Garnavillo Historical Society

New Look in Prairie Winds

People walking through Prairie Winds Garden on West Center Street in Garnavillo think I’m just a colorful little building, but they have no idea of my history.  I started life as a four-hole outdoor toilet in 1892 on a farm west of National.  Through the years I was visited by young and old all hours of the day and night.  I really didn’t enjoy those visits and I won’t tell you what I saw.  Sometimes it was rather gross.

New 2020 Look!

      After indoor plumbing came to the farm house, I was forgotten in a grove until the owner and a neighbor decided to have a little fun or they just had too much time to waste. When one family was away on vacation the other family picked me up with a tractor and loader, lifted me onto a hydraulic hog cart and hauled me to the other farm, after which two men pulled me off with a chain.  This type of escapade occurred twice with me ending up on a house deck one time.  I sort of enjoyed the wider view of the country side but those trips were hard on my old bones. 

The women of the Prairie Winds Garden Club heard about me and came to the farm to look me over.  They liked me! So, I made a trip to Garnavillo, which was lucky for me. Otherwise, who knows how or where I may have ended up!   Now in my old age and current location, life has become so much more pleasant with the scent of lilacs, peonies and wisteria blooming in the garden.  I get to see children playing in the park, firetrucks racing past and even a big parade on the Fourth of July.  My new main purpose in life is storing the garden tools.  Smaller tools are in baskets hanging from my toilet paper holders with bigger tools standing in my four holes. 

Before new paint job.

Several years ago, I was given a new wooden shake roof which will preserve my life for many more years.  I have been painted twice since living in Garnavillo. First I was purple, green and orange which caused someone to comment that I looked like a witch’s house.  I actually did participate in two Halloween parties in the garden. 

Last year I was painted blue, yellow and green and have heard only good comments about my new colors.  And, I got a new board over my front door, (I was rotting a little). I’d sure like you to visit the garden to see the pretty flowers, and while you are there, glance my way and smile. 

Submitted by Prairie Winds caretaker Carol DeSotel

Garnavillo Historical Society • June 19, 2020


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