My 2019 Great Lakes Road Trip Part 9B (Continued)

11 Dec

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 9 – Wednesday July 31

Next I was hoping to visit the Golden Wings Flying Museum, located a few miles north in Blaine, MN.  This is a private collection, and I needed an appointment to visit the hanger where the collection is stored.  I had called earlier that morning to make an appointment to see the collection, but no one answered.  I had left a message, but I had never received a response to my call.  Since I knew the museum was closed, I headed to downtown Minneapolis to visit the Foshay Observation Deck and the Wells Fargo Museum.

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Street construction and heavy traffic made it next to impossible to get around in downtown Minneapolis.  With all that confusion, Greta (my Garmin) was still able to find the Foshay Tower.  This 32-story art deco styled tower was built as an office building in 1929, and claimed the honor as being the tallest structure in Minneapolis until 1972.  The 30th floor Foshay Observation Deck has been a major tourist attraction over the years, where visitors can get a 360 degree view of the city of Minneapolis.   In 2006 the tower was converted to the 230-room”W Hotel” (part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide), but the 30th floor Foshay Observation Deck is still open to the public with its all-around great view.  

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And just around the corner from the Foshay Tower is the Wells Fargo Museum.  In this museum visitors can take an audio-guided tour describing the history of Wells Fargo (originally the Bank of North America-1781) from the late 1700s.  As an added feature, they can sit in a 1860s stagecoach, while imagining they are on a rough and dusty ride somewhere in frontier America.

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For some reason I had always thought the Pony Express was associated with the Wells Fargo Express Company.  However, my recent research has informed me that they were two separate transportation companies operating about the same time in the history of our early American territorial expansion.  The Wells Fargo Company mostly carried people and merchandise in stagecoaches and wagons, while the Pony Express Company riders carried mail and important messages on horseback.  I guess I will have to someday research the facts better, and write a separate blog about each of these famous companies.

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Now I asked Greta to take me to the Minnesota Streetcar Museum which is located adjacent to Lake Harriet in the Lyndale Park area.  This museum actually operates two streetcar lines; the Como–Harriet Line between Lake Harriet and Lake Cohen, and the Excelsior Line which operates between the restored Excelsior Railway Station and Lake Minnetonka.  The Como-Harriet Streetcar stop is located just a couple of blocks from the Lake Harriet Recreation Area.  I was able to get a few photos of the restored Linden Hills Station as well as one photo of the vintage electric streetcar as it made its stop at the station.

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After this pleasant stop, l asked Greta to take me back to the Brooklyn Center area and the motel.  I decided to try some Chinese food this evening, and chose the Rose Garden Asian Bistro located there in a small Brooklyn Center strip mall.  I had a Sweet & Sour Pork dish, served with rice and an egg roll on the side.  A pot of hot Chinese tea topped off the meal.  That was a delightful meal, and my tummy was pleasantly full by the time I was finished.  Now it was time for me to head back to the motel, where I recorded today’s events and then it was off to bed for this tired puppy.  Tomorrow I will concentrate on visiting museums on the outskirts of Minneapolis.   

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—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.




One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2 Responses to “My 2019 Great Lakes Road Trip Part 9B (Continued)”

  1. Onisha Ellis December 15, 2019 at 9:40 pm #

    Interesting,especially the difference between Pony Express and Wells Fargo.


  2. divoran09 December 11, 2019 at 9:48 am #



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