A couple months ago, business took us to our northern bordering state of Minnesota. Since we have gotten pretty good at combining business with pleasure, once our work was done, we pulled of I-90 into the town of Blue Earth which happens to be the center of the United States longest highway.
The town’s name actually comes from the greenish-blue clay found along the river banks of the Blue Earth River which surrounds it. The mineral Illite gives their soil its blue hue.
The famous Jolly Green Giant welcomed us. This sixty foot giant pulled me off the interstate once before when my children were young and needed an energy release break.
This time my farmer and I needed a break from sitting so long. Besides, it was a lovely spring day, one of the first we didn’t the heavy coat, gloves and scarves.
The sun was warm on the Jolly Green Giant. Ho! Ho, indeed!
A sign told us there was a museum located elsewhere in town, so we proceeded to find it. That fact that I am a woman made it easy for me to call the telephone number for directions.
It soon became obvious I can’t follow directions, or didn’t listen closely enough; my farmer too readily shook his head at this confession saying, “Yep, that’s her alright.”
But getting lost is half the fun. There are a lot of adventures people miss out on when they follow Cortana, the voice on my phone.
We realized we were lost when we got to the edge of town without seeing any of the landmarks the museum curator told me about. Instead we found a beautiful cemetery. The Riverside Cemetery had the most interesting tombstones of ornate design I had never seen anywhere. And for this area it was fairly old, with its beginnings during the Civil War times.
The evergreens and tall arborvitaes really stood out against the leafless branches of the massive trees with thick trunks and branches. This area was once part of the ‘Big Woods’.
We wondered what some of the species of trees were so called the museum to see who the cemetery caretaker was. Aren’t cell phones wonderful? His wife answered the phone, and kindly gave us his number. He gave us his thoughts. Since it was pretty important to us, we decided that maybe the library would have some more history on the cemetery so we headed that way.
Because of our recent meandering through town, we had a pretty good idea which building might be the library, so we drove right to it. Turns out the library had moved, and this building was now a museum, but it was locked. Fortunately it gave us instructions to the Wakefield House.
Surprisingly I knew exactly where it was, because my eyes were open when we were searching for the Green Giant Museum. Oh, the joys of taking the scenic route!
Yes, we did make it to the Green Giant Museum. There was a video to watch that showed peas and sweet corn being harvested and processed in an early and more modern cannery. I can’t imagine how hot it got in the retort/pressure canner room during the 1920’s. The museum was fascinating, because I had often wondered how canning was done on a large scale.
We only got a ‘nibbling’ start on touring Blue Earth. There are plenty of reasons to return, with the added incentive to see the new museum that is in the works to be built closer to the Jolly Green Giant.