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.
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.
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.
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.
We also saw some great views of the surrounding steeples.
Is it becoming apparent that I torture my poor family with lots of “OK, everybody get close, say cheese!”?
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!