Arts & Culture

Weirdest Museums In Minnesota

July 22, 2013 7:00 AM

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With the increasing variety of people and cultures that meet in Minnesota, it is no wonder we have some of the most interesting and unusual sights in the country. Famous for the giant statue of Paul Bunyan and the lifelike replica of the Jolly Green Giant, Minnesota locals and visitors are treated to things you just don’t see every day. Off the beaten path, Minnesota also contains museums filled with oddities and unusual artifacts on display. Check out these weird museums throughout the state.

spam, generic, cans, museum

(credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

SPAM Museum
1101 N. Main St.
Austin, MN 55912
(507) 437-5100
www.exploreminnesota.com

Meet and greet with the most famous ‘mystery meat’ product in the world. Hormel, the manufacturer of SPAM, is headquartered across the street from this museum that caters to the cult favorite. Learn how SPAM is produced and where it comes from as well as fantastic recipes on how to make the world’s favorite SPAM dishes. The plant manufactures over 44,000 cans an hour in order to keep up with the international demand for SPAM. Watch videos, try samples and leave with a new-found appreciation for SPAM.

Ed’s Museum
100 S. Gold St.
Wykoff, MN 55990
(507) 352-4205
www.roadsideamerica.com

What was once a general store and home to a notorious hoarder named Ed Krueger is now a museum of decades worth of stuff. The town of Wykoff took it upon itself to transform an unorganized and messy junk collection into a tourist attraction in southeast Minnesota. Weave through almost 80 years worth of junk mail, unopened packages and magazines. Ed’s collection also contains a box with the skeleton of his dead cat. Travel to Wykoff to gaze at hundreds of cash register receipts, checkbook ledgers and many other useless remnants of Mr. Krueger’s long life.

(credit: House Of Balls)

(credit: House Of Balls)

House of Balls
212 3rd. Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 332-3992
www.houseofballs.com

House of Balls represents an art gallery designed for exhibition and purchase of unusual pieces created by artist Allen Christian. Christian has focused on crafting sculptures from bowling balls and other recycled materials, displaying them in a way that allows interaction. Many of the sculptures are animated and vocal, talking and interacting with visitors. Christian is the curator and tour guide for the gallery. He’s helpful and available for any visiting questions. Check out the museum that is always changing, adding and subtracting fantastic, weird, spooky and unusual art.

Related: Best Museums in Minnesota

Fishing Hall of Fame
Gander Mountain
14275 Edgewood Drive
Baxter, MN 56425
(218) 828-1736
www.fishinghalloffamemn.com

Located inside of a Gander Mountain retail store, the Fishing Hall of Fame celebrates Minnesotans who have made an important contribution to angling over the years. Each year, three inductees are selected for the Hall, two individuals and one corporate sponsor. These lucky few receive space inside the gallery and are able to donate items for display. Learn about the history of fishing and visit with photos and memorabilia from past fishers like Ted Capra and Larry Bolling.

(credit: Red Wing Shoes)

(credit: Red Wing Shoes)

Red Wing Shoe Museum
420 Levee St.
Red Wing, MN 55066
(651) 385-5934
www.redwing.org

The Red Wing Shoe Company is famous for manufacturing quality footwear along the banks of the Mississippi River. The museum contains interactive displays that feature a wide range of footwear as well as the world’s biggest boot. Norman Rockwell paintings are also exhibited inside the museum for the enjoyment of visitors. Learn what it takes to make shoes and browse the retail section as well in case you find yourself in the market for footwear.

Related: Best Exhibits to Visit this Summer in Minnesota

Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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