Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Most Explosive Museum in the World

Treasure Island Casino RV Park
Welch, Minnesota

The morning started out with a few light showers and we had the fireplace on while eating breakfast.  

Sherry and I went over to the office and extended our stay until we pull out on Wednesday for Tilley's RV in Oronoco.
Sherry suggested touring the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis so off we went with Dave driving his truck.  

It was good that Dave and Sherry knew the area because every turn had a construction detour.  Here's Bill, Dave and Sherry Sweetman in front of the museum.  

It is going to be difficult to explain this museum but Sherry said you get in a freight elevator and they tell you stories as they take you up eight floors to the top of the building.  She was right, but the experience was so different.  

We entered the building on the 3rd floor and proceeded to go down to the first floor for our movie that was scheduled for 12:30.  Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat was shown in the theater.  It explained how Minneapolis evolved.   The movie was very well done and we really enjoyed it.  
 We had a few minutes until our freight elevator ride.  Bill really didn't ask too much about the museum other than he'd like to see it.  Sherry and I really didn't mention the freight elevator knowing about Bill's claustrophobia.

 There were many exhibits to see in the gallery.  

The displays were very well done and explained that CC Washburn built the first Washburn Mill in 1866.

There was a baking lab and we watched a baker make oatmeal cookies with pumpkin.  She had some fresh bread she'd made for us to sample but the cookies weren't ready for tasting.  There were areas for kids to bake something.  I must have been sampling too much to remember to take a photo of this.
There were lots of old advertising and Betty Crocker memorabilia.  Here's brother in law Dave and my sister Sherry in front of the Bisquick advertising.  

There was a water lab where you could play in the water and learn how water power from St. Anthony Falls drove the mills that made Minneapolis the Mill City.  

This part of the museum was great but we still had the freight elevator ride.  

Dave, Sherry and I went into the elevator and sat down in the front row where there was a lot of room in front of us.  Bill still didn't realize it was an elevator.  Our tour guide came in and told us we couldn't take photos until we were on the observation deck.  

She then closed the doors, one of which was a fence like material and then the regular door that meets vertically in the middle.

Here's how the brochure described the flour tower tour:

This elevator show travels through the eight levels of the building and back through  time as you experience the sights and sounds of the workers and machines that made Minneapolis the flour milling capital of the world.  

Somehow that doesn't describe the experience.  The elevator went from floor to floor and back again as we sat on the benches and watched the displays with sound and lights telling the stories.  One floor we went to had a belt break and then a machine overheated and a fire started.  You felt like you were right there in the factory in that time period.

From there we went to the rooftop and enjoyed the views. At this point Bill said he really enjoyed it and the freight elevator wasn't bad.
 Lucky for us, the weather had cleared up.

One of the guides on the observation deck was excited as a double barge was coming down to go through the locks.  She explained the whole procedure.

 The neat thing to watch was the lock was only big enough for the two barges.  The pilot boat (or whatever you call it) had to scoot alongside the barges and then when they opened them push the barge out and get back into place.

These were the ruins of the mill looking down from the observation deck.  The first Washburn Mill which was built in 1874 exploded in 1878.  They built a second mill in 1880 and it ran until 1928 when fire destroyed the south side. The mill closed down in 1965 and fire once again gutted the abandoned mill in 1991.  The museum opened in 2003.

You can see the observation deck in the left hand side of this photo and the glass elevator to return to the lower floors.

I thought this was a good photo.  Do you see the people on the observation deck?

The flour dust is more explosive than gun powder.

It's hard to believe that they could produce 2 million pounds of flour every day.

If you ever get in the area, I highly recommend taking this tour.  It was worth the $9.00 senior rate admission.  

Sherry wanted to go to an outlet mall, but by the time we got there it was so crowded you couldn't find a parking place.  Dave stopped at Cabela's for Bill to get his fix but by the time we left there Camping World which was nearby was closed.  

It was a fun day and we came home exhausted.  

I turned on the computer and had an e-mail from Ron Lichtenberg telling us that they had a cancellation for the Montana Owners Club Rally which takes us off the waiting list and puts us on the attendee list.   Yeah!

Dave gave me a copy of the photos he took yesterday and this was such a good one of "John Dillinger" and Bill I've included it today.

Turtle Safely........

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