After visiting Crane Meadows and Sherburne National Wildlife Refuges yesterday, I headed back to the rig with a stop in Little Falls along the way. I had seen a sign along the roads advertising the Minnesota Fishing Museum. I’ve heard of a lot of different kinds of museums, but a fishing museum? I decided I had to check it out.
I took their invitation to “Stop in and step back in time to experience the evolution of fresh water fishing in Minnesota.” This small museum contains over 10,000 fishing artifacts.
The lady volunteer who greeted me on my arrival was most enthusiastic about what I was about to see. There are all kinds of lures, fishing poles, and motors dating back to 1913. The folks working there truly have a love for what they are preserving.
Among my favorite displays were the Minnesota record size fish, where they were caught, and by whom that were displayed along the walls. These taxidermied fish and replicas covered every kind of fresh fish caught in the state. I don’t ever expect to catch a 54 lb. Muskie, but I sure would enjoy hooking a big old sunfish.
I’m not much into the history and evolution of boat motors or lures for that matter, but I did get a chuckle out of the lighter side of their displays like the ‘record’ fish, and big bobber. There was also a large diorama that depicted a spearing dark house on a frozen lake. Carving lifelike wooden fish decoys to lure big fish in to spear through a hole in the ice is something I didn’t even know existed. It’s not likely I’d ever do ice fishing…too cold for me…, but the story I read of a twelve year old ‘coming of age’ in a dark house was riveting.
My absolute favorite lure display was this one depicting the history of the fishing lure from one million B.C. to the present. I sure hope if you click on this pic that you will be able to read the captions. They are a real hoot! I even remember carving one of those red and white lures like the second one from the bottom when I was about 17 years old. Never caught anything with it, but what fun I had, way back when, dreaming about catching a ‘big one’. Living in the city of Chicago at that time, I thought northern Wisconsin with all of its lakes was heaven. I even talked my best friend, Carolyn (aka: bigfoot), into letting me cut off several locks of her brilliant red hair to use on one of my lures. Those lures that I carved and tied are long gone, but their dreams still remain. Some day, I’ll land that big one… if only in my dreams.
The $4.00 fee to see the museum was well worth it for me. It brought back many happy memories from my youth. By the time I got there, I had less than an hour to visit before they closed, but they allowed me to stay parked in their lot after closing so I could take advantage of a celebration that was going on very nearby. The Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church next door was having an old time bazaar going on.
There was a huge crowd attending, and parking spaces were at a premium. There was a live Polish Polka Band performing, and that kind of surprised me for a northern Minnesota community. I would have expected a Norwegian festival. However, I had one thing in mind when thinking of a church bazaar.
I don’t sew or crochet, and I have been in need of some of those dish towels that have a method of hanging around a fridge or stove handle. The best place I know of to find them is at a church bazaar. I was not disappointed. I bought these three towels from (I hesitate to say) a little older ladies group that supports the church. They do such fine work, and these were just what I was looking for.
I also found these hand embroidered pillow cases at a reasonable price. I don’t have the patience or talent for this kind of work, but I sure do appreciate it. The fishing museum and a church bazaar. With those two gems and my visits to two refuges, the day was a resounding success from my point of view.
Last, but not least, I added a new tee shirt to my collection at the MN Fishing Museum. I just couldn’t pass it up. As I purchased it, I thought of Where are the Dixons Today? I think it would be the perfect shirt for Jim.
(As an aside, crappie is a fish whose name is pronounced differently depending on where you live in this country. In Minnesota, it’s pronounced ‘croppie’, but in New York it’s called ‘crappie’. The NY pronunciation is how I interpret this shirt. )
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy