Stone House on the Rum River, Anoka, MN

Once there were three.  Three little stone houses, igloos, castles, or whatever you want to call them.  Built almost 100 years ago by Thaddeus Giddings, as part of a whimsical garden area on small islands along the Rum River where it meanders its way towards the Mississippi River down below Anoka, surrounded by weeping willows. Now there is only one remaining. Anoka1 Continue reading

Even More Prairie Architecture: 5 More Gems

Although the Great Depression was a tough time for America, one silver lining was that we got some amazing architecture out of the deal.  As we have seen in prior installments,  programs put in place during the 1930’s like the Federal Relief Administration, the Works Progress Administration, and the Civilian Conservation Corps, resulted in architecture that is not only beautiful, but has outlasted generations and will continue to. It was built with detail and design that reflected not only the architectural styles of the time, but the optimism that FDR’s New Deal brought to an economically depressed America.

DRWD Continue reading

SPAM Museum, Austin, MN

DSC_1712It’s a shrine to all things SPAM. A mecca for the canned-meat enthusiasts, a Graceland-type of destination that recently got some brand new digs in 2016.  Located in Austin, MN, a farm-country town found near the Iowa border south of Rochester, right smack in the midde of its killer little downtown. Austin is home to the massive Hormel Foods Corporation, and its flagship product, SPAM. The museum tells the history of Hormel, SPAM, Dinty Moore, and the significance of the products around the world. Continue reading