And a last post for 2009…Really, this is it…

New Year's Eve graphic

I hadn’t intended another post for 2009. I was finished with Viva Cuba’s “Progress and Continuity” post. Then I got this column from a Cuba writer Anne Shaw Heinrich that I thought that I would share.

I call Anne a Cuba writer, but that is not strictly true. Anne graduated from Cuba High School where she did a great deal of writing, but she now lives in Dwight, Illinois. She is a freelance writer and writes a column Small Talk for The Paper in Dwight. Every time a column is published, $100 is donated to charity.

Anne’s end-of-the-year column speaks to being single on New Year’s Eve as well as the parents’ dilemma of what to do with the kids on New Year’s.  As always Anne deals with the situation in a thoughtful, humorous way.

Read Anne’s column here. It’s a good way to end the year.

For more about Anne read “Small Town Values…a 1986 CHS graduate expresses it well.”

UPDATE:  Anne Shaw Heinrich and her family, plus the dogs,  have recently relocated to Kirkwood, Missouri.

2010 in Cuba, Missouri: Progress and continuity…

The street was not paved in 1910, but the present streetscape is still evident.

Smith Street toward the tracks was not paved in 1910, but the present streetscape is still evident.

Last week's Christmas photo of Smith Street reminded me of the 1910 shot.

Last week's Christmas photo of Smith Street reminded me of the 1910 shot.

A year ends and another starts for Viva Cuba and our community. In January, Viva Cuba sets our goals for 2010, and some of them will even get accomplished. I am sure that we will later add things we forgot to list, and some of our big ideas may not get accomplished. But we are are just part of the continuity of citizens working for the betterment of Cuba during its 150 plus years of history.

When you look back at Cuba’s history, there were always citizens, organizations,mayors, and council people trying to improve the town. The railroad and Route 66 drew development, but it was the citizens of Cuba who put their stamp on the town.

In 1902, the first fair was held in the Cox Drive area off School Street. Citizens bought stock in the fair to provide financing. In 1905, the fair board purchased the land by the present school, and the fair was held there until the land at Hood Park was donated to the city. Over the years, this area has developed as a recreation spot.

Streets were paved, houses received house numbers, the fire department grew, and the town worked to improve the business climate. In the early, 1900s, city fathers wanted a cold storage facility so that they could store apples until they could get the best price to ship them. Our history is rich with the efforts of our citizens to maintain a good way of life in Cuba.

Organizations formed with an interest in art and music and culture.  Churches formed and expanded. Organizations for kids such as 4-H, scouting, and sports teams were formed and promoted. There were always movements underway for community improvement. At some point, the older generations turned over the reins of planning to younger townspeople who took their place to keep Cuba improving.

Viva Cuba formed in 1984 for community beautification that would help bring factories to town to create jobs. It was a marriage of beauty and practicality, and it still is. Buses come to see the murals, but we try to get them to shop and eat in our town.

As Viva Cuba sets its 2010 goals, we are just a small cog in the continuing progress of Cuba. We can’t save the world, but we can beautify our corner of it.

The Celebrating 150 Years: A History of Cuba, Missouri is a great reference book for the efforts of Cuba's families to continue the progress of their town. It can be purchased at the Crawford County History Museum on Smith Street.

The Celebrating 150 Years: A History of Cuba, Missouri is a great reference book for the efforts of Cuba's families to continue the progress of their town. It can be purchased at the Crawford County History Museum on Smith Street.

In 2007, this coin was created for the sesquicentennial. It features Route 66 and the railroad, two driving forces to Cuba's development.

In 2007, this coin was created for the sesquicentennial. It features Route 66 and the railroad, two driving forces in Cuba's development.

We can still recognize some of the old buildings on Smith Street

We can still recognize some of the old buildings on Smith Street

It’s a white Christmas in Cuba, Missouri along Route 66 in the Mural City

It's snowsing in the Mural City this Christmas.

It's snowsing in the Mural City this Christmas. Hwy. 19 & Route 66.

This corner on Route 66 sold gas, Pontiac cars, and personal service.

This corner on Route 66 sold gas, Pontiac cars, and personal service.

Photos were aken along the Route 66 mural corridor in Cuba, MO.

These were taken Christmas morning about 10:00.  It was 18 degrees out with a cold wind. I thought I would post a few Cuba pictures for those who are away from home.

The Tudor-style Wagon Wheel Motel cottages are a historic landmark.

The Tudor-style Wagon Wheel Motel cottages are a historic landmark.

The 1873 replica train in the Viva Cuba Garden is decked out for Christmas.

The 1873 replica train in the Viva Cuba Garden is decked out for Christmas.

Cars were slippin' and slidin' around the streets of Cuba this Christmas morning.

Cars were slippin' and slidin' around the streets of Cuba this Christmas morning.

The flag flies on Christmas morning in Cuba, MO. And we remember those who keep it safe.

The flag flies on Christmas morning in Cuba, MO. And we remember those who keep it safe.

Smith St. looking South Cuba MO 2009

Smith St. looking south toward the train tracks

Built in 1885, Wallace House still looks good in 2009.

Built in 1885, Wallace House still looks good.

The Cuba War Memorial & Flag Cuba MO 2009

The Cuba War Memorial & Flag Cuba Missouri 2009

The Catholic Church in the Recklein Commons Area Christmas 2009

The Catholic Church in the Recklein Commons Area Christmas 2009

Enjoy Christmas celebration wherever you are.

Enjoy your Christmas celebration wherever you are.

For a little more Cuba read “Recklein Commons creates an area of community spirit in Cuba, Missouri.”

How many Cubas are there in the U.S.?

In 2007, Cuba, MO flew their 150th anniversary flag.

In 2007, Cuba, MO flew its 150th anniversary flag.

There are eight Cubas in the U.S. besides Cuba, Missouri: Cuba, Alabama; Cuba, Illinois; Cuba, Kansas; Cuba, New Mexico; Cuba (village), New York; Cuba, (town), New York; Cuba City, Wisconsin; and Cuba Township, Minnesota

Cuba, Alabama is about 71 miles SW of Tuscaloosa and has a population of about 320. Although Cuba, Alabama is small, it has a museum just as Cuba, MO does. An enterprising person sells Kinterbish Tiger sportswear online. I could not figure out what or who a Kinterbish was, but the word is attached to all the schools and the volunteer fire department. There may be a separate town called Kinterbish as well.

The Cuba, Alabama Post Office

The Cuba, Alabama Post Office

Cuba, Illinois has a 1400 population and their sports team is the Cuba Cardinals. I could not find much about this town other than statistics. I hope someone can use the comment section below to give more info.

Cuba, Kansas has a population of a little over 200. American southerners traveling westward after the Civil War founded the town in 1868. The city got its name from a settler who had once lived on the isle of Cuba. Other early settlers were Czech immigrants from Bohemia who settled in the 1870s. There were also Austrian settlers. The town has received attention due to its small town America nature documented by photographer Jim Richardson. Cuba, Kansas and Jim Richardson were highlighted on the “CBS News Sunday Morning Show” in 1983 and May 9, 2004 as well as in the May 2004 issue of  National Geographic Magazine.

The town of Cuba, New York holds the village of Cuba within its boundaries. According to the Cuba New York Chamber of Commerce, they are known for their Garlic Festival, they were founded in 1822, and in the 1900s, they were the Cheese Center of the World.  They still have a Cuba Cheese Museum. A tribe of Seneca Indians lives on the western town line. The population is around 3400.

This informative sign promotes Cuba, New York.

This informative sign promotes Cuba, New York.

According to wikipedia, the Cuba Village of New York has a population of 1633 and is the birthplace of Charles Ingalls, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s father (Pa). The village of Cuba is in the western part of the Town of Cuba. It also mentions that North Cuba and South Cuba are small communities north and south of the village.

It seems that in New York that you can’t have too many Cubas. There are Cubas within Cubas.

Cuba, New Mexico has a population of about 1000 although it serves an area of 5000. The many large private ranches make it a good place to hunt and see wildlife. It is also known for the beauty of the land and its sunsets. They raise cattle, sheep, and goats. Their website says there are several ideas about how they got their name. “One story claims that the name came from the Spanish word for water tank/trough, Cubeta. Cuba was once surrounded by a great deal of water. Another popular story claims that the name came from soldiers who had visited the island of Cuba and felt the landscape resembled that of the island.”

Just like Cuba, MO, Cuba City, Wisconsin has a caboose.

Just like Cuba, MO, Cuba City, Wisconsin has a caboose.

Cuba City, Wisconsin, population 2100, bills itself the City of Presidents because it has Presidential Banners displayed along Main Street.  Their official website  points out that they are a mere 17 miles from Dubuque, Iowa. They are surrounded by the Mississippi River, Wisconsin River, state parks, snowmobile trails, and ski resorts.  It’s probably pretty cold in this Cuba in the winter.

Norwegians and Swedes settled the Cuba Township in Minnesota. It’s in Becker County and has a population of 208. It lists five lakes in the area, so there is probably some good fishing. One lake is called Stinking Lake–might not want to eat the fish from that one.

What could be said about Cuba, MO “Route 66 Mural City”?  There is a lot of art in the Route 66 town, it has a Chamber of Commerce, and in the 1900s “Apple was king”  because of its apple industry.The population is around 3200. There is a museum and a war memorial, and you can find a lot of information on-line. Both the chamber website and the Viva Cuba site give a lot of Cuba, MO info. The newspaper is the Cuba Free Press. Magazine articles and TV shows have featured the mural project. It must be a sweet town because it has its own candy bar.

Cuba, MO has its own candy bar and art cards of the murals.

Cuba, MO has its own candy bar and art cards of the murals.

Maybe we can send some of our candy bars to Cuba, New York and trade for Cuba Cheese.

It is easier to find out information about a town if it has a good on-line presence. I guess that is important if you want to draw tourism or development. The listing here is just that—a listing. It takes knowledge of the history, the culture, the economy, and the people of the town to tell a town’s story.

Not to confuse the issue, there is also a German rock band called Cuba, Missouri.  They thought it was an exotic sounding title. You can find some of their music on YouTube.

If anyone knows more about the above towns, let us know in the comment section below. We are sure these towns have some great attributes that we didn’t find. It’s only half the story until we hear from you.

The Viva Cuba banner reflects the interest in beautification and green projects.

The Viva Cuba banner reflects interest in beautification and green projects.

To see how Cuba, Missouri got its name, check the comments section, here.

Seasons greetings from Viva Cuba…

To you and yours, our troops, and others who are away from home, we wish you a wonderful Christmas.

Viva Cuba Christmas Card 2009

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