Blast From The Past

by | Mar 2018

Maple Grove History Museum

Remember? The history museum preserves items you may recognize and others you’ve never seen. Photo: Al Madsen

Specialists offer a vintage view of Maple Grove.

The Maple Grove History Museum is filled with remnants of the early settlers as well as items from the 1900s. Being founded as a township in 1850, Maple Grove went on to become a village in 1954 and finally, in 1974, it became a city.

A visit to the Maple Grove Historical Preservation Society’s open house offers a unique opportunity to see and ask questions about the unique items in the museum. Learn what it takes for an item to be donated and displayed. It’s a very select process, as the museum does it’s best not to preserve duplicates.

You’ll see items connected to farming, schools or other pieces of Maple Grove history. “We have a collection review committee that examines items to be donated, to insure validity of the early days of Maple Grove.  We also allow people to loan items to us if they do not want to donate.  The length of the loan is up to the person,” says Al Madsen, president of the society.

The museum has a large climate-controlled secure storage unit for items that need proper preservation. In addition, an inventory team catalogs each item in accordance with strict rules set by the Minnesota State Historical Society.

At meetings, Madsen says, “We conduct round table discussions with longtime residents of Maple Grove and document this with hard copy and taped versions as it is important to keep solid records of our past, present and future. We also work on plans for our memorial bench/patio area to honor members who have passed away, discuss newsletter topics and other historical items. Additionally, three to four times a year, meetings host special speakers on a variety of historical topics.

Whether it be unique items or voices from the past, the museum is full of insight. Open houses occur on the second Sunday of each month and meetings the third Thursday of each month. During Maple Grove Days, open house hours are extended and additional large displays are featured.

Unique artifacts you may find while at the museum:
  • old photos
  • antique toys
  • a 1909 piano
  • period clothing
  • school desks
  • cameras
  • farm tools
  • unique bottles
  • a vintage corn-sheller
  • vintage furniture
  • sewing machines
  • Maple Grove maps
  • a wide range of older household and kitchen items

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