I so love the photograph I took of the pearl-gray sky over the Cannon River in Northfield, Minnesota, earlier this week that I am reposting it for my first-ever offering for Skywatch Friday. This is the scene I see from the river's edge in front of the building where I work, and I have photographed this view numerous times in different seasons and different weather. I never tire of it.
The tall building is the historic Ames Mill, which produced prize-winning flour in the 19th century, not too long after the founding of Northfield. It is still in use today as part of the Malt-O-Meal cereal company's production plant. The golden dome visible just above the left (west) side of the bridge belongs to the State Bank Building, built in 1910 in the Egyptian Revival style and now home to a local law firm that has done much to restore it. In the violent hailstorm of August 2006 (another video here), the dome was damaged and remained covered with tarps for months, but it has now been restored to its golden glory. The not-so-lovely green plastic fencing visible at the lower right is a temporary part of a riverbank relandscaping project designed to encourage taller grasses and discourage Canada geese.
Northfield is best known for being home to two fine liberal arts colleges, Carleton College and St. Olaf College, and for being the site of the defeat of the Jesse James Gang when they tried to rob the First National Bank and were routed by stalwart citizens. The anniversary of the occasion is celebrated with a major community festival, the Defeat of Jesse James Days, each September.