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Tag: Plymouth history

Object Spotlight: Fish Hook Hog Rings

Object Spotlight: Fish Hook Hog Rings

At the Plymouth Historical Society, we have a box of fish hook hog rings made by Decker Manufacturing Company. This company was established in 1878 and is still around today. Originally the company worked predominately with barbed wire, but has since developed many different agricultural products. It is difficult to tell how old the box is, but it is clear the rings must have had some practical purpose on the farm. In fact, nearly the same exact product is still…

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Class Announcement: Early 20th Century Farming

Class Announcement: Early 20th Century Farming

Less than 1% of the population today are farmers. In 1920, it was 30%. What was life like 100 years ago? This is a question I have had ever since I began volunteering at the Plymouth Historical Society. My reasons for asking this question were varied. First, I wanted to better understand my family history — a history deeply tied to agriculture. My father is still farming in Wisconsin many years after his ancestors arrived in the 1830s. I grew…

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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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Object Spotlight: 1930 Hay Harvest Photograph

Object Spotlight: 1930 Hay Harvest Photograph

I recently came across a photograph at the Plymouth Historical Society that caught my eye. It depicted a man standing in front of an automobile in 1930. The vehicle was barely visible underneath the massive pile of hay on top of what was likely a hay wagon. A small three-pronged fork sat beside the pile and a open barn door was to the rear of the hay pile. If you look closely, a small building sits to the right front…

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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: 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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Innovation and the Resistance to Change in Agriculture

Innovation and the Resistance to Change in Agriculture

I spent some time talking to my father this past week about what he knew of life in the early 1900s. I asked him questions about Dr. W.E. Taylor’s book Soil Culture and Modern Farm Methods and was somewhat surprised by his response. His ancestors were not doing much of what Taylor talked about because even if they knew of it, it was likely impractical for them to implement. The process of innovation is often very slow. Taylor and his fellow researchers had great ideas, but…

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Five Practical Farming Tips That Still Apply Today, Part V

Five Practical Farming Tips That Still Apply Today, Part V

Though Dr. W.E. Taylor’s book, Soil Culture and Modern Farm Methods, is nearly 100 years old, it contains many practical tips that still apply today. This is the fifth of 5 blog posts on this subject. 5. The need to pursue knowledge and innovation For some reason the label “dumb farmer” has been attached to many of those whose life work is a farmer. The reasons why can only be speculated. The best guess is that many farmers never went to college and may have even missed out…

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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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