Monday, June 29, 2009

Ye Old Mill -- Boats in the Off-Season

Ye Old Mill with people in front
One of the oldest still-running attractions at the Minnesota State Fair is Ye Old Mill. Shown during the Fair here in a photo by Ben Franske from the Wikimedia Commons, the Mill gives you a ride through dark tunnels in a red, flat-bottomed boat for $2.50.

Black-painted curving walls and the fore of a red boat
It's generally pretty dark while you're in there, but if you turn on the lights, this photo from Flickr by Dan Hatfield and Rosie McNamee shows what it would look like. I gather that it's traditionally a place where teenagers make out, and little kids get scared by the gloom.

The Ye Old Mill sign at the top of the building, with 1913 written below
It's been in business since 1913, and has been operated by the same family the whole time.

Black and white historical photo of the Mill
They've been building and rebuilding the boats for 96 years.

The Mill, closed up, with a row of boats lying on their sides along the front
Right now, a little less than two months before the Fair opens, this is what Ye Old Mill looks like. Those are the boats, stacked on their sides along the shuttered storefront.

The boat bottoms have names like USS TEAGAN 2004 spraypainted on them
Seeing the boats there, I couldn't resist stopping to look at them, and I noticed how they're all labeled with names and years. I'm not sure what the years mean -- is it when the boat was rebuilt, or painted, or what?

One boat's name is USS CLINT & DONNA
Then I noticed this one named for Clint and Donna.

Looking closer, I mused about how the name CLINT (kind of like the word FLICK) should never be written or typeset in all capital letters, especially in sans serif type!

Close up of the name CLINT showing white paint over part of the letter L
Someone else obviously must have agreed with me, because they painted over part of the L to make it a little harder to read the LI as a U.

1 comment:

Ms Sparrow said...

I got a chuckle out of your post.
Every time a see a poorly lettered sign now, I think of you.