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Plymouth’s Historic Town Hall: Part 3

Plymouth’s Historic Town Hall: Part 3

Through the process of addressing changing needs of the Plymouth History Museum, it became clear the staircase between upper and lower levels needed a rethink. The stairs were obstructed overhead by a large case containing the museum’s taxidermy bird collection. This not only blocked light from entering the staircase but also created a walking hazard for anyone nearing six feet in height! The case was removed and replaced with a sturdy new handrail, returning natural light into the space. In…

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Plymouth’s Historic Town Hall: pt. 2

Plymouth’s Historic Town Hall: pt. 2

The siting of Plymouth’s first town hall building is a result of its European settler’s ideals surrounding democratic principles. The town hall is located in what would have been the historic median point of town, as indicated in the 1898 plat map of Plymouth (below). This location was meant to provide equal travel distance to all of Plymouth’s residents who were permitted to participate in local government actions of the time, including voting and town meetings. The physical land for…

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Plymouth’s Historic Town Hall, pt. 1

Plymouth’s Historic Town Hall, pt. 1

“We live not alone in the present but also in the past and future. The radius that circumscribes our lives must necessarily extend background indefinitely and forward infinitely….” So begins History of Hennepin County (1881), a valuable source discussing the founding years of today’s City of Plymouth. In this, early town meetings are described taking place in local homes, businesses, and schools. However, just four years after its publication, land along Plymouth Creek was donated by Charles Farrington, a local…

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Collections Website

Collections Website

The Plymouth Historical Society has been working on a collections inventory for the past 8 weeks. So far, we have inventoried about 525 objects, or about 1/3 of the objects we planned to inventory during this phase of the project. Now that we’ve reached this milestone, we’ve decided to make our work public. One of the reasons for completing this inventory is to be able to share our collections online. For the first time ever, users are able to see…

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Wrecks Discovered in Medicine Lake

Wrecks Discovered in Medicine Lake

Underwater archaeology is having a heyday thanks to improved sonar equipment. This new equipment can record images with increased detail and clarity which eliminates the need to for archaeological teams like those at Maritime Heritage Minnesota to dive on “anomalies” that turn out to be false targets like rocks or trees. In 2016, Maritime Heritage Minnesota completed a survey of 7 suburban lakes using sonar technology. They identified 3 potential wrecks at the bottom of Medicine Lake. This past summer,…

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Object Spotlight: Paris Green

Object Spotlight: Paris Green

Museums often advertise white glove tours. These special tours provide guests with opportunities to touch museum artifacts. The cotton gloves protect the artifacts from oils and fingerprints and protect the wearer from any harmful substances that might be found on the artifacts. At the Plymouth History Museum, we wear blue nitrile gloves to protect ourselves and our artifacts from harm. These gloves came in handy the other day when we came across a seemingly harmless keg. It was clear that…

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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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