Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Photo Tour of Newton, Kansas with my Awesome Family

Since moving to Newton, my mom and I have been delighted with how quaint and well-preserved downtown Newton is.  It's wonderful to walk Main Street and peer into the shops housed in these turn of the century buildings.  Imagine our delight when we found that my cousin, Lori, and her husband, Eric, were equally intrigued.  When they came to visit from Texas over the Thanksgiving holiday, we put a photo tour of downtown Newton at the top of the agenda.  It follows below, starting with an introduction to my dear cousin, Lori.

First stop, the train depot.  My grandfather remembers being shipped out from this depot during World War II.  Amtrack still uses the building today.
(Train depot, Newton, KS)

(My grandparents, ages 88 and 87)

Notice the fine detailing on this Railroad Building and Loan building featured below.  It was not only important to put up a good building, but also to make it pretty.  In my opinion, we could use a little of this on our modern buildings today.  Obviously, it is no longer used for Railroad Building and Loan.  Instead, it is home to a  variety of offices, including the Chamber of Commerce.

(the side of the Railroad Building and Loan building)

Along the way, our photographer told us to "Go to that that corner and loiter".  So this is our rendition of loitering.  Mostly, we were laughing.

(Michelle, Suzanne--my mom--Lori)

This bay window is another example of the pretty architecture to be found along Main Street.

You can see the window on the building in the background of the picture below.  We were lucky, because since it was Sunday and the shops were closed, we pretty much had the street to ourselves.  We took advantage of the table and chairs left outside by the restaurant.  Oh and by the way, I am smiling at the cameraman, but I realize it looks more like I'm having a seizure.

What would a photo tour be without a picture of the local quilt shop, Charlotte's Sew Natural?  The photographer got a bit arty with this shot.

The next two photographs are pictures of the First Methodist Church, also located on Main Street.  Once again, the architecture is a work of art.

This Baptist Church below can be found just a block off Main Street.

There are a lot of quaint towns in Kansas, but I've never seen one so well-preserved (although I don't pretend to have done a thorough search on the subject).  In our wanderings we did find an explanation that contributes to the fact that these wonderful, old buildings still exist.  In 1880, there was a terrible fire in downtown Newton, and many of the buildings on Main Street were burned to the ground.  After that, the city passed an ordinance requiring all buildings on Main Street between Second Street and Seventh to be made of stone or brick.  I have no doubt that has contributed to the longevity of these buildings.

Our photographer has a sense of humor.  Do we really look like we're up to no good?

So let me introduce our photographer, my sensationally fun cousin-in-law, Eric:

Eric Howton & The Prairie Quilter 2010


  1. that is nice that you like the town. I always like a well preserved town - we have been through some nice ones. I know I have been near Newton but don't know if we have been through it, if we have it was well driving through to other destinations.

  2. LOVE the photo tour! You all look like you're having a blast. I dunno, I think your mom looks like the ringleader of the nefarious Newton gang. She looks like she's got a plan... ;)

    The architecture is great, and that sky is amazing. Great job on the photos, Eric!

  3. What a beautiful town...main street at least. Looks so peaceful with all the "old" buildings. Just wonderful.
    What a pleasure to see you all smiling in all of the photos. Hope you are very happy in your new surroundings. Eric did take some great pictures. When I do a photo tour, I will call him up!

  4. I LOVE well-preserved, small towns. You sure picked a good one! It looks just lovely. Great pics!!

  5. What a beautiful place! And you're gorgeous Michelle. Your photographer sure has talent. Loved those arty shots.

    I love seeing your town through the camera lens. Thanks for showing us where you live. Maybe I should do a post like that too!

  6. Thanks for all the kind words! It was a magnificent day of joy and wonder not soon to be surpassed - but that doesn't mean I won't try!

  7. That photo tour was just wonderful. I loved every bit of it. Those old buildings are gorgeous! My absolute favorite was the bay window. And I loved the pictures of you and your family. Eric did a great job. Your new avatar photo is fantastic!

    xo -El

  8. Loved the photo tour, it's great to be able to see part of your new town and the interesting cloud formations too. Great shots of the family, you all look like you're having a great time. Eric did a brilliant job, and I love your new profile photo.

  9. Fun photos for sure. Pretty neat affects.
    How much fun was that to go exploring your new town. I am sure you will do much more too.
    Ugh! I do not like painting anymore. Used to but now it seems much harder. I don't like flat paint either.
    Have fun at your new gym.

  10. Beautiful town - I enjoyed the tour!! I also loved seeing pictures of you and your family.


Your comments brighten my day. :-)