Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What do Missouri Star Quilting and J.C. Penny have in common

May 12-13, 2017:

We leave Lewis and Clark State Park head west on route 59 to St. Joseph, Missouri where we take route 36 east to route 13 north to Hamilton, Missouri.  Hamilton is a small Missouri town famous as the birthplace and early childhood home of Department store magnate J.C. Penny.  The modest boy hood home still stands at its original location in the downtown area.  Across the street is local public Library with the J.C. Penny Museum.  The 500th J.C. Penny store is about one block away and is now part of the Missouri Star Quilt empire.  Missouri Star Quilt Company received the “small business of the year award” for 2015 by the US Small Business Association.  They have transformed and revitalized this downtown into a destination place for the quilting hobbyist. 

Twinkles is ready to shop

Nice quilt mural on building

There once was a Train

Missouri Star Quilt seems to own about everything here

We ate at both and they were good

The boyhood home of Jimmie Penny

The J.C. Penny Museum was located in the public library and was a great collection of personal items, old photographs, letters, books and other memorabilia from his amazing life story.

He learned at an early age

One of his first stores

He developed into a master at promotion

He lived a good and long life for 97 years

 On arrival we were told that campsites were available at the local American Legion for $20 a night.  We went over and talked to the man mowing the lawn who told us to pick any spot, but to please wait first until he finished mowing. It’s a quiet site except when people drive fast on the gravel road behind us and unusual once when a  Mennonite couple rode past in their horse and buggy.

On first impression, Main Street Hamilton is looking fairly prosperous these days since this quilting boom has occurred.  I then eavesdropped on a conversation, between a local and a tourist, in which I learned that not everyone in Hamilton is 100% happy about the changes to their little town which has been taken over by the  Missouri Quilt Company.  I kind of wondered about that and it was interesting to hear it.     

While Twinkles was roaming the town shopping and soaking up the quilting vibe, I went to J's Burger Dive, roamed around downtown and then hung out in the “Man Cave”.  They have thought of everything to the point of making a room for the husbands of the quilters to hang out while their wives shop.  It is outfitted with big comfortable recliners, TV’s, a pool table, various male oriented magazines and even has decent WiFi.  It’s great idea as there is nothing more disruptive to a woman’s shopping spree than an uninterested man hanging around.  Main Street Hamilton is looking fairly prosperous these days since this quilting boom has occurred. 

Several women were sneaking in, they need better security

There are a few good restaurants here catering to the Quilters, who by their size tend to be sedentary and heavy eaters.  There is also a craft Brewery, Levi Garrison & Sons Brewery, which we found to be excellent and sort of wasted in this town.  They really do roll up the sidewalks here at about 7 PM except for the Brewery which stays open to 10 PM on Friday and Saturdays nights.

The Tap Room was very nice and the beer great

I felt a little out of place, it's so conservative

After Twinkles had satisfied her quilting pleasures, we took a ride to the neighboring town of Kingston.  There isn't much to Kingston now, except the County Courthouse and old boarded up buildings across the street.  The sign in front told how Kingston had replaced "Far West" as the county seat of Caldwell County.  Far West was a Mormon town site until friction developed between the Mormons and the non-Mormons leading to violence and the Mormon War.  The Mormons were soon forced to leave the area.

The Court House

Next stop is Waubonsie State Park, Hamburg, Iowa;
Twinkles and Slick

1 comment:

  1. Your best line yet - there is nothing more disruptive to a woman’s shopping spree than an uninterested man hanging around. I would love to visit Hamilton, too bad it is so far from NJ. Have fun!