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A Story of Many Plymouths, Pt. 2: When Plymouth was Medicine Lake

A Story of Many Plymouths, Pt. 2: When Plymouth was Medicine Lake

In our journey to commemorate the naming of Plymouth, it is now time to re-center on our very own Plymouth, Minnesota. Returning to Upham’s text, the entry reads: Plymouth, first settled in October, 1853, organized May 11, 1858, took the name of its village previously platted on Parker’s lake, in 1856; but the village was only of short duration, in contrast with the township name, which, however, some of the settlers at first wished to change to Medicine Lake. Like…

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Collection Storage Plan Grant Awarded

Collection Storage Plan Grant Awarded

The City of Plymouth was recently awarded a Minnesota Legacy Small Grant for the purposes of creating a Collection Storage Plan for the Plymouth History Museum. The grant enables us to bring in an outside consultant to assist with planning next steps for the collection as part of the recent building works and collection packing and inventory. The plan will be based on the National Park Service’s Museum Handbook standards for museum collections and is meant to ensure we are…

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A Story of Many Plymouths, pt. 1: 400 years since the arrival of the Mayflower

A Story of Many Plymouths, pt. 1: 400 years since the arrival of the Mayflower

Have you ever wondered how the City of Plymouth received its name? One of the best sources for learning about the many place names throughout our state is Warren Upham’s Minnesota Place Names: A Geographical Encylopedia, originally published in 1920. Upham’s text notes Plymouth, MN is only one of many Plymouths within the United States. This fact was explored in a 2014 Boston Globe article, which notes 30 locales around the country share the name. (Fun fact: our Plymouth is…

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45-Year Celebration

45-Year Celebration

The Plymouth Historical Society will be celebrating its 45-year anniversary this October! As an organization dedicated to preserving the history of Plymouth, it has been an honor to learn and celebrate the histories of our city through the years. Though we wish we could host an in-person event to celebrate, we hope you will join us for our upcoming interactive Virtual Open House Wednesday, October 21, 4-5pm. Sign up details can be found on our upcoming events page, also linked…

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District 95: Beacon Heights School

District 95: Beacon Heights School

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt Coming into fall of 2020, Plymouth, with the rest of America, anticipates a new school year. This comes after a time of disruptions and changes to routine amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. Teachers and students are embracing new learning methods through in-person, hybrid, and distance learning. This all takes place within the currents of an upcoming…

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Historic Plymouth Site Map

Historic Plymouth Site Map

“Sense of place is the sixth sense, an internal compass and map made by memory and spatial perception together.” -Rebecca Solnit, Savage Dreams: A Journey into the Landscape Wars of the American West The Plymouth Historical Society is finding new ways to engage community members with our city’s history through these times of socially distanced activities. One new undertaking is the creation of a map of historic sites within the City that can be explored from home or in situ…

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Plymouth’s Historic Town Hall: Pt. 3

Plymouth’s Historic Town Hall: Pt. 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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History Day Ideas for Students and Teachers

History Day Ideas for Students and Teachers

by Hattie Thompson Last week we noted that whatever your passions or interests, there is a historical topic that covers it. For instance, do you like sports?  How about fashion and technology?  If you want to make your classmates laugh, tell them you’re writing a research paper on the Underwear Revolution.  (It’s not made up, it happened right here in Minnesota.) Consider sports-it is football season after all.  Did you know that before the rules of football instituted the forward…

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