CLOSINGS: View Closings

Author and photographer showcasing area gems

Julie Bronson is snapping pictures of farm houses, silos, barns and other significant landmarks in North Iowa and Southern Minnesota, and telling the stories behind them

Posted: Dec 30, 2019 2:17 AM

WORTH COUNTY, Iowa - Drive around North Iowa and Southern Minnesota, and you may notice farm houses and silos dotting the landscape.

Some are very picturesque, and one author and photographer is documenting as many as she can.

Julie Bronson of rural Twin Lakes grew up right around the Iowa-Minnesota border, and has seen changes take place around her. Having long been interested in photography, she was initially taking pictures of frost when she spotted a corn crib in the woods near the state line. She took some pictures of it, and posted them online, and found that many people were interested in pictures like them. She would release her first book in 2008.

Since then, she's put together several books featuring photos of anything from barns and silos, to abandoned farm houses, and even haunted spots as well. Just recently, she released two books, "Abandoned Northern Iowa" and "Abandoned Southern Minnesota".

Bronson says it's a shame to see buildings disappear, with her noting some that she sees during her commute to her job to Albert Lea along Interstate 35.

"There are a good 10 barns between my place and there that have disappeared over the years or fallen down. Since I started noticing them 8-10 years ago, there have been that many that have disappeared, and it's sad because they're just disappearing so fast."

And her work has had positive reviews, as they offer a glimpse of what our area's landscape once looked like.

"A lot of these books, a person will pick up and they'll say, 'my Grandma and Grandpa had a house just like that', or 'that looks just like my Grandpa's barn.' It really brings back memories for them."

Her third book, which is focusing on 'rusting relics' in Minnesota, is expected to be released in May.

Bronson's books and photographs can be found at the Top of Iowa Rest Area near the Diamond Jo Casino, and also through online retailers like Amazon, Good Reads and Barnes & Noble.

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