Our Exhibits & Exhibitors


19th Century Norwegian Immigration, Ole Oleson

Using an immigrant trunk as a focal point, students learn what it was like to immigrate. They learn about the choices immigrants had to make when coming to America (Minnesota). They also learn about some of the
Norwegian traditions as we talk about items in the trunk. Students may also learn to count to ten in Norwegian!



Pioneer Settlement

Before statehood and before Laura Ingalls, people came to the Minnesota territory to find a better life. Many did. Families depended on each other to solve problems, work together and socialize. But they also faced hardships, loneliness and a daily struggle to survive. Experience this incredible time in Minnesota history "hands-on." See oxen work, cut wood and help load the oxcart for the trip. Take a break with pioneer games and songs. Live life as a Minnesota pioneer!



Pierre Uebe, Free Trapper & Trader

Pierre starts his first person workshop telling the students a little about his life and family living along the St Lawrence river, such as his reason for leaving Quebec and the path that led him to the new undiscovered lands that are now called Minnesota.

He touches on how the free trappers entwined their lives with nature and the native people in the area.  Also, why these things were important to survive. The knowledge that was needed 'in medicine, edible plants, cooking, sewing, caring for and cleaning of furs, he even touches a little on dentistry.

Pierre uses the trade items that he displays to encourage questions, and gives the students an opportunity for hands-on experience.

He tries to instill in the students that it wasn’t just the search for furs but the opportunity for men and woman to seek and to follow their dreams. He tries to show them the importance of education. He also touches on what traps look like and the dangers of handling them if you don't know what your doing. He also tells about the men who worked for the large fur companies as well as the men who went on their own, and the dangers they faced.



A History of Pottery, Dave Huebner

Dave's program covers what clay is and how has it influenced civilization. He explains clay and where it comes from and then talks about clay containers and the different methods of forming clay products. Dave explains how writing began with clay & clay tablets. He then goes into ink & inkwells and from that into the influence of clay in home lighting. He finish with how clay is hardened by burning or fire.


Deb (Broken Toe) Williams

Broken Toe talks to the students about the importance of the women in the pioneer days.  Women gathered and stored foods for survival of the harsh winters.  Herbs and teas were used for medicinal value.



Music in the Colonies, Karri Danner

What kind of music was popular in the days of the early Colonies? What was music used for? What types of instruments were played?


Hammered dulcimer - common man’s instrument (“lumberman’s piano”) - ancestor of our piano
Whistles - common man’s instrument (“penny whistle, tin whistle”) easy to make and learn
Harpsichord - upper class instrument (“keyed harp”) not a piano
Celtic Harp - small harp used to play melody or chords for backup in singing
Guitar Lute - mixture of the lute and guitar

Karri will play a bit on each instrument to demonstrate the sound of each and talk about the background of the instruments.  Students will be jumping around to the dulcimer songs!

You can visit Karri's site at http://home.att.net/~folkplyr/



"The Life of a Voyageur," or "The Great Minnesota Fur Trade"

Minnesota’s contributions to the Fur Trade were immense. The Great Lakes Fur Trade of Lake Superior was the largest of all Fur Trade activity in North America, even surpassing the days of the Mountain men of the Rocky Mountains!

Minnesota -- and the country -- grew due to vast exploration for furs. Fur Trade giant Alexander Mackenzie, leaving Minnesota, was even able to beat the famed team of Lewis & Clark to the Pacific Ocean by over 12 years!

Come visit the traders and voyageurs (Minnesota's earliest "truck drivers") of the 18th and early 19th centuries. See actual bark canoes, displays of furs and trade goods for the Native trade. Camp life will be witnessed as well as the voyageurs cook fish, eat pemmican, carve paddles and showcase their fascinating life while separating facts from folklore of the hearty French-Canadian paddler.




The Role of Women and Children in 18th Century Life, Madame Margueritte

Through first person interpretation, Madame Margueritte  encourages the examination of the comparison of today's students' lives in contrast to the life of an 18th century child.  Her stage is an 18th century "tavern," which was a social gathering place in the 18th century.

Responsibilities, social interactions, privileges, social mores, economic contrasts, and general conditions of an 18th century child are all touched upon in an interactive dialogue. Making the students think about these
contrasts and to appreciate the differences or acknowledge the similarities is the goal of the presentation.

An example of part of the presentation's highlights would be the concept that no longer are females presented with a "grow up, marry and have lots of babies" mentality. For the boys, an examination of the various similarities and differences in occupations available then and now but highlighting that self supporting rather than a majority working for "established entities" was the norm.

This presentation is age appropriate with the acknowledgement and the desires of the individual classes kept in mind. There are many opportunities within the presentation for the teacher or class to steer the presentation to the desired "requisites" for each age group.

For example, if your students need to learn about bartering, time can be spent examining that process; if you need to learn more about indentureship in the 18th century, that will definitely be explained and interacted upon; if subjects such as child abuse, drug use, sexual attitudes are age appropriate and wanted to be discussed, an overview of the "dark side of history" will be included. All it would take would be an asking of a question on those areas, or a pre presentation word from the teacher and the areas desired will be the highlighted areas of session.)

Questions from the students and teachers are desired in this interactive program and at the end of the session, questions about anything -- such as clothing, meals, --  you see in the presentation area are appropriate.

Marjorie Deese, also known as Madame Margueritte, has been a professional interpretor of history in numerous settings from school presentations such as the Big Island Rendezvous, to established museum sites such as those of the Virginia State Park system. She endeavors to present in a way that all will learn without realizing that they are being "educated." History can be fun!  Most importantly, history must be examined so that we can go on to the future with a base of where we have been.



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