Public History Sites and Tours (for April)

As I mentioned in class on Monday, in a couple weeks we’ll be doing a unit on public history. As part of that unit you’ll need to have completed a site visit to a museum, historical society, or other public history space in time to write a response paper due at noon on W 4/12.

Here keep in mind that one of the reasons we give you Wednesdays off is to let you “engage in more experiential learning, doing an activity on- or off-campus that helps fulfill our course objectives in a different way…. Giving up the third class hour each week creates plenty of space for you to arrange those activities in a way that fits your schedule.”

One pre-arranged option that I’ve also communicated is that you’re invited to join a larger Bethel group in visiting the Minnesota History Center on Saturday morning, April 8 — the day that the new “WW1 America” exhibit opens to the public. If you’d like to take this option, sign up by Friday at noon (using the Google Doc link I sent you on Monday).

If, however, you’re not interested in visiting the MN History Center or not available on the morning of 4/8, here are a few of the alternative sites you can visit on your own. (I’ll just require that you provide photos or some other evidence that you’ve actually visited the site.)

Other MNHS Sites

The state historical society owns and operates 25 sites in addition to the History Center in St. Paul. Just in the metro area, that list includes Historic Fort Snelling, the James J. Hill House, the Mill City Museum, and the Oliver Kelley Farm. Three others aren’t open until May, or only for special events and group visits. Wherever you plan to go, be sure to check hours and admission costs ahead of time.

Other Historical Societies, Museums, and LIVING HISTORY SITES

The metro area is home to several smaller, but well-run historical societies, several of which operate their own museums and living history sites. Here’s a fairly complete list. (It doesn’t include Eidem Homestead in Brooklyn Park, whose coordinator is Bethel History alum Eve Burlingame ’08. I’m not sure of Eidem’s hours this time of year, but you could try contacting Eve to arrange a visit. In the past she’s also had one of our students work as an intern, in case that interests you…)

Archives and libraries can also work, but clear them with me first. And I’ll remove our own archive from the list, since that’s already been the subject of an extra credit assignment.

Walking Tours

Another way to fulfill this assignment is to take a walking tour of historical interest. I’ll lead one of my own on Saturday afternoon, April 8th — if you’d like to join students from HIS231L World War II in touring local war/veterans memorials, let me know.

Or take one of the self-guided Minneapolis Historical or Saint Paul Historical walking tours. You can download them as apps for your mobile device, or use the web-based versions to plan your route.


One thought on “Public History Sites and Tours (for April)

  1. Pingback: Response Paper: Public History | Intro to History

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