June/July Trip – Day #29 & #30 (Colorado)

Just a few more days to go on this trip. Day 29 was a low-shooting day (remote cities) so I’m combining with Day 30 for a nice juicy post. Pardon the grey skies for a lot of these photos.

This wooden sign is in Wray:

This motel sign is in Burlington:

This sign is in Springfield:

I believe these U Pump It stations are only in Colorado. This one is in Canon City:

I stumbled upon a sign collection with dozens of signs in Canon City. Here are just a couple:

I recognized this sign…:

… that used to be part of a larger sign in Fort Scott, KS. The owner in Canon City must have added back the neon:

One more sign from Canon City:

The rain let up just enough to shoot this sign in Rye:

This sign is in Pueblo:

These three signs are in Trinidad:

This add-on sign is at a Chinese restaurant in Walsenburg:

Also in Walsenburg:

This one is in Trinidad:

This Masonic Lodge sign, buried in the trees, is in Rocky Ford. It has backlit stained glass inserts:

This partial, former Tastee-Freez sign is in Fort Garland:

The Neon Alley in Pueblo has dozens of restored and recreated signs. One of my favorites is this plumbing faucet sign. I don’t know where it came from:

This is a recreation of a sign that was in Dubuque, IA:

The original sign is now in storage:

One more sign from Pueblo:

On to some non-signs. From Eads — this eagle statue is part of the welcome sign which reads “Home of the Eagles”:

This bank is in Fort Morgan:

This dome building is at Lamar Middle School in Lamar:

Five little domes in La Junta:

This quonset hut theatre is in Walsh:

Lastly, this cute little caboose food stand in Fowler:

I think I can wrap up this trip (and Colorado) with one more blog post by combining two short days and a long one.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

June/July Trip – Day #28 (More Nebraska)

Actually, this is the last full day in Nebraska. Then, we move on to Colorado for the remaining four days of this trip.

From a long-closed furniture store in Franklin:

This modern sign in Arapahoe is lit with LED strips:

This sign is in Lexington:

This former ALCO discount/department store sign in McCook. The Midwest chain was officially gone by 2015 so it’s surprising that this sign hasn’t been painted over yet. This store closed around 2014. The sign had neon originally. I love the lone UFO parking lot light:

These corrugated plastic signs are also in McCook. The family’s bakery business goes back to the 1500s in Germany. The company expanded to the U.S. in the 1800s. The McCook location is the only one left. It opened in 1957 and moved here in 1981. These signs are probably from then:

This Buffalo Bill sign at Fort Cody Trading Post in North Platte is from the 1960s. It’s been repainted a few times and the neon is gone. The bottom panels are modern now and the sign is closed to the ground. The gift shop is still going strong:

Some more signs from North Platte:

On the ground floor of the Hotel Pawnee. This bar has been closed since around 1974 but the owner is restoring the building and plans to revive this business as well as the Tom-Tom Coffee Shop a few doors away:

This place in Ogallala opened in 1963 but I’m not sure when the cheerful cowboy was installed:

The Chateau Theatre in Wauneta has an unusual projecting sign that combines neon and backlit plastic for the marquee portion. The theatre opened in 1937 and has struggled to remain open for decades. It is currently open. I can’t find any vintage photos but I would guess that this sign is from the 1950s.

This Rexall drugstore in Franklin was originally located next door. The sign remained there although the building housed other types of businesses over the years. In 2018, Franklin Drugs moved into this building and the sign was moved over:

This Bear Alignment sign in Holdrege originally advertised for the D&T Body Shop. It was adapted for Turner around 2016. For more about these signs, see this page at my website:


This neglected beauty is in the little town of Imperial, population 2,000:

Moving on to some non-signs… This teepee building in Atlanta housed The Wigwam souvenir stand by the 1950s:

I don’t know when it closed but, by 2000, the building was housing the Husker Hut bar and restaurant. It appears to be in use as a residence or storage space now:

This double canopy, former gas station is in Benkelman:

This building in North Platte was built in 1964 and still has the original facade. It is known as the Belton-McDonald Building but I don’t know what business was located here originally:

Lastly, this elephant statue (and some little buddies) in Cozad has been at the El Paraiso Mexican restaurant since the 1980s. It may have been there from a previous business but I can’t find any info about it:

I hope you have enjoyed all of these Nebraska photos and posts. I’ll be back soon with goodies from Colorado.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

June/July Trip – Day #27 (More Nebraska)

The last full day of Nebraska for this trip.

This sign originally advertised for the Hotel Leslie in Superior:

This sign in Grand Island advertised for Bartenbach’s Paints originally:

Another sign from Grand Island:

This sign is in Nelson:

This American Legion sign is in Fullerton:

This one is in North Loop:

This wooden sign with cleaver and meat is in Sargent:

This Masonic Lodge is in Kearney:

Another sign from Kearney:

This Superior Electrical Advertising bulb arrow sign is in Cairo at a closed junk shop:

This former Ku-Ku sign is in Gibbon:

It would have looked like this one in Miami, OK originally:

This Rexall sign in Minden now has LED rope instead of neon:

It breaks my heart to see the covered wagon and oxen in Kearney in such bad shape. They had been restored just a few years ago:

This former garage is in Central City. The terra cotta details were covered by a giant canopy until around 2018:

This former gas station is in Taylor:

This building in Hastings originally housed a First National Bank. The City bought the building in 1984.

This little folded plate building is just across the street from the former bank above. I can’t help but wonder if it wasn’t a companion motor bank:

This theatre is in Superior. The neon has been replaced with LED rope:

Lastly, this building in Hastings was built in 1949 for Mouer’s Restaurant:

It began housing Keith’s Drive-in Drugs in 1979. These signs must be from then:

Back soon with the last bit of Nebraska and then Colorado.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

June/July Trip – Day #26 (More Nebraska)

I’ve got about a week’s worth of photos from this trip to add to my website (so, another 7 or so companion blog posts here). My goal is to finish up this project by Thanksgiving.

On with the show! This Masonic Lodge sign is in Fairbury has backlit reverse painted glass panels:

This Masonic Lodge sign is in Falls City:

This one is also in Falls City:

This sign is in Tecumseh:

This one is in Beatrice. It’s been repainted a number of times and I don’t know what business it originally advertised for:

This one is in Lincoln at Castle Drive-in Beer & Liquors. The top panel which reads “Spirits” may have had the original business name:

A few more signs from Lincoln. Note the neon at the bottom alternates between “Beer” and “Liquor”:

Ace Rent to Own was established around 1982. I assume that this sign was adapted, but maybe not. The boxy part on top with the playing cards appears to have revolved:

The photo studio is long gone but the sign remains:

This one in Fairmont used to read “Food” on front and back. Whatever the business was, it’s long gone:

This one is in Fairbury. It’s now K&D Liquor although it still reads “Rick’s Still”:

This one in Geneva had been in storage for years and was finally refurbished & installed:

One more sign — this one in Friend:

Some non-signs. This praying mantis and grasshopper are made from car bumpers and installed in Lincoln:

The former A&W Papa Burger at the Dairy Sweet in Auburn:

A vacant motor bank in Falls City. The drive-thru is under that cool canopy:

An Art Deco fraternity building in Lincoln:

The Joyo Theatre in Lincoln:

Back soon with the last Nebraska installment before we move on to Colorado.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

June/July Trip – Day #25 (More Nebraska)

This was a very productive day — loads of Omaha and other cities.

This former Champlin gas station sign in Columbus was painted over for Geno’s Bait:

The pump canopy is also still there:

This Royal Inn sign is also in Columbus:

This sign is in Fremont. It was originally a Max I. Walker Cleaners:

It originally looked like this one in Omaha:

This shabby sign in Omaha…:

… was originally a Ford A-1 used car neon sign:

I have no idea where this sign was installed originally but it is now displayed inside Billy Frogg’s Grill & Bar in Omaha:

I love the signs and statues at the King Kong locations in Omaha:

This modern version of the famous La Casa Pizzaria sign on Leavenworth was built in 2019 for the S. 168th St. location in Omaha:

This sign is at Key Cleaners in Omaha:

This sign at Johnny Sortino’s Pizza Parlor in Omaha is a modern version of the original sign…:

… from 1965:

Some more Omaha signs:

This sign:

was originally installed in Villisca, IA at the Marsh Motel, later the Circle J Motel. The tattoo studio owner found the sign at a junkyard and had it adapted for his business in 2013.

The State Theatre sign is in Auburn:

Many of you in California may be familiar with Salinas-based John Cerney super realistic mural signs. This one in Fremont is the only Cerney sign in Nebraska:

This sign is also in Fremont. The store which opened in 1925 closed last year but the sign is still there for now:

This Fraternal Oder of Eagles in Fremont was built from 1949-1950:

The original sign has ripple tin panels:

This multi-dome building in Columbus appears to be mid-century:

This Fire Station in Omaha was built from 1965-1968:

The incredible former Union Station in Omaha (now the Durham Museum):

This windmill in Fremont was built in 1929 as part of a gas station/motor court in Silver Creek, NE:

It was moved to Fremont in 1982 for the Wooden Windmill Restaurant which closed earlier this year:

Let’s close with a few statues. This three-dimensional version of Peppi, based on the original La Casa Pizzaria sign, was built for the Grover St. location in Omaha around 2014:

This 33-foot-tall “Looking Up” sculpture is located in Council Bluffs, IA:

Omar the Troll is located under the Kerry Pedestrian Bridge in Omaha:

More Nebraska soon…

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

June/July Trip – Day #24 (Nebraska)

I’ve got about nine more days of shooting to add to my website. So, about 9 more blog posts as well before I move on to the grueling but important winter project: checking every single link and map at my website for updates. There will be lots of depressing blog posts here simultaneously with that effort. But for now, let’s focus on things that are still out there rather than removed or demolished.

Let’s start with this sign in Thedford. There used to be an arrow-shaped sign on the building next door to the motel for the Arrow Cafe but that sign is gone now:

This sign is in Neligh:

This one is also in Neligh. I guess the canopy which has been there for years protects the neon:

This faded beauty is in Norfolk:

The Benson Hotel sign is in Oakland. For more opal glass signs, see my website here:


This sign is in Hartington. Although the remaining neon has been removed, it was repainted recently and looks pretty nice. The hotel is owned and used by the local vets that appear on the show “Heartland Docs”:

This modern sign is in Butte:

This sign is in Pender. It originally just read “HOTEL” when it was installed for the Palace Hotel. The wording was changed when the building was renovated and adapted for apartments:

Moving on to some buildings. This is located in Oakland:

This former gas station is in Bristow:

This former dealership is in Springview:

This former gas station is in Humphrey:

One more — another gas station in Bassett. This was built in 1931 as a Phillips 66 station:

We’ll be moving on to Omaha and other cities in the next post.

Here comes the reminder: lots more photos — and different ones from this blog over at Flickr:


Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

June/July Trip – Day #23 (Mostly Nebraska)

I’ve got just a few photos to share from the morning in Cheyenne, WY before we move on.

Unforturnately, the neon on this Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge sign has been “updated” with crappy LED tubing. By night, the tubing sequences between different colors:

The Lariat Motel sign has been missing its neon forever. The word “Motel” was painted over recently as the rooms are being converted into apartments. The owner says that he wants to restore this sign. We shall see:

This sign looks better than it has in many years. The faded & peeling paint has been removed:

This sign must certainly have had neon letters originally.

From the end of the day in Martin, SD:

Moving on now to signs signs from Nebraska. This sign in Crawford previously advertised for the Frontier Bar:

This sign is in Chadron. Those squares look like dice to me with backlit pips for 3 and 4 but I can find no evidence of that:

The Western Trails Sports Post moved to this building in Scottsbluff in 1988. I can’t figure out what the sign looked like before that. This store has closed:

This neon bowling sign in Gering has been updated with plastic letters and LED rope:

This Dairy Sweet location is in Crawford. The chain had over 200 franchises by 1959, with most of them in Iowa but a few were in Nebraska and Iowa. These “kit” walk-up stands were produced in Ankeny, IA. This one has been expanded on both sides. These plastic signs were also mass-produced for the locations, including the boy licking a soft-serve ice cream cone:

On to some buildings. The slipcover on this theatre in Chadron was added in 1967 when it changed its name from the Pace Theatre:

I have not yet figured out the previous occupant for this building in Cheyenne, WY and the reason for the castle paint job. The tower on the corner in the center of this photo used to be taller.

This building in Scottsbluff, NE previously housed the L.B. Murphy department store:

This former Sinclair station is in Sidney, NE. The building is vacant right now:

There are not many of these left is such intact shape. Here’s a vintage photo (no idea where this one was) to show the original look:

Back with lots more Nebraska soon.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

June/July Trip – Day #22 (More Wyoming)

The last full day of Wyoming. Here come the signs. This one is in Torrington — the neon has been gone for many years:

Another sign from Torrington. This was originally the Blue Lantern Court:

This cute, funky one is in Laramie:

Another sign from Laramie. The neon was removed and the sign was repainted recently:

This one is in Casper:

Another few more signs from Casper. This one advertised for the Western Grill until recently:

Note the “Futurmatic” text painted beneath “Wardrobe” and the rocket fins. This place is closed and up for sale so this sign might be gone any day now:

This sign is in Douglas:

Another sign from Douglas. This one is at the back entrance of the Double D Liquors bar. Funky wooden panels and I can’t help but wonder with the construction and bolts if his arms ever moved:

From Wheatland. Painted wooden panels tacked over what might have been a different name:

Enough signs for now. I don’t cover these clocks at my website but I’m still fascinated with them. These Brown Street Clock Company cast-iron clocks were the most prolific in the country and a number of them are still around. This one in Laramie was made around 1920 for Midwest Truck and Sporting Goods. It still has the backlit drop glass globes. The clock is owned by the city and was restored in 2014. It still operates and is lit at night.

Moving on to some buildings. This former Texaco is in Wheatland. That yellow car hasn’t moved since I took photos of it in 2012:

This building in Casper housed the Mountain Bell Telephone Company when it was built in 1972:

This former Imperial 400 Motel in Casper was built in 1962. I’ve got a whole bunch of these motels at this section of my website:


This former Red Barn restaurant in Casper was built in 1965:

Lastly, this former Tastee-Freez in Casper still has the original sign and you can just see the rounded lip of the building’s canopy beneath that despite the dining room addition:

Back with more soon.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

June/July Trip – Day #21 (Wyoming)

There are about 2 1/2 days of photos for this portion of Wyoming before we move on to Nebraska.

The day actually started in Hot Springs, SD. So, here is one more from there. This oldie at the Braun Hotel started as a bulb sign and was later updated with neon:

In the 1950s, the Hotel Antlers in Newcastle, WY had different signs:

In 2008, the current sign still had some neon and the arrow had bulbs:


Here that sign today, yeah, just not the same:

The hotel sign around the corner:

The Occidental Hotel is in Buffalo:

This curvaceous arrow sign is in Lovell:

Another sign from Lovell — at the Horseshoe Bend Motel:

This modern sign is probably from 1994 (when the store opened) in Cody:

Wayne’s Boot Shop in Cody has been there since 1959. This sign is probably from later on but still looks relatively old:

This sign in Cody has been there since at least 1961 and may have been there since the 1950s:

This cowboy and bulbs sign is in Dayton:

Another cowboy sign — this one is in Meeteetse:

This arrow sign is located at the Rock Trim Motel in Sheridan:

A couple of other signs from Sheridan:

If you are into signs (gas globes, vintage cars), then The Frontier Auto Museum in Gillette needs to go on your bucket list. Here are just a few photos:

This motel was originally in Gillette. This sign was in bad shade, no neon, crappy paint but restored for the museum:

I have seen a half-dozen or so of the square-ish Buster Brown Shoes neon signs but I have never seen one this early with bulbs:

Moving on to a couple of buildings. The Alamo Inn & Suites in Gillette was built in 1963 as the Sands Motor Lodge. Here are a couple of postcards from around then (the sign is long gone):

and from June (and the pool is still there!):

This building at Hammer Chevrolet in Sheridan was built in 1950 when the place was also selling Oldsmobile:

The building was remodeled in 2004 but some of the features were kept or recreated:

Let’s close with a couple of statue-y things. This 30-foot-long rifle is in Cody:

This happy guy was made from metal and is located in Upton:

Back soon with more Wyoming.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

June/July Trip – Day #20 (Last Day in South Dakota)

I’ve got a hefty batch of photos for this post before we move on to Wyoming. Let’s start with some signs from Rapid City. This rooftop sign:

may have started out as a bulb sign:

and then it looked like this later:

In the mid-1950s, the sign got its current shape for the Hotel “Sheraton” Johnson:

In 1968, Sheraton was dropped and the hotel went back to the original name — hence the widely spaced “ALEX” letters there now. If you look closely, you’ll see that the neon was swapped for LED strips in 2016.

More signs from Rapid City:

A rare vacuum-form, plastic sign at a former dealership:

Three signs from Chamberlain:

A couple of signs from Bell Fourche:

More about these “alignment bear” aka “happy bear” signs at my website here:


This sign is from Winner:

Two signs from the Full Throttle Saloon in Vale. This one was originally located in Anna, IL. I don’t know how it found its way here:

This sign was originally installed in Sturgis:

There’s not much paint left on the Gem Hotel in Murdo:

This one is also in Murdo:

This sign is in Kadoka:

From the end of the day in Hot Springs:

Time for some buildings. This house is in Gregory. I don’t know what company produced these prefabricated, modular structures or exactly when/how long they were made but I’ve shot maybe a dozen of them around the country:

This midcentury microwave tower is on the roof of the former Northwestern Bell Building in Rapid City:

A former A&W “pilgrim hat” in Winner (now a Chinese restaurant). I’ve got nine pages of A&W buildings and signs at my website here:


I love faux castle buildings. This jewelry store is in Wall. Seven pages of them at my website here:


Closing up this post with some statues and other stuff. This giant mailbox is at the Full Throttle Saloon in Vale:

This rooftop moose is at the Moose Lodge in Rapid City:

This 30-foot-tall Smokey Bear is in Hill City:

That’s enough for now. Back with more photos soon. 14 days to go.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs