Long before the Mill City Museum began claiming to the world that it was the "best smelling museum ever created," the space it occupies was a mill rather than an homage to one. In fact, the Washburn A Mill, as it was known back in the olden days, was the largest mill in the state. That was no small claim for Minnesota at the time. Then, on a spring day in 1878, the mill exploded, killing 18 people. The Mill City Museum uses the tragedy for marketing, calling itself the "most explosive museum in the world." Too soon? Yeah, it's been a strange history for the mill site. It was completely abandoned in 1965 and became a makeshift residence for all kinds of homeless folk, before finally being put to use five years ago as tribute to the flour industry that built Minneapolis. To commemorate the museum's fifth birthday, partygoers will tour the museum, go on a scavenger hunt, and be the first to view the museum's newest exhibit, "From Mill to Museum: The Hidden History of the Washburn Complex, 1965-2003." The exhibit features photos and stories of the mill from its days as a homeless hangout after General Mills pulled up stakes in the 1960s. Don't worry about bringing any extra bread; these events are free with admission.
Sat., Sept. 13, 1-4 p.m., 2008