A Snapshot of Heritage at the Hermantown History Center – Our Town
Welcome open arms, the community of Hermantown welcomes you. I've heard this, but found it to be true, when I contacted the Hermantown History Center to gather information for this blog. So informative, so willing to share their information and so interesting. I hope my blog will peak your interest to explore the Hermantown History Center for yourself, some day soon!
The concept of the Hermantown History Center started in 2003. But, the idea didn't take a physical shape until the City graciously offered the building it is housed in now. One that was built in 1955 and was the first City Hall. It was perfect.
There are 20 members that give their time and efforts to the Hermantown Historical Society, 6 sit on the board of the History Center, all are volunteers.
After gathering information by reading books, on-line, talking to members of the community and with immense help from the staff at the St. Louis County Historical Society, the Hermantown History Center opened it's doors, 5 years later, in 2008.
It's not hard to spot the History Center at 5255 Maple Grove Road. Just look for the incredible mural on the outside of the building. The mural was designed by Brian Olson, who has his amazing work sprinkled throughout the Northland. See more of his creations [here].
There are several themes inside the Center. For instance, you'll find fantastic mural by artist, Brian Olson. It is in the newest exhibit, the Veteran's Hall. It features artifacts and info from several Hermantown Veterans. Pictures, uniforms and....you'll have to come and see for yourself at the mural's Dedication Ceremony on June 23, 1-2pm. There is a short program planned with a tour and refreshments.
Off one side of the Veteran's Hall is the parlor featuring vintage clothing, photographs and other treasures that you might have found in the parlor of a home years ago.
On the other side of the Veteran's Hall is a parlor of a different sort, an ice cream parlor, featuring the original chairs and table from the first ice cream parlor in the City of Hermantown. No actual ice cream sold though :)
My personal favorite theme of the Hermantown History Center is the replica Jackson Project home. You can even tour the inside! According to the "Jackson Project~Ties That Bind" publication, there are 84 homes that celebrated a 70th anniversary in 2007.
In 1986, one of the Jackson Project homes was torn down because the Hermantown School District had purchased the house in 1984 for $39,000 for possible expansion.
Don't be surprised if you round the corner of the house and see two small children peeking into the window. This might have been what you encountered year ago if that Jackson Project house was the first in the neighborhood to own a television set.
I don't want to give away too much, because you'll discover so many more interesting facts about Hermantown for yourself when you visit, but another must-see is the section on the fire hall and the volunteer fire department.
The Hermantown History Center is open from 1-4pm, the second Saturday of each month, January through November. You can also make arrangements for tours with special events and reunions. Get more information [here].
Happy Hermantown history hunting!
Thank you to all who have contributed to the Hermantown History Center to preserve the past and continue to enrich the future.
Special thank you to: Mr. Bob Swanstrom and Mrs. Sandy Reinke for sharing their knowledge and their time.