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Category: City History

Five Practical Farming Tips That Still Apply Today, Part I

Five Practical Farming Tips That Still Apply Today, Part I

As I read Dr. W.E. Taylor’s book Soil Culture and Modern Farm Methods, I have been simply blown away at the depth of knowledge farmers had access to 100 years ago. One hundred years seems so far in the past that it is easy to assume the information is outdated. But the book contains many practical tips that still apply today. Over the next few blogs, we will discuss 5 of these. 1. The importance of clean, pure, readily available…

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The Surprising Origin of Cheap Meat

The Surprising Origin of Cheap Meat

Today I will continue our look at Dr. W.E. Taylor’s Soil Culture and Modern Farm Methods (1913) by discussing a section highlighting issues of supply and demand in agriculture in the 1910s. Taylor’s book was also the subject of two prior posts: The Best Kept Secret to Successful Farming, Part I and Part II. With the increase of production of corn in the early 1900s due to better technology and understanding of farming techniques, the price of corn dropped by nearly 50%. This…

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The Best Kept Secret to Successful Farming, Part II

The Best Kept Secret to Successful Farming, Part II

In The Best Kept Secret to Successful Farming, Part I, I examined W.E. Taylor’s book, Soil Culture and Modern Farming Methods (1913). In it, Taylor implores American farmers to use manure as a primary source of soil fertility maintenance. So where does the United States find itself today? Farming as it once was is essentially gone, replaced by automated dairies and self-driving, GPS-guided tractors on mega farms rather than family farms. There has also been an increasing separation of stock-raising…

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The Best Kept Secret to Successful Farming, Part I

The Best Kept Secret to Successful Farming, Part I

It is an obvious oversimplification to say that the world has changed substantially over the past 100 years. With the dawn of the Internet and the boom of the information and technological age, there are many aspects of our life today that would be unrecognizable to someone living in the 1910s. This idea of advancement of society can make it easy to be dismissive of the past and view it as irrelevant and outdated. It may be a different time,…

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Connect to Plymouth’s Farming Past

Connect to Plymouth’s Farming Past

One of the joys of spending time at the Plymouth Historical Society is the city’s rich farming history. There are many artifacts and documents that help us peer into the past life of Plymouth. Not that long ago, Plymouth was a community that required family farms to survive. Now, Plymouth is a bustling suburb of the culturally rich city of Minneapolis. Those fields are replaced by a much more urban setting with shopping centers, business districts, and a scattering of…

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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.

A Minor Change Makes All The Difference

A Minor Change Makes All The Difference

Throughout the history of the United States, pioneers of the Western frontier faced the problem of natives already living on the land they were settling. Plymouth’s history is full of stories and documents that talk about this important historical issue. A huge challenge for any historical society is to make sure all perspectives are given a fair chance. Here in Plymouth, there are a plethora of documents that speak of the settlers’ experiences, but few that give the perspective of…

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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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Plymouth in 1881

Plymouth in 1881

One of the most valuable sources of Plymouth’s early history is the chapter on “Plymouth” in Edward D. Neill and J. Fletcher Williams’ History of Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis (Minneapolis: North Star Publishing, 1881). The 11-page chapter details Plymouth’s first settlements, businesses, and residents, providing a unique summation of the township’s first 20 years. Of great benefit to researchers is information pertaining to the town’s first European settlers. Brief biographical sketches were provided for the following individuals: Christopher Braesch, Thomas…

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