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 farmer, for Plymouth’s first dedicated town hall building.
Planned and constructed by Thomas Ditter, the hall’s original foundation was constructed of local fieldstone, with the timber frame superstructure constructed of materials from lumber mills in northeast Minneapolis. Though humble, this white frame building functioned as the town’s primary meeting hall until the early 1960s.
Through Plymouth Historical Society preservation efforts, the building underwent a significant rehabilitation project in 1978-79. Due to the expansion of Fernbrook Lane, the building was relocated several hundred feet back. Works also included construction of a new basement level and the addition of a second room to the main level.
Under a shared sense of stewardship, the City of Plymouth and the Plymouth Historical Society have recently begun another phase of breathing life into this historically important building. In the summer of 2019, the building’s roof was re-shingled and its façade restored. This work is being enhanced in 2020 through assessing and implementing new programming and display options, accompanied by interior rehabilitation works. We will be featuring highlights of these works in the coming weeks. These efforts hope to continue the vision of expanding the circle of Plymouth’s past into its future.