Owatonna, MN

After some shopping at a local outlet mall and time in Faribault, we made it to our destination, Owatonna. This is by no means an exotic locale, but a quiet town with historical buildings, friendly people, more locally owned businesses, and enough to do for a short vacation/holiday. We did take a detour which I will post about next. It is important to note that Owatonna is another small town where stores are closed on Sundays.

So when we woke up Sunday morning, we ventured into town. We were silly and did not pay attention to business times. We however did take advantage of a quiet street to window shop and explore the downtown area of Owatonna. Again, the buildings had great decorative features. When we discovered the place we wanted to eat happened to be closed for vacation, we sat in the Central Park with the century old water fountain and discussed what to do for lunch. We left town, but then later returned to explore other districts of Owatonna.

One area we looked at used to be grounds for an orphanage made into State School Orphange Museum. It was small but worth a stop. The main room of the museum had stunning stain glass screens. The artifacts, photos and stories really helped to explain life at the orphanage or as they called it State School for the orphans. Some success stories and some less than successful stories. It was not an easy place to live.

Connected to the Orphan Museum is the Owatonna Art Center. That day the exhibit was student art. I could not help but to put my teacher hat on and see the skill set achieved by the students from First grade/Year one to senior year in high school/about 17-18 years of age. I saw some potential. I believe the art center rotates their exhibits fairly regularly.

We also went to a local city park, Morehouse Park, with pathways. It was a popular place for people to visit. Some parts were busier than others. The Straight River was thawing rather quickly. Huge chunks of ice were flowing down stream. Listening to the birds and feeling the large ice chunks bump against the pedestrian bridge was an experience. C really enjoyed the mallard ducks and the Canadian geese.  It was a breezy day so it was much cooler than we expected. It was still a beautiful day for a walk in the park after such a harsh winter.

We did return to the closed downtown area on Monday, to see a much different scene. The shops were open and the parking options were greatly decreased. We explored a few of the shops before we headed back north to the Twin Cities.

One thing we did notice – Owatonna has several buildings with towers.  Here’s the fire station and courthouse.

Bye for now.

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