Travel

Wander Minnesota: The Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site

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(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Amy Rea Amy Rea
Amy Rea is a freelance writer and author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000...
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Just outside of Little Falls is a historic site open only in the summertime, so you still have several weeks to plan a visit. The Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site has the preserved childhood home of the famed aviator, as well as the Charles A. Lindbergh State Park across the street (and which is named after the aviator’s father).

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Something that I truly love is finding historical sites that are full of authentic pieces, not just replicas. The Lindbergh Site is one of those rarities, full of Lindbergh family objects that they actually used while they lived here.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Including the family’s cleverly designed hot water heater, attached to the stove.

A tour of this property is perhaps not what you’d expect at first. While the adjacent visitor’s center covers a number of Lindbergh topics, including the historic flight across the Atlantic, the kidnapping of his young son, and his controversial visits to pre-WWII Germany and eventual anti-war stance, the house itself serves not only as a Lindbergh site, but a slice-of-life-in-Minnesota site.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Lindbergh apparently was not fond of others playing with his toys in his absence. When he was going to be away from this house for a period of time, he found a way to hide them behind a panel in the kitchen.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

This was not the first home built on the site. The original home was destroyed by fire not long after the family moved in. When it came time to rebuild, the Lindbergh family fortunes weren’t quite as abundant, and the second home was smaller.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

While he had a room of his own, Lindbergh considered this porch off the back of the house, overlooking the river, to be a far superior place to spend time. He became deeply interested in nature, and it’s easy to see why from this view. The porch is on the upper right here:

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

He even had a bed on the porch and insisted on staying there during some pretty cold weather, during which he used the windows rather than the door to enter and exit the porch in order to minimize the loss of heat from inside the house.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

It’s easy to imagine a boyhood full of discovery, right on the banks of the river, with plenty going on around him, including farming overseen by a caretaker who lived across the road in this home:

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

The Lindbergh Historic Site is open on weekends through Labor Day, or by appointment for groups. There are also occasional special events; watch the website for more info.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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