Monday, March 14, 2011

NORTH 2 of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilt

The second block of the North Row comes to us from Owatonna, Minnesota and long-time Quiltsy member Lynn of lmkquilts. Owatonna is located straight down I-35 from Minneapolis and is known as the "Heart of Southern Minnesota."

Legend has it that Chief Wabena heard of the curing waters called minnewaucan. His daughter, Princess Owatonna, was very frail so he moved the tribe to the site of the natural springs on the banks of Maple Creek. Princess Owatonna drank from the springs daily and recovered her health. Her kindly spirit hovers near the bubbling waters and beckons weary travelers to pause in the beautiful valley and drink of the magic waters. You can visit the springs and the statue of Princess Owatonna at Mineral Springs Park.

Although this makes a colorful and romantic campfire story, the name most likely originated from the major river running through the county, named the Straight River. For hunders of years before the arrival of the first white settlers, Native Americans camped on the banks of the river they called "Ouitunya", which means straight.

In the middle of Owatonna's downtown is the National Farmer's Bank, widely recognized as one of the premier pieces of the "Prairie School of Architecture" in America. Designed by Louis Sullivan, the building was finished in 1908 and features gold leaf arches, stained glass windows and nouveau baroque art designs. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and is not occupied by a branch of Wells Fargo Bank.

Lynn has many wonderful things in her shop. She has a long arm quilting machine that she uses to turn out her amazing work. Currently she is not able to undertake any custom work until her load is more manageable. Keep checking back to her shop to see when that status might change.

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