Entries by B3thany@dmin

Distinctly Masculine: A Manifesto

  We believe that commerce is impossible without community. Success is multiplied, not divided, and the more people that choose to participate in the economy, give back to their neighbors, and engage with their community, the greater level of success for all.   We believe that shopping should be an experience, not a chore. Life […]

Heirlooms and Legacies

Some day, generations away, I hope that some descendant of ours looks at our ambrotype and sees past the dated clothing, strange hairstyles, and ancient photographic process and understands that the heirloom they’re holding is more than just a flat image.  I hope someone tells them the stories we’re living, and those passed on through us.

PDI’s: Our Hometown Drive In

The PDI Reunion was founded in 2011 by a group of Laurel natives looking to share their fond memories of time spent under the PDI’s awning. Six years later, the event has grown exponentially, boasting a lineup of local bands (The Classix and Davis County are performing this year) and a large vintage car show. The organizers ask attendees to bring their fond memories, old photos, and their dancing shoes.


In the early years of the twentieth century, the lumber industry as a whole faced a serious downturn. Vast areas of virgin forests had been clearcut to supply timber, but even with replanting, trees of a viable size would take generations to regrow. The timber industry’s might was waning, and all timber companies were left with was sawdust.


Travel through Laurel’s Historic District, and you’ll see Catherine Gardiner’s vision.  It was her husband’s decision to move to Mississippi, but once here, she worked beside, not behind, him to make our City Beautiful a wonderful place to call home. 


Not all of Laurel’s growth, or her accomplishments, can be attributed to our Iowa men. Some of our greatest and most enduring successes were homegrown, and their legacies (and relations) still live on in Laurel today.


By folding community and family life into the unruliness of the traditionally male-dominated lumber camps, Eastman Gardiner gave their workers a home, albeit one on wheels, and created a completely different way of doing business.


Our Laurel gentry may have come from money, but they were made from sterner stuff than other mill owners of their time. When the going got tough, they put themselves in the shoes of their men and realized that it benefit no one to cut costs by cutting jobs.