for the annual Buzzard Day Festival, I decided to explore a few of the other communities in southern Page County. One of those communities is Blanchard. As of the 2010 census, they recorded a population of 38 people.
Upon doing a little research on the town, I noticed that perhaps Blanchard's most famous resident was a major league baseball player named Pat Ragan. He was born in the late 1800's and died in 1956 in Los Angeles. However, he is notable in that he was one of the first major league pitchers in history to record a 3 strikeout 9 pitch (all strikes) inning.
It also has some notoriety because it is a community that is partly in Iowa and partly in Missouri. There is a sign that says welcome to Missouri, but perhaps the starkest difference is that you can see a definitive change in the road. Not to brag, but I think Iowa has better roads than Missouri!
I happened to notice that they were having a town social at the time I drove into town so I thought I would pop in to the community center and see what was going on.
Blanchard's community center was next to an emergency services (fire department, etc) garage.
Inside the community center, I found some folks enjoying a wide array of food and beverage that was available for a free-will offering. I wasn't hungry but grabbed a bottle of water for a $1.
The community center was home to some trophies that, I am assuming, were once part of the local school before it dissolved.
I used the restroom and found an interesting sign. I guess toilet paper theft may be an issue in some places.
Outside the building, there is a bell that used to be part of a local church.
There's one of those little free libraries that are popular in neighborhoods all over the place.
There's also Dewhurst Park next door. It's between the community center and the post office and has a modest sized picnic shelter.
Across the street is also a nice park with a basketball court and some equipment for children to utilize.
Elsewhere in town, I spotted a neat United Methodist church building.
There is also a water tower.
I found a sign denoting where the school stood until 1957.
There were a couple of other buildings in town in addition to some residential homes.
The Wabash Trace Nature Trail is a converted railroad right-of-way running over 60 miles from Council Bluffs to Blanchard along the state borders. I believe it ends near this Conoco sign. If you are into biking, you might want to check it out. They have a Facebook page to learn more.
This was my first ever visit to Blanchard. The folks in the community center were quite friendly. Towns like Blanchard may not have a lot of amenities, but they are close knit and that counts for a lot.
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Page County or one of the other 98 counties. If you would wish to host the Iowa Adventurer or have a good idea, please drop me a note through my website.