Mill City

It was Spring break last week and although the temps didn't feel very Spring like we were in need of a family outing.  Since we had taken our vacay a bit earlier in March we were home bound for the break.  Which was completely fine with all of us.  We slept in, had slow pajama mornings, Husband Jared and I worked, we played at parks and then we took a family field trip.  Mill City Museum had been on my list of "sights to see" so we headed to downtown for our excursion.
 
Mill City Museum sits in Minneapolis and was home to what once was the world's largest flour mill.  It is known as the "most explosive museum" due to a massive flour dust explosion that demolished most of the building.  The museum sits on the Mississippi river front and has the most scenic views of the city landscape with St. Anthony falls right across the way.  The original mill was shut down in 1965 and what remains of the structure is now home to the museum complete with interactive displays, a water lab, a bake lab and the ever prominent and informative elevator tour.  Taking you through all eight floors of the building each level complete with machinery and a brief history of the mill as told by former employees.  Fascinating and educational.  Just what this Mama likes. 
 
 
View on the 8th floor of the machinery

Flour mill across the way, the Mill City museum was home to the Washburn A mill.  This photo was taken from the 8th floor viewing balcony.

The lovely docent offered to take a family photo of this six, how could I refuse? 
 
That my friends is the lovely city of Minneapolis and the mighty Mississippi River behind us.  If you look closely you will also see the Stone Arch bridge.  It is only open to pedestrian traffic now but was once an active means of crossing the river for trains and extremely vital to businesses.
 
Three Things in the water lab. 
 
These tubes were demonstrating water pressure, up to twenty pounds to be exact.  The Things held their hands at the bottom attempting to stop the water flow.  They certainly had to use their muscles!

Baking lab
 
Thing 3 and I were looking for yummy recipes in the collection of cookbooks and Thing 2, well, she was just being silly!  On the kitchen counter in the lab there were small bowls filled with the various types of grain and the docents in the lab offered explanations.  Even sharing  the differences in cooking with each type, why they stopped bleaching, how it's ground, etc.  Not to mention there is fresh baked bread for sampling.  Needless to say the Things were immediately drawn to that. 

Dust vacuums on the 8th floor
 
These large funnel like contraptions were party responsible for transporting flour dust and other things in and out of the mill.  A bit rusty but some of the only original machinery left after the explosion and fires.  I just love the lighting in this photo.  It intrigues me. 
 
Thing 4 attempting to haul around a forty pound flour sack
 
I'm assuming the museum left these sacks lying around the old train car for just this reason.  Curious minds.  This boy thought he would toss the sack on his shoulder and haul it to the train car, no problem.  Ahem.  He tried.  I stood posed with my phone ready for to take the picture.  Then he tried again.  Unsteadily he told me, "I'm ready".  And then he wasn't.  Third try he got it!  With a little more muscle, legs bent and his pride in tact he threw that sack on his shoulder and posed.  Telling me to hurry a little as I stood there and snapped away.  Trying not to giggle at just how cute he was!
 
This was a superb day and an informative and fun museum. Our admission included the exhibits in addition to a nineteen minute history film on the state of Minnesota and the eight floor elevator tour.  Inquisitive minds can find out more details at this site






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