Until 1989, when Ed Krueger died, there was little reason for visitors to come to this sleepy village. Unlike anything you’ve ever seen, Ed’s Museum (100 Gold St. S., 1–4 p.m. Sat.–Sun. summer, free admission) is a meticulously organized monument to messiness.
The town’s most colorful character ran this Jack Sprat grocery store and resided upstairs. When his wife died in 1940, Ed pretty much stopped throwing things away, and he left the store, and everything in it, to the town on the condition that it be turned into a museum.
The local historical society fixed up the building, tossed out tons—literally—of what they decided was rubbish, and organized the rest of his hoard to a degree of orderliness that would pass boot camp muster—and probably make Ed turn in his grave.
Still, the collection is amazing, and careful scanning of the boxes and shelves will reveal some surprising finds, like his mummified cat Sammy and a jar with 25 gallstones. Other things laying about the store include junk mail, every magazine he ever subscribed to, and unsold store merchandise.
Thankfully some things, such as his desk, were left in their original state, and there are photos of the store before its unfortunate rearranging. If the museum is closed, inquire across the street at The Bank Gift Haus (105 Gold St. N., 507/352-4205, call for hours).
The Historic Wykoff Jail Haus (219 Main St. S., 507/352-4205, $75) is an original 1913 jailhouse that the town has renovated into a little bed-and-breakfast. You can sleep on bunks in the two original cell blocks or use the fold-out bed in the sitting room. It’s not fancy, but hey…you’re in jail!
The best place in town to grab a light meal is Margaret’s Tea Room (105 Gold St. N., 507/352-4205, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon.–Sat.) in the back of the Bank Gift Haus.
© Tim Bewer from Moon Minnesota, 3rd Edition