Friday, April 24, 2015

Forgotten Iowa: Part 3

Lebanon, Iowa is one of many towns in rural Iowa that are disappearing as the inhabitants move towards the larger urban centers. I don't know how big it once was but now it consists of a handful of buildings and a church. Most of Lebanon was destroyed in 1944 by a tornado and the rest simply vanished.

At the crossroads, there sits the building above which has been a diner off and on my entire life with more off than on. My wife and I've eaten there a couple times over the course of our marriage on the way to somewhere but currently it is vacant and for sale. As fewer people farm and more people move towards the urban centers, there just isn't enough people left to keep a diner open in this neck of the woods. I suspect that eventually it will be sold to one of the neighboring residents and treated as a storage shed for what remains of its life and eventually it will disappear with the rest of Lebanon never to be seen again.

On a side note, notice the telephone booth on the right side of the diner. To my knowledge, it is the only such phone booth in the county. Many of the rural residents to the east, south and west are Amish and they don't have telephones in their homes for religious reasons. They do however need a telephone from time to time and it isn't against their religion to use someone else's telephone. I didn't check, but I suspect that telephone is still working and still gets used by the local Amish.


sage said...

Interesting thoughts about the phone and the Amish! Do the Amish eat out often? I wouldn't think so and the only place I recall seeing them in restaurants are in train stations or where they are away on vacation (there was a lodge they liked to go in Mid-Michigan)

Ed said...

Sage - The one thing about Amish is that whenever someone disagrees with others, they go off and start their own branch so there are thousands of different branches each with their own ordung (rules).

Saying that though, the groups around here don't eat out unless they are doing business in town or on vacation. I suspect that it isn't forbidden to eat out by their ordung, but if they ate out too often, it would be considered wasteful.