Since visiting the Mill City Museum last year when my parents were in town, I’ve encouraged friends to check it out. Yesterday I took my friend, Eric. With cameras in hand, we headed for the entrance.
He quipped, “I feel like a tourist.”
I replied, “That’s okay. It’s good to be a tourist in your own town.”
We started our visit watching the movie, “Minnesota in 19 Minutes Flat.” I’ve now seen it three times and it has endeared me even more to the city, if that’s possible. In addition to giving an overview of the history of the city, it’s a sweet and funny homage from humorist Kevin Kling.
Next up was the Flour Tower tour. This takes place in a giant freight elevator with which takes visitors through several floors. The elevator doors open to reveal different stations of the mill and play audio and video clips of former mill workers. The Flour Tower tour ends at the eighth floor where visitors are shown some of the original mill equipment and invited go to the top floor observation deck. The view of the riverfront is amazing.
After getting our fill of snapping photos, we wandered around the interpretive exhibits on the lower lever. There’s a baking lab which hosts baking classes and usually has some tasty samples. During our visit, we tried rhubarb bread. Yummy! The exhibits include everything from flour milling to maps of the milling district to how flour is used around the world. One of my favorite displays is about local families from Poland, Laos, Somalia, and Mexico. The panels show photos of them baking and eating and what ingredients they use for traditional recipes. An exhibit enjoyed by a lot of children is an interactive one which shows how water flow is harnessed for power. Hey, I thought it was fun, too.
You’ve probably seen ads around town proclaiming this place is “The Most Explosive Museum in the World.” That’s because flour dust is more explosive than gunpowder. True Story! You’ll learn that and more. Next time you’re down by the riverfront, consider a stop at Mill City Museum.