Saturday, August 8, 2009

Trip's End

Yesterday (Friday) was relaxing, if not a bit frustrating. We started out at the Alexander Ramsey house, the home of Minnesota's first territorial governor. I had never been there and really looked forward to going inside what is one of America's best preserved Victorian houses. Despite the brochure that said it was open on Fridays, we found the place closed, open on Saturday and Sunday only. This was the third historical site we had found closed during our trip. So I called ahead to our next stop, the Sibley House. Henry Sibley was Minnesota's first governor and it, too, was only open on Saturdays -- but only the first and third Saturday of the month.

Our next stop was the beautiful town of Stillwater. Thankfully, it was open, as was the Warden's House, the home of Stillwater Prison's wardens. The Younger brothers, once part of Jesse James' gang, were incarcerated here after being captured in Northfield, MN and there are some photos of them on display. The Warden's House was filled with lots of artifacts from the early 1800s, including a piano and a spattekaka tool, used to make delicate meringue cakes that were decorated with live flowers. I had read that the house was haunted, and so was on the look -out for ghosts. And I wasn't the only one that saw the spinning wheel start turning on its own when no one was near it!

The prison itself, sadly, was destroyed some years ago when some young boys set it on fire. Fortunately, the culprits were arrested when one of the boys tried to turn the others in and collect the ransome money.

The Victorian architecture of the town is still well preserved and a number of them have been turned into incredible B&B's. While I've never stayed at one, I'm sorely tempted. I may need it to recuperate from this "vacation."

We wound up the trip today by going on a tour of the Wabasha Caves. Once a speak-easy and night club, the country's most famous gangsters tripped the light-fantastic here. The tour guide was funny and entertaining and looked a bit like Tom Hanks. The old night club, too, is haunted. We were shown a photo taken of a little boy at a wedding. Next to him was a whispy white figure of what looked like a small boy and behind him a smokey character with a white hat.

Monday it's back to work!

No comments: