CORRECTIONVILLE, Iowa -- The famous "jog" through the heart of Correctionville suffered a bit of a stumble in recent days.
Make that stumbles. Plural.
On Nov. 23, and again on Nov. 28, vehicles slide or rolled straight south on Driftwood, failing to negotiate the "correction" on Fifth Street before the road heads south again. The town is named for a surveying "correction" that mappers used because the earth curves toward its top.The east-west correction line runs along Fifth Street, at Driftwood.
Corner Hardware suffered the damage, being on the receiving end of both vehicle-versus-building mishaps.
"The odds are astronomical," said Phil Sevening, Corner Hardware owner. "People are telling me I should buy a lottery ticket."
Both collisions took place around 8 p.m. Sevening was at home on both occasions, the business closed for the day. He got a call and headed downtown to eye the damage his store suffered.
"Nobody was hurt, so that's good," he said. "In the first one, my office had a TV get broken and a corner desk get pretty broken up. It made an awful mess in the office."
Sevening, who has owned the business for 12 years, estimated damage at around $9,000. He's got his nephew, Michael Sevening of Michael Sevening Construction in Correctionville, busy making repairs to a pair of damaged areas on the north side of the business.
And, each day, Phil Sevening hears a new one-liner with regard to his crash site. "A guy stopped in today and said I should call the White House and ask about building a wall," he said.
Corner Hardware didn't close shop in the wake of these events. It's been business as usual, according to Richard Flemming, who manned the front counter at noon on Friday.
"Nine years ago, it was run into in the same place," Sevening said. "People have told me they think the store has been hit by a vehicle eight or nine times through the years."
Sevening said the intersection used to busier, at least with semi traffic, when Highway 31 used this corner. Two years ago, he said, the Iowa Department of Transportation diverted Highway 31 to a bypass on the west side of town, one plank of the Highway 20 expansion. Ever since the new portion of Highway 31 opened, he said, the giant wind turbines haven't been transported through the heart of this community and, thus, past his business' front door.
"Some say we've lost traffic, but whether or not that's true I'm not sure," Sevening said. "I think it did reduce the long-haul truckers coming through town."
Corner Hardware was established as Cathcart & Woodruff Hardware at this site in 1885, making it the oldest, continuously running business in the town of 821 residents. It is likely the oldest independent hardware store in Woodbury County, if not the region.