Today was a wandering ride, and most of my images are of houses old, new and somewhere in between. Today’s route started heading through the north end of the parks along Soldier Creek, up Spencer Road through the town of Spencer itself. I simply stayed on the road where it curved through “downtown” Spencer, and curved again heading toward Jones on the Spencer-Jones Road that follows the old railroad tracks along the North Canadian River course. Our first image is a nicely remodeled old house in Jones on what would be Britton Road.
Jones is a rather old town, one of those farm-to-market railroad towns establish early in state history. The place is fairly historic in the sense of having been farmed actively for more than a century. Having a caboose as part of the Historical Society Museum speaks volumes about this little village. Some of the more interesting stuff is hidden off the main drag on the north side.
These old cracker-box houses (left) were built in mass quantities all over this part of the state, most of them easily before my time. Their presence is a prime indicator of an older community. This one sat on the very edge of town as I made my way out the north end toward Hefner Road. And while I’ve already featured this ancient farm house up on Hefner Road before, I wanted to catch it from another angle (right).
I decided it would be a good day to revisit the eastern end of NE 122nd where it stops at Westminster Road. The old sand, gravel and rubble dump at the corner is better organized and has a new sign about ownership by the Dub Ranch. Today’s southerly breeze carried away the smell of the water treatment plant on the north bank of the river. I hadn’t noticed it before but where NE 122nd crosses over the North Canadian River on it’s way north, there stands a very deep and quiet pool from dredging. Even now during the rather dry season, it’s deep enough you could safely dive off the bridge, but I doubt the water would smell all that good right now.
Still, the place had a quiet ambiance and I stopped to eat my snack. I watched a snapping turtle swimming in the semi-stagnant deep and just felt a sense of peace. I’ve been through here a couple of times before, but today was the day to stick around and soak it up. On the right is a shot of the bridge scene, and on the left is a wide angle of the fields north of the road.
On the left here is an old house sitting on the edge of those fields. It is no longer inhabited but the owners are keeping it up decently anyway. On the right is a house that sits down on the edge of the flood plain at the southern end of this part of Post Road. I was sitting on the ground on the slope down to the lower flood plain when I took this.
Something I noticed from several different points around this area, and as much as three miles away, was the cupola on an rather opulent house just off NE 122nd on Three Oaks Drive. What that tells me is the view must be astounding from inside that thing. The house sits on the north slope at the edge of the North Canadian Valley, perched on the highest point of land for quite some distance in all directions. Back down that hill and facing out on NE 122nd was this halfway in-ground home. I pasted two shots together from the side view off Three Oaks Drive. This is a very popular design and I saw at least two or three more out in this area just today. One I could see only from the backside, but recognized it by the wall and rail the wraps the edge. I caught a glimpse of the driveway that ran in front of it, with cars and only barns visible otherwise.
But that was nothing like the bunker I saw later on. If you come north on Midwest Boulevard as it starts to drop down into the Canadian Valley, you won’t know this is there. There is a thicket of evergreens screening it from the road. A sign on the gate is now nearly rusted and faded blank; it just barely offers the advice to please enter through the front gate, but the other side of the property ends behind some trees and no roads nearby. I’ll leave you to speculate.