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Object Spotlight: Historic Photographs

Object Spotlight: Historic Photographs

In the past three weeks, the Plymouth Historical Society has completed an inventory of 47 historic photographs, including 4 images mounted in specialized hinged cases trimmed in gold and lined with velvet. Set in their jewel box-like cases, the photographs seem extra precious. Although hundreds of thousands of photographs like these exist in museum collections all over the world, the word “precious” still applies. These are among the oldest photographs ever produced. A daguerreotype like this was most likely made…

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2019 Collections Inventory

2019 Collections Inventory

In December 2018, the Plymouth Historical Society was awarded a Minnesota Legacy Grant for $9960 to conduct a partial inventory of our artifacts and archives. Our plan is to identify, catalog, and photograph the 1600-plus objects currently housed in the Plymouth History Museum building. We began the project by collecting basic object information and a photograph for each object we examined. This information was entered into a new collections software management system, Collective Access. Since January 15, 2019, we have created…

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How to Care for Your Historic Clothing

How to Care for Your Historic Clothing

The new Netflix series Tidying up with Marie Kondo, has been making headlines this past month. In it, Kondo — the world-renowned Japanese organization expert — shows her audience her KonMari method of properly folding clothing in order to maximize storage space. Her technique for folding a T-shirt, for example, only requires 4 folds to dramatically reduce the amount of space the garment would otherwise require. For those looking to tidy their closets and drawers, Kondo’s origami-like folding techniques are…

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A Tale of Two Rocks

A Tale of Two Rocks

Plymouth, MN shares more than just a name with Plymouth, MA. Both cities lay claim to a famous Plymouth Rock. Not unlike the Plymouth Rock made famous by the Pilgrims back in 1620, the Minnesota counterpart has its own compelling origin story filled with drama, intrigue, and controversy. To highlight the connection between Plymouth Rock and Plymouth, MN, the Plymouth Lions Club held a “Plymouth Rock Contest” as part of the City’s 1976 Bicentennial festivities. The Lions wished to provide…

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Plymouth Fire Department’s First Fire Call

Plymouth Fire Department’s First Fire Call

Looking through a donation of materials from the Plymouth Fire Department, one of our Board members found a booklet commemorating the Department’s 25th Anniversary in 1985. The following text is an excerpt from Francis C. Bauer’s history of the Plymouth Fire Department, printed within the booklet. It describes the Department’s first fire call which took place 3 days before official service began on January 1, 1960. The First Fire Call The first fire alert – a large farm house west…

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Outreach at the Plymouth History Museum

Outreach at the Plymouth History Museum

Plymouth Historical Society led tours of the Museum and Carriage House for Oakwood Elementary School second grade classes on October 2 and 4. Students were transported back in time as they listened to a Norwegian immigrant tell the story of his journey to America, took a simulated carriage ride, and learned about the types of everyday activities kids their own age would have experienced in the 19th century. CCX TV ran a story about the visits, which aired October 2. The…

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The Story of Harvey Djerf

The Story of Harvey Djerf

Beloved local resident Harvey Djerf passed away on September 1. His celebrity did not stem from his storied accomplishments as a soldier, teacher, and volunteer. Instead, Harvey made the news simply for being a good neighbor and inspiring others to return the favor. On September 11, Plymouth residents created a memorial to their friend Harvey Djerf. The gesture was covered by the Star Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio, Kare11, and WCCO, among others. Harvey’s story demonstrates the profound effect one person…

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Three Things You May Not Know About Plymouth

Three Things You May Not Know About Plymouth

Local public news station CCX TV aired the following story on June 28, 2012. Titled “Three Things You May Not Know About Plymouth,” the segment features Gary Schiebe (Plymouth Historical Society) and Mayor Kelli Slavik (City of Plymouth) discussing little known facts about the area.   Archival footage courtesy of CCX TV and YouTube. For more information about Gary Schiebe, please see our Summer 2018 newsletter.

Old Town Hall

Old Town Hall

Plymouth’s Old Town Hall is home to the Plymouth History Museum. This building was built in 1885, making it 133 years old. In 1985, Plymouth Historical Society published the following history of Old Town Hall’s construction: In the early 1880s the rapidly growing town of Plymouth came to realize it needed a public building from which to carry on its official business. It was probably in the fall of 1884 that Clem Mengelkoch and Tom Ditter were asked by the…

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Naming Medicine Lake, Part II

Naming Medicine Lake, Part II

In Naming Medicine Lake, Part I, we explored the origin of Medicine Lake’s name. According to legend, the Dakota named the lake Mde Wakan or Lake of the Spirit. In Dr. Franklin Curtis-Wedge’s The Story of Mission Farms, Medicine Lake Camps, Conferences, and Conventions (Minnesota Historical Records Survey, c. 1942), the author notes: To a Sioux, anything that is spiritual, mysterious, or supernatural is ‘medicine,’ and this was the word they imparted to the Whites as the equivalent for their ancient name….

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