This child's kitchen set was handmade by the construction manager at Southdale Center. When the addition to the mall was underway, Larry Hjulberg had to be on site around the clock. To fill his time, he used scrap lumber to build this set for his children. The set was also used by the Doug Erickson family, who were friends. The set was recently brought in on loan for the upcoming exhibit "Growing Up in Edina: a Show and Tell Exhibit."
When most museums plan an exhibit, they have hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of objects, photos and documents to consider for display. For example, the Smithsonian Institution would have no problem finding enough objects for a "Growing Up in America" exhibit: they have 91 yo-yos alone, not to mention several hundred items listed as "toys."
The Edina History Museum, on the other hand, starts planning an exhibit with just a few objects and eventually collects several hundred artifacts to launch an exhibit.
Right now, we're at the nearly empty room stage for our next exhibit "Growing Up in Edina: A Show and Tell Exhibit." We need to find many more toys, lunch boxes, clothes, and other objects in the next few months before the exhibit opens in mid-October (date TBA).
And when I say "we," I mean "you," Edina residents. Unfortunately, we can't order Edina history from a catalog - we count on residents to donate or loan items that tell the story of their community.
It's about this time before every exhibit that I panic a little. I wonder why I put myself through the stress of looking for items, when we could easily ask someone to showcase their collection of thimbles or trains or cookie jars.
I may wonder, but I do know why we go through the extra work. We don't do generic exhibits. Our mission is to collect, preserve and tell Edina's history. Not the history of thimbles or trains or cookie jars.
We're the only place that tells your history: ice skating on Minnehaha Creek, learning to swim at the Edina pool, breaking the rules and biking through the gravel pits, and shopping for toys at Clancy Drug's Toyland.
"I didn't think I was old enough to be in a museum," people joke when they happen across a photo of themselves in our collection or on our exhibit walls. People often think of history happening long ago to someone else. At the Edina History Museum, history is YOUR story.
We launch exhibits not because we already have thousands of items in our collection. We do so to find and save Edina artifacts before they're lost forever. Past exhibits have brought in previously unseen photos of Carlson's Odd Shop and other Morningside businesses, fire department badges, Burma-Shave products and signs, police uniforms, American Legion artifacts and more importantly, the stories that go with them.
Over the next few months, the Edina Sun-Current will showcase some of those "Growing Up in Edina" stories submitted by Edina residents for our exhibit. I'll also post some stories here on the blog. I hope they will inspire you to "show and tell" your own story.
For more information about the exhibit, please see the brochure on the exhibit. If you have any questions, I'm happy to help. Call me at the museum, 612-928-4577 or email me. We've extended our donation deadline to Aug. 1.
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Jennifer Adam is the Executive Director of the Edina Historical Society. She welcomes your contributions. Comment on a post or send an email (see below). Traditional mail, of course, can also be sent to:
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Help us bring you Edina history with this web site by becoming a member or donating today. Click on the link to our GiveMN.org site to make a donation with a credit card. The Edina Historical Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that depends on contributions to continue operation.