Photo of Inlaid star on the floor of the Minnesota State capitol in St. Paul

Weekly Gem #166 Wish Upon a Star

Published 7/28/2018

Location: This weekly gem is located in the Minnesota State Capitol building in St. Paul, MN (see the Clue Me! Map).  

Of the 48 contiguous states of the United States, Minnesota is the northernmost. Many people guess Washington, Idaho, Montana or even Maine, but Minnesota has a little notch that eeps its northernmost latitude just 23 minutes higher than the other states' northernmost point. Because of this notch, Minnesota gets the honor of being called, "The North Star State."

On the floor of the rotunda of the Minnesota capitol is a star - the symbol of this honor. It is made from inlaid marble, glass and brass placed under a very impressive dome. The marble this star is made from comes from all over the world: France, Egypt, Greece, Sicily, and several states in the U.S.A.

At the time this star was installed in the brand new Capitol building in 1905, Minnesota had something of a backwoods frontier reputation. Babe the Blue Ox. Paul Bunyan. You get the drift. Well then, don'cha know, Minnesotans wanted to have a building worthy of a far more worldly populace than the view from 'back east.'

They were quite successful in this regard. The building turned out to be nothing short of fantastic, and brought acclaim from all over the U.S., visitors all finding themselves standing upon l'etoile du nord (the north star), first looking up and around, then looking down in awe at the beautiful inlay.

Satisfied that they had finally achieved a level of respect they deserved, Minnesotans headed to the church basement for some hot dish (phonetically, "hat dish") with the neighbors.


Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.


You must look down to see this star


Inlaid star on the floor of the Minnesota State capitol

Why It's Interesting

This star is made from marble, brass and glass. It is a symbol of the Minnesota state motto, "The North Star State."

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