Besides an ocean, mountains, and a professional athletics team (and maybe a few other things), Iowa has just about everything else including a town that is named after a mythological God.
Thor is a town of just under 200 residents in Humboldt County. It's namesake, according to mythology, "is a hammer-wielding God associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and fertility." Much of that seems pretty powerful and hardcore.
On a recent Saturday, I stopped into Thor and though I didn't find any thunder bolts flying my way or a hammer wielding machismo (other than the guy on the sign), I did find a nice and relatively quiet community with a great deal of pride.
Thor was founded by Scandinavian immigrants, many of which were from Norway. As a result, I was not at all surprised to see a large and quite stately Lutheran church.
Over by the water tower is a grain elevator with a pretty impressive line-up of bins. Thor is certainly a farming community.
Across the street from the grain bins and an area where the anhydrous wagons are stored, there's an elevator office and scale.
This other agricultural business, which appears to be Dekalb seed sales, is also located on the edge of town.
I also found a nice city park that I am sure is enjoyable when it isn't bitterly cold and covered in snow.
The downtown has a number of buildings that are in various states of use and condition.
Of course, there is a post office.
I see some beer signs in this building's window but I am not sure if it is an operating business or not.
I was quite impressed by the architecture of this particular building. Very interesting.
After a few people found out that I was in Thor, they told me that I absolutely had to get to Unkie's. Since they were going open later in the day (and not late morning when I was in town), I will have to come back to enjoy this establishment another time. I'm told it's quite delicious. Based on the wide geographic spectrum of people who mentioned Unkies' to me, it obviously has a far-reaching fan base.
I also found a nice gazebo and flag. With the freshly fallen snow, it was quite pretty.
I found a wide variety of homes.
These three beauties were lined up on the south side of town and across the street from the church.
One of the streets is Manly - something you might expect when your town is named "Thor".
I also found a whole row of these old-style satellite dishes. While those used to dot the landscape of Iowa, that is not something you see as often anymore.
Given that a lot of our towns and counties are named after politicians or the settlers themselves, I appreciate that we have a town that is named after a mythological God. Thor's founders definitely were thinking bigger and with a little more creativity. I will look forward to getting back to Humboldt County again soon.
I obviously definitely need to get back to Thor to give Unkie's a try.
As always, I welcome your suggestion of places to visit and profile whether in Humboldt County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, drop me a note through my website.