Logan Ledman and Samuel Temple tell the story of the Sellner family and their legacy in this episode of 1855, focusing mostly on the invention and production of the Tilt-A-Whirl in Faribault.
If you have ever been to a county fair, you have probably have seen the Tilt-a-Whirl thrill ride. Sit back and listen in as Diane Richard interviews Tami Schluter, owner of the Historic Hutchinson House B&B, while taking the ride for a spin. Link http://www.ampers.org/pieces/short-history-spinning-swooping-tilt-whirl.
Do you have a childhood memory of your first Tilt-a-Whirl ride? Share your experience with others by commenting here.
Before moving to Faribault I simply avoided Blue Cheese. Frankly, I didn’t think about it much. I knew it smelled and it was generally expensive. Growing up, Mom didn’t use it in Mac n’ Cheese and a grilled Roquefort sandwich wasn’t standard lunch fare. But after we opened the B&B, at a Rice County Historical Society annual meeting a few years back, Jeff Jirik, the savior of the Faribault cheese caves, shared his story about reopening the plant and the amazing success he and the rest of his “cave dwellers” have achieved. If you’re into business success stories, Jeff’s story is as compelling as any. Maybe some day, he’ll write a book or better yet, you’ll run into him around town and you can hear his story first hand.
But what first hooked me was the history of the place. At that meeting, Jeff described how the caves were first used to store beer in the 1800’s because the temperature is a steady 54 degrees (not great for ice-cold beer but perfect for curing and aging blue cheese). In 1936, after Prohibition and refrigeration, a World War I veteran named Frederiksen, with a taste for the Roquefort cheese he had sampled in France, decided the American palate was ready for Blue Cheese if he could find a place to produce it. Apparently, the St. Peter limestone deposits found throughout southeastern Minnesota are perfect for curing Blue Cheese and as he searched the region he stumbled upon the old abandoned beer caves along the Straight River in Faribault. The Treasure Caves were born.
Well, like many American businesses, the Treasure Cave business was sold and re-sold a few times until the 1990’s when corporate conglomerate, Conagra, owned it and decided it was not profitable enough. Enter our hero Mr. Jirik who creatively acquired and resurrected the business to international acclaim and economic success in the early 2000’s. In fact, the story continues and although the caves still produce world class cheeses with Mr. Jirik at the helm, the business is currently owned by an Iowa cooperative - Swiss Valley Farms.
Jeff’s version of all this is far more compelling than mine but as he tells it, his passion for the variety of cheese that now come out in waves from the caves – Bleu Cheese, Gorgonzola, Gouda, and Fini, to name a few – is palpable.
All I can say is now I crave the stuff. Cheeseburgers and chicken wings can only be eaten with blue cheese. And many cheese plates have been passed and sampled with friends and guests on summer evenings relaxing on our wrap-around front porch. We even have a Blue Cheese soufflé that we serve our guests wanting to experiment with breakfast.
So, whether you’re an overnight guest or just passing through Faribault, consider stopping at the Cheese Cave retail store on Central Avenue in Faribault. Get a few wedges of cheese, grab your favorite wine pairing and stop by the Historic Hutchinson House B&B for a quiet, relaxing moment on the porch.
For a virtual tour of the Caves lead by Jeff Jirik himself, click on this link:
#betterwaytostay #visitFaribault #minnseotastaycation #onlyinminnesota
Join Lara Dunning as she visits Southern Minnesota towns and picks two foodie stops you don’t want to miss. There will be other foodie stops listed in future Minne-Roadtrip posts about where to stay and what to do, so be sure to come back and read more.
We have been serving people from all walks of life, all ages, and from all over the world since
2008. Each guest has their own unique story and that, in part, is why we got into this business.
That said, there is one category of guest that we take more seriously than any others. They are
the "first-timers"; the B&B rookies; the ones reluctant to help themselves to coffee. If we screw
up their stay, they may never return to us or any other B&B, for that matter.
Most seasoned B&B travelers remember their first B&B experience. Clearly, it must have been
mostly positive or they wouldn’t be “seasoned” now. For instance, my first B&B experience was
in Inverness, Scotland in 1976. I was a 17 year-old high school kid off exploring the world with
two other friends. I don’t recall a whole lot about the house but I remember our hostess was a
sweet, caring lady that could have been my grandmother based on how she took care of us. I
distinctly remember the huge, home-cooked breakfast she prepared. Thinking back, I am certain,
the B&B business was probably necessary for her to supplement whatever retirement or pension
income she had, if any. That of course is how the industry began before being exported to
About twenty years later, our first B&B experience as a couple was in Culpepper, VA along with
our daughter who was about 11 or 12 years old at the time. We stayed there over the 4 th of July
holiday and I remember the owner directing us to one of the most extensive fireworks displays I
had seen. I also remember the old, antebellum-era house that we stayed in. Both Inverness and
Culpepper were memorable, enjoyable experiences.
So our message to our guests and “first-timers”, in particular, is remember, we realize you are not just interested in the bed or even the breakfast. If you have decided to spend a night in our B&B rather than an unaccompanied local lodging facility, you want a unique experience. It is our goal to make that experience as enjoyable as possible. So, when we (or any inn-keeper) ask if you have any food allergies, or are you cold, or where are you having dinner; we’re not prying, we want your experience to be completely enjoyable and memorable (for the right reasons).
Also remember, it was us that decided to get into this goofy business. We are blessed with a
beautiful home, in a remarkable community, and have been given the opportunity to share it with
our guests. So, take advantage! Use the common space, ask questions, get food referrals! All of
that will help you enjoy your stay with us and, hopefully, bring you back to us and the thousands
of other B&B’s across the country.
One last thought: If you are a B&B first-timer, we know you’re anxious as you reach for
the doorbell. We know you’re thinking, “Why did we do this?” and “I wonder what the owners
are like?” How do we know? First, we were in your shoes once. Second, we are on the other side
of the door thinking, “Why did we do this?” and “I wonder what these guests are like?”
Historic Hutchinson House B&B
Just 3 blocks from beautiful, historic downtown Faribault, Minnesota, this Queen Anne Victorian home is listed on the National Register.