Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Northfield, Minnesota and the Spam Museum

This should actually be two different posts, but I'm having trouble keeping up with my topic ideas, so I thought I would cover them in one entry. Hope it doesn't get too long--and hope that I do them both justice!

Northfield, Minnesota--proof that billboard advertising works!!!
We saw a sign for it on the interstate and John remembered that it was the town where Jesse James robbed the Northfield Bank. We got off the highway, and by sheer observation, managed to locate the historic district of the town and began looking at the buildings to determine which one was most likely the bank or to spy out historic site markers. There were several likely candidates, but it was Sunday a.m. and not much was open--except a local bookstore. He was able to point us to the Historical Society Museum--which was closed. So we spotted out a place to eat lunch (the James Gang Hideaway sandwich shop), which helped us pass enough time until the museum opened. While eating, we took in our surroundings and realized that we were in a town much like Greenfield, a real Main Street Community. We asked about the building we were in and found out it was an old Jacobson's Department store that had been divided up in to the present day businesses. it was really cool--the doors, and the private dining alcoves that used to be dressing rooms... And taking notice of the 'style' that the restaurant owner used in decorating her restaurant--none of the tables in the back room matched, and none of them had any matching chairs!! A clever cost-effective bit of decorating that really worked!

Finally, we were able to get into the museum. It was a small little place, located in the very bank once robbed by Jesse and the gang. Most of the fixtures were original, the bank teller's counter was there, and the time-lock safe, and the lamps and clocks. Pretty cool. We saw photos, and we saw a video about the re-enactment that they have every year.

I'm glad that I travel with people who love history.

The Spam Museum--it's a real place!!
The first thing I picked up in the lobby of this museum (as I searched around for freebie stuff to include in my scrapbooking page), was a business card stating, "Spam--we're on the internet now, and yes, we see the irony..." Okay. That set the tone for this whole wonderful visit.

As you walk into the first room, you come to a luncheon counter with breakfast special plates super-imposed on the counter and computer moonitors at each seat. The yolk of the egg on the plate was the roll ball and the pat of butter on the toast was the clicker. Hilarious.

Above our heads, where you sometimes see an electric train running throughout the museum, was a conveyor belt of a wide variety of Spam cans--hundreds of them.

We saw a puppet show about Spam based on "This is Your Life".
We got to time ourselves rolling and cramming fake Spam into a can, processing it in the 'heater', and then pulling a label over the can.
We participated in a Spam game show, and then the coup de grace was getting to put ourselves into the scene of Monty Python's famous Spam/Vikings skit. WHAT fun.

It was a total state-of-the-art museum and I regret that we only had 40 minutes to go through it.

Even if you're not the slightest bit interested in Spam, which we really weren't (but we are now), it was a fun time and a must-see.

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