Forestville Mystery Cave State Park

We visited Forestville / Mystery Cave State Park on what may have been the most beautiful Fall day I’ve ever experienced in Minnesota.  The sun was shining, the leaves were changing and they were all still on the trees and it was just cool enough for a light jacket.  A perfect day.

We toured the caves, this was a first for the girls. Their favorite part was the bats. We saw two tiny little sleeping bats and that was the highlight for them.  Forget the centuries old stalactites and stalagmites, never mind the underground turquoise colored lake.  It was all about those two little bats.  You never know what kids are going to dig.

Lowlight smartphone pictures are pretty much no bueno.  I did manage to snap a great image as proof of Cora breaking what is probably the most important cave tour rule – Don’t Touch The Walls!  Oops.

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The highlight of the day for me was our visit to Historic Forestville. Right in the middle of this beautiful state park is what’s left of a pioneer town frozen in the late 19th century.  The steel bridge, the general store and home of the store owner, and a few farm buildings is most of what’s left.  By 1910 pretty much everyone had moved on from Forestville and the general store was finally closed. The owner, Thomas Meighen, left everything behind in the store, and there it all still sits for the public to tour.  It’s absolutely amazing.

The Minnesota Historic Society operates Forestville now and costumed characters from 1899 are on hand to show you around.  When you go, make sure you spend some time chatting with the shop keeper, he is fantastic.

We were there for Apple Cider Pressing day and we all got to pitch in and make apple cider, the girls loved it, we couldn’t get them to stop tossing apples in the press.  The character of Mrs. Meighen was baking apple pies in the original kitchen, in her original stove, from 1885!  Best apple pie I have ever tasted.

 

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Cabinet hardware from the 19th century. Every ounce of me wanted to fondle all of it and take them home and make them mine.

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I just love these people who dress up to teach us about History.  They are always so good to the girls.

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Oh, to have her upper body strength.

 

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