American Gothic

 

Here’s How I Remember the American Gothic Home in Eldon, Iowa

What makes something truly iconic?

Iconic may be actually too strong of a word for the American Gothic painting.  You know the one:  Small Country house, and standing out front the farmer and his wife, complete with pitchfork.  A bit creepy in some ways, their faces stoic as if they had just lost their crop of corn to a ferocious storm from the Northwest.

The original house from the painting was located just a couple of blocks (if they could be called blocks) from my father’s small, mission Southern Baptist Church in the run-down, hard-luck times farming community of Eldon, Iowa.  We were familiar with folks stopping us to ask “Where’s that there house that was in that there famous painting?”, often said with a country twang.  More often then not, as we leaned down to give them directions (“around the corner, on the right, can’t miss it”) inevitably there would be a pitchfork (or pitchfork like object, often a broom) and a camera on the back seat.

Another couple stands to capture themselves in iconic history.

The house, as all houses do, went through various changes while I was growing up.  Sometimes the house was occupied with families who actually lived there.  Other times, it set empty for months and fell into disrepair.  I think it now has historical status and protection.

I’m a big fan of Mental Floss, so I really enjoyed their take on the American Gothic painting.  You can read it HERE.

For a more historical look at the house itself, visit this website put together by Wapello county.

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