The first snow of the season was November 13th when we got 6.7 inches in Jordan. That first snow of the season is always a bit magical. The colors of fall erased from the landscape are beautifully repainted with a new palette of glimmering white. The sounds muffled by the thick blanket usher in a new sense of peace. And just like that, a new season is born.
Our guests often ask us “What got you into innkeeping?” Well, it was falling in love with Bed & Breakfasts as we celebrated our wedding and subsequent anniversaries. We honeymooned on Mackinac Island, Michigan, and stayed at the Metivier Inn and one night at the Grand Hotel. Though the Grand Hotel is incredible, and we chose Mackinac because of our love for the cult movie classic “Somewhere In Time” which was filmed at the Grand Hotel, we came away from that first B&B experience absolutely captivated. And thought, one day wouldn’t it be great if we could do this with our life? So now, here we are at the Nicolin Mansion.
Each anniversary, and some birthdays, we chose a new Bed & Breakfast. Among them have been the Cloghaun on Mackinac Island, MI; Spicer Castle in Spicer, MN; Nordic Inn in Crosby, MN; The Bohemian in New Ulm, MN; Asa Parker House in Marine on St. Croix, MN; Afton House Inn in Afton, MN; Cathedral Hill in St. Paul, MN; as well as each of our own guest rooms here at the Nicolin Mansion.
This year innkeeper Catherine Dwyer of the Bird House Inn in Excelsior invited us to spend our anniversary. What a fabulous retreat! We spent a great night in the Turtledove Room. And dinner at the Irish Pub Jake O’Connors Public House was delicious- from their menu we highly recommend the Beef Wellington and Dublin Boxty, a seafood dish in a lovely sauce over potato pancake. We walked along downtown Water Street and took in many of the fantastic shops the next morning, before lunch at 318 Cafe. We even found a beautiful urn to add to our courtyard garden at Gray Gardens. All in all, the perfect respite for a couple of innkeepers. We were short on time this trip, but next time we return, we have to take in a cruise on Lake Minnetonka.
The Scott County Art Crawl was yesterday, October 9th, which included the studio of one of our local downtown artists, Maureen Carlson. Other stops along the art crawl in Jordan were Jessica Barnd Bauer, oil paintings, and eight artists at Crofut Winery – Linda Reckard, button pendants; Rose-Marie F. James, fused art glass; R. Michael Leek, ink, pencil, acrylic; Ashley Davidson, copper sculpture; Lowell Pajati, copper sculpture; Mary Pearson, digital photography; Theresa Beissel, watercolor; and Steven Showalter, functional & woodfired pottery.
Since Maureen’s studio is just a couple blocks from the inn, I decided to stop in and pay a visit during the art crawl. Maureen is a nationally recognized polymer clay artist expressing her creativity through a series of whimsical Wee Folk characters. As a matter of fact, at the Nicolin Mansion we blessed each new guest room with one of Maureen’s fairies after renovations were completed. Maureen is also an author, instructor, and story teller. Her Storyclay Telling sessions bring out your imagination as you participate in the creation of a one-of-a-kind character. Also a leading organizer of the annual Jordan Art Festival, Maureen has found many outlets to express her creativity.
Visit Maureen at her studio when you come to town. Her studio is located in a charming, historic building on Water Street beside Sand Creek.
Studio Hours: Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
102 Water Street
It’s 1961. One of the wealthiest oil men in the country has invited every one who is any one to his home for a birthday celebration. In attendance are Rita Hayworth, Bob Marley, Fred Astaire, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, to name a few. All friends who want something from their wealthy acquaintance.
But before the celebrations begin, one of the guests has murdered their host. With the evidence and guest clues provided, the murderer must be discovered.
Though we can reveal that “Best Costume” was awarded to Judy Garland, we can not reveal the murderer.
Actually “Rita Hayworth’s” birthday was celebrated, and she invited all her guests to participate in an afternoon of sluething at the Nicolin Mansion. Murder Mystery Events at the Nicolin Mansion can be arranged by calling 952-492-6441 or visiting www.nicolinmansion.com.
It’s apple time in Minnesota – and we’ve got a great selection of orchards here in Jordan. One of the most unique is Jim’s Apple Farm, which not only carries a large variety of pre-picked apples, but also boasts of being Minnesota’s largest candy store. With a barn full of every type of candy imaginable, from those hard to find classics to the latest sweet treat, you’ll find it here. A large number of varieties is Jim’s specialty – 87 kinds of licorice, 67 kinds of root beer – and the number posted outside is always growing. But they don’t stop at apples and candy. There is a fantastic bakery baking up pies and strudels – and a pie light outside let’s you know when the ovens are filling the barn with a heavenly aroma. And there are shelf upon shelf full of every preserve or pickled food you can think of. And there’s more – Pumpkins and Gourds. And at great prices – any gourd is $1.49, and any pumpkin is $3.98. And not just the standard orange fare – but white, and blue, and knobby ones that look like they are covered with peanuts. You’ve just got to stop by!
Store Hours: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm Every Day
Open Seasonally, July through November
17365 Johnson Memorial Drive (Hwy 169)
Jordan, MN 55352
Phone: NONE (Really)
The flowers in the courtyard continue to provide color even into the fall. The front garden is still blooming nicely, and the hanging baskets still have some color. They have done so well this year, but I can’t say that about my experimental vegetable garden in mostly shade. The heirloom tomatoes and peppers just now have blossoms, which probably will freeze with overnight lows coming in October before they even produce fruit. But it was an experiment, so will have to try again next year.
The rain this fall has created unprecidented fall flooding in the Southern Minnesota area, including Jordan, which resulted in numerous closures at river crossings.
As of Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at noon, all Minnesota River crossings are open!
- MN-101 at Shakopee RE-OPENED on 10/12/10 at noon
- CR-9/CR-11 at Jordan RE-OPENED on 10/9/10 at 5:00 p.m.
- MN-41 at Chaska RE-OPENED on 10/7/10 at noon
- US 169 from Le Sueur to St. Peter RE-OPENED on 10/5/10 at 5:30 p.m.
- US 169 at Union Street in St. Peter RE-OPENED on 10/1/10 at noon
- US 169 from St. Peter to Mankato RE-OPENED on 9/30/10
- Minnesota River crossings in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro area that remained OPEN during the fall flood: MN-25 at Belle Plaine, US 169 at Bloomington/Shakopee, I-35W at Bloomington/Burnsville, MN-77 at Bloomington/Eagan, and I-494 near MSP Airport
On the Minnesota River at Jordan the reading at noon Tuesday, October 12th was 24.38 feet with a flood stage in Jordan of 25 feet. The bridge at CR-9/CR-11 in Jordan will be closed when the river level reaches 26.7 feet. The National Weather Service indicates the Minnesota River at Jordan crested at 33.12 feet on Thursday, September 30th. The highest recorded crest level at Jordan was 35.07 feet on April 11, 1965. The 2010 crest of 33.12 feet is the 3rd highest recorded crest level at Jordan, and the first time a top 5 flood has occurred in fall.
For the latest road closure information, see Minnesota Department of Transportation 511 and the Scott County and Carver County websites.
NOTE: MN DOT 511 Info DOES NOT include county roads or city streets.
The locals turned out in great numbers for the Annual Heimatfest Day Parade in downtown Jordan this morning, September 11th, both as spectators and participants. The parade was LONG this year, at least an hour, with a full array of marchers: Veterans, politicians, merchants, clubs, schools, scouts, princesses – you name it, we had it. The parade ushers in a full day of events at Lagoon Park – food, games, music, Miss Jordan coronation and the grand finale fireworks over Mill Pond. Small Town U.S.A. at it’s finest!
The rain kept the number down to about one-third of the usual entries, yet about 100 classic collector cars were on display and cruised past the Nicolin Mansion’s front porch on Friday evening, September 10th. Classic colors, models, fins, fuzzy dice, engines… but no ’64 1/2 red convertible Mustang this year.
The lush courtyard garden has bloomed beautifully this summer. Sitting beside the pond, listening to the water fall over the limestone, and soaking in the beauty of the blooms has been a wonderful respite for the innkeepers and our guests. The Hosta take center stage this time of year, with over 350 plants throughout the courtyard, they are a living invitation to the garden.
I can’t believe summer is coming to a close, but we’re looking forward to cool evenings at the courtyard firepit – and there are still some courtyard flowers in bloom for the coming month.