Blue earth gets its name from the Blue Earth River which circles the town. The river was given the Indian name "Mahkota" meaning Blue Earth because of the blue gray clay found high in the river banks.
Blue Earth - The Jolly Green Giant
We have to admit we drove to Blue Earth to see one of the classic roadside attractions … the world’s largest statue of the Jolly Green Giant. Judging by the number of tourists snapping photos, you’d think this was Mount Rushmore … guess this proves the old adage “build it and they will come”. After snapping the obligatory photo, we decided to linger a bit a little longer in this small town and to our surprise we discovered more than this five story statue.
Standing tall and proud this icon was erected in 1979 as both a tourist attraction and as tribute to the city’s long-standing association with the Green Giant/Seneca Company.
When Sherry read that the Jolly Green Giant wears a size 78 shoe, she was a little curious about what he was packing under his "miniskirt." He's as smooth as a Ken doll!
On the grounds is the Green Giants pipsqueak sidekick "Sprout". To satisfy the endless flow of tourist, there is also a small playhouse that sells Green Giant paraphernalia. Sherry couldn’t resist and elbowed her way in to buy postcards and a souvenir ballpoint pen.
There is nothing charming or quaint about Blue Earth. The downtown looks abandoned and as expected the Jolly Green Giant/Seneca factory looms large … it is a major packing center for corn and peas and is the largest seasonal employer in Blue Earth.
Danny put on the brakes when he saw the Breen’s Ace Hardware store. He talked with the owner, Jim Breen. Jim was friendly but admitted that it was his sister who was into the family genealogy. He took one of our cards and said he would have her e mail us … alas we are still waiting to hear from her.
The most attractive and imposing building in town is the Faribault County Courthouse. It is nearly impossible to capture the beauty of this 1891 castle like structure. It was closed when we visited, so we weren’t able to see the restored interior or visit the observation deck in the tower.
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