I had the good fortune to be in Minnesota this past week, where the weather was cool and the people are nice and the natives talk with accents they don’t even know they have, and grown men actually say things like “Holy buckets.” I can’t get enough of it. It’s Fargo come to life. Too bad they have that deal-breaker known as Winter. If it weren’t for that I could see myself living here.
The first five photos were taken in Stillwater, a historic town on the St. Croix River just east of St. Paul. One of the oldest towns in the state, Stillwater had Minnesota’s first prison. Cole Younger and his brother Jim were guests of the warden there for a time, after the James – Younger Gang famously botched a bank robbery in Northfield, Minnesota.
Apparently it was Classic Car Weekend on the Sunday I was there. There was one passing by every time I turned around. I got very lucky with this shot. I half-expected men in striped suits and fedoras to jump out with Tommy-guns blazing.
The Stillwater Lift Bridge is at the end of this road. The river bluffs of Wisconsin rise up on the other side of the St. Croix. The bridge opened in 1931. This Fall it will close to vehicle traffic for safety reasons, but pedestrians and bicycles can still use it.
Dozens of pleasure boats were anchored near the bridge for a concert on a floating stage on Sunday. That was the plan, anyway, before the thunderstorms came. I didn’t stick around to see if they managed to salvage the day.
This is the old courthouse in Stillwater. It’s one of the oldest still standing in Minnesota. The doors opened for business in 1870 and it served the county until 1975. It’s an impressive building and I thought it would make a nice picture, but unfortunately I didn’t capture it like I had hoped. Photography is humbling, even to an amateur with nothing but an iPhone.
The Hay Lake School is in Scandia, the first Swedish immigrant settlement in Minnesota. It’s a museum now, and it’s also on the National Register of Historic Sites.
If you’ve never been to Minnesota in June I highly recommend it, but bring your bug spray. Aw geez, have they got the mosquitoes.