A Landing a Day

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Royalton and Little Falls, Minnesota

Posted by graywacke on May 28, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2100; A Landing A Day blog post number 528.

 Dan –  Here we go, with four OSers in a row, the latest being . . . MN; 74/58; 4/10; 149.2.  Here’s my regional landing map (one of those smack-dab-in-the-middle type of landings):

landing 1

My more local landing map shows my titular towns (connected by the Mississippi River, locally dammed up and termed the Zebulon Pike Lake):

landing 2

Drainage is pretty simple; the Little Rock Creek flows right to the Mississippi (826th hit):

 landing 3

My Google Earth (GE) shot shows a pleasant-looking farmscape:


Backing out a little, you can see the generally-rural nature of the vicinity.


The north-south swath of trees west of my landing is the Little Rock Creek valley.

Of course, I first checked out Royalton, it being so close and all.  I couldn’t find out anything of particular interest about the town, but noted that it was named after Royalton, Vermont.  OK, OK, so I looked at Royalton VT and found out that it was the birthplace of one Joseph Smith. 

Oh no!  No offense to the Mormons, but I’m going to pass on Joe this post, considering how many past posts I’ve featured Mormons!

Royalton has a nice water tower (Panoramio photo by kefartist):

 royalton water tank pano kefartist

(I assume the photographer is KEF Artist, not KE Fartist).

Little Falls (a much more substantial town than Royalton; pop 8,300 vs. 1,250) also has a nice water tower (kefartist strikes again):

little falls water tank pano kefartist

Wiki let me know that Little Falls is the hometown of one Charles A. Lindbergh.  How about that.  Just for the record, the “A” stands for Augustus.  Chuck’s father (also Charles A. Lindbergh) was a local big shot, a U.S. Congressman from MN (1907 – 1917).  Interestingly, the elder Chuck was one of only fifty congressmen to vote against the US entry into WW I.

Another interesting fact about Dad –  you’ll note that the famous Charles A. Lindbergh is not a “Junior.”  That’s because Dad’s middle name was August, not Augustus. 

Just across from the Lindbergh home in Little Falls is the Charles A. Lindbergh State Park.  That’s the Charles August Lindbergh State Park.  (Paying attention?)

Here’s a Pano shot of the Lindbergh house in Little Falls (courtesy McGheiver):

mn lindbergh house

And the entrance to the park (Pano by Bob19):

park entrance bob 19

And this, by McGheiver of some cool old WPA buildings in the park:

wpa buildings

Moving right along to Charles the aviator.  I have a mild interest in the man (beyond common knowledge) because I live very close to the Lindbergh house in NJ where tragically, Lindbergh’s infant son was kidnapped (and then murdered).  I’ll start with this iconic Lindbergh photo:


I live in Hopewell Township, which surrounds the quaint boroughs of Pennington and Hopewell.  My father was raised just outside of Hopewell Borough, on his grandparent’s farm.  Here’s a GE shot showing the set-up:

 GE hopewell lindbergh


The kidnapping happened in 1932, when my Dad was 12.  I can only imagine the hype.  My Dad died way back in 1967 – I was a stupid 17-year old kid.  I never had the chance (bothered?) to ask him about his recollections of the kidnapping.

This GE shot shows that the Lindbergh house is, to this day, truly in the middle of the woods.

 GE lindbergh a little further back

Doesn’t fit the classic image of New Jersey, eh?  Here’s a GE close-up of the house today:

 GE lindbergh closeup

Here’s what the Wiki article on Lindbergh has to say about the kidnapping:

In what came to be referred to sensationally by the press of the time as “The Crime of the Century”, on the evening of March 1, 1932, 20-month-old Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., was abducted from his crib by an intruder.  The kidnapping took place in the second-story nursery of his family’s rural home near the town of Hopewell.  While a 10-week nationwide search for the child was being undertaken, ransom negotiations were also conducted simultaneously with a self-identified kidnapper.

These resulted in the payment on April 2 of $50,000 in traceable cash. The child’s remains were found by chance by a passing truck driver six weeks later on May 12 in roadside woodlands near Mount Rose, New Jersey.

The assiduous tracing of the serial numbers of $10 and $20 Gold certificates found in the New York City area over the next year and a half eventually led police to Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a 34-year-old German immigrant carpenter, who was arrested near his home in The Bronx.

A stash containing $13,760 of the ransom money was subsequently found hidden in his garage. Charged with kidnapping, extortion, and first-degree murder, Hauptmann went on trial in a circus-like atmosphere in Flemington, New Jersey, in January 1935. Six weeks later he was convicted on all counts.  The trial judge (Thomas Trenchard) immediately sentenced Hauptmann to death.

Although he continued to adamantly maintain his innocence, all of Hauptmann’s appeals and petitions for clemency were rejected.   Despite a last-minute attempt by New Jersey Governor Harold G. Hoffman (who believed Hauptmann was guilty but had always expressed doubts that he could have acted alone) to convince him to confess to the crimes in exchange for getting his sentence commuted to life imprisonment, Hauptmann refused and was electrocuted at Trenton State Prison on April 3, 1936.

 Here’s the wanted poster (from Wiki):


FYI, I’ve never driven by Lindbergh’s house.  (As is obvious from the GE shot, it’s way out in the boonies, up in the Sourland Mountains).  However, I’ve driven through Mt. Rose (where the body was found), dozens if not hundreds of times.

The kidnapping story is not a simple one.  Wiki has a lengthy article on the kidnapping (as opposed to the relatively short piece about the kidnapping that I quoted, found in the general Charles LIndbergh write-up).  Many books have been written, and numerous conspiracy theories abound. 

By the way – I mentioned this post to a friend of mine, Bob (he’s a local real estate attorney).  I asked him if he had heard any local color about the kidnapping.  He told me that a number of years ago, he was handling a property sale for an elderly gentleman who lived up on Sourland Mountain near the Lindbergh place.  The gentleman recalled that on the night of the kidnapping, he saw headlights on the road headed for the LIndbergh’s.  He thought “That’s strange; I never see any traffic up here this late at night.”

I stumbled on a blog post (“House Crazy”) that has a nice write-up (with lots of pictures) about the kidnapping.  I recommend a perusal; it also contains clickable sources to get additional info.  Click HERE for the blog.

As usual, I’ll close with some Pano shots.  First this, of a bridge over the Mississippi, by Maria Bo:

bridge over the MM Maria Bo pano

Way up here in central MN, it’s not quite the Mighty Mississippi . . . 

Here’s a sunrise shot over a lake taken just south of my landing, by Jair65:

 sunrise S of landing Jair65 pano

And, finally, a sunset over Royalton, also by Maria Bo:

 sunset over royalton Maria Bo pano

That’ll do it.




© 2014 A Landing A Day





One Response to “Royalton and Little Falls, Minnesota”

  1. Jordan said

    Interesting stuff about the kidnapping.

    Also, I’d like to disagree with your final interpretation of kefartist.

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