the historic courthouse.

In a comment last week, someone mentioned that I seemed to be making up for lost time now that my sister and niece live here in Minnesota … and that is absolutely right!

Whenever my niece has time off on a weekend, we make plans to do something.  We have become tourists in our home town.  This past weekend was no exception.  We all went on the Nooks & Crannies tour of the historic courthouse in Stillwater, the birthplace of Minnesota.

courthouse group

The courthouse also just happens to be Mr. Q’s workplace.  He’s only been working there for a few months now though, and I had never actually been inside.  So this particular tour, which is only offered once a year, seemed like a great opportunity to see where he toils his days away.  It also was the perfect outing for a gorgeous fall day.


The cool thing about the Nooks & Crannies tour is that, well, you get to see all the nooks and crannies that you don’t see on the normal tours.  We toured the cellar where we could barely stand up (we are all tall, except for my sister).  I really enjoyed seeing the old jail cells.  Why?  Because they were painted the most awesome shade of vintage green.  And they had left a bunch of circa 1970’s graffiti on the walls which was quite amusing.

jail cell

Our guide was very knowledgeable about the history of the building.  It was fascinating to learn that the Sheriff’s house and the jail are actually attached to the courthouse.  And get this, the Sheriff’s wife was responsible for cooking 3 meals a day for any prisoners, as well as doing all of the prison laundry and emptying the slop buckets!  Can you imagine?  Not only that, but she didn’t actually get a salary of her own for this work.  The poor woman.  She was in a prison all of her own!

But of course, the highlight of the tour is getting to go up in the cupola for a bird’s eye view of Stillwater.

courthouse cupola

It’s the perfect vantage point for a view of the St. Croix River.  You can see that we don’t really have our fall colors yet.  They are just around the corner though.

courthouse view 1

We also saw some great views of the surrounding steeples.

courthouse steeple view

Is it becoming apparent that I torture my poor family with lots of “OK, everybody get close, say cheese!”?

cupola group

It’s true.  And every once in a blue moon I tell myself that I’m not going to take my camera.  I’m just going to enjoy the day and not worry about taking photos.  Then of course I have to pull out my phone and just end up disappointed because I only have bad photos from the day.

Next time we play tourists, I’m bringing the real camera!

11 thoughts on “the historic courthouse.

  1. Being both a lover of architecture and history this little tour would’ve have been right up my alley. You truly love in a beautiful area of our country. Love that view of the St. Croix River. It never occurs to me to take photos when we are on an excursion so they all should applaud your efforts.


  2. Fun to be a tourist in your own back yard, seeing everything through your sister and niece’s eyes! Perfect weather for FUN!


      1. Have you ever been to the Franconia Sculpture Garden in Wisconsin? I’m considering a visit in conjunction with a trip to a winery.


      2. It’s actually on the Minnesota side, just before you get into Taylor’s Falls (right near where hway 95 runs into hway 8). I was there quite a few years ago when they were in their old location, which was just a mile a so up the road. And the reason we stopped back then was because their old location was on a farm that Mr. Q once lived on! It was fun to see the old fields turned into a sculpture park. Anyway, we drove right past the new location on our way to the winery in St. Croix Falls. It looked like they had quite a lot of visitors. We all decided that we needed to add it to our list of places to visit. If you can appreciate some modern art, I think you would definitely enjoy it! They have many large installations. Let me know how you like it Kim! Oh, and P.S. I sent my “give thanks” plates off with Lacy from Eye Candy ReFind last night. They should be in her shop this weekend.


    1. That is so true, Kim. Whenever an old friend buys one of my books I will often page through it imagining them reading it. I’ve spoken with other authors and they admit to doing that also!


  3. Doesn’t that sound like Aunt Bea in Mayberry? She had to do all the laundry and made all the meals for the people in jail. Hopefully the Fall colors will be coming on soon!!


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