Discovering small museums in unexpected places
Posted October 19, 2013on:
It’s a tiny museum in the corner of our store was how the store employee at Lake Superior Publishing company described a collection of treasures from the S.S. America. The ship sunk near Isle Royale National Park in 1928. Salvage work began in the 1960’s. The little museum’s artifacts include the ship’s spiral staircase, dishes and a sink. Additional excavated artifacts will be on display in 2014. It was a fun and interesting discovery. Learn more about the America and other Isle Royale Shipwrecks.
Another interesting discovery was the local history museum in Dows, Iowa, two miles off Interstate 35. Like many small town museums, the museum is in a restored railroad depot. The museum also houses the Iowa Welcome Center. It was full of nicely displayed historic artifacts such as an organ, military materials and railroad items. The trains still stop at Dow for grain. My favorite artifacts old telephone switchboard complete with plugs for connecting calls. I was always fascinated by the local switchboards and “party lines. Other museum properties in this town of 500 includes a blacksmith museum, a Mercantile, and restored schoolhouse, all listed on the National Register of Historic places. The residents of this very small community can be proud of the rich access to their community’s right in their own backyard.
What’s in your backyard? How can we engage students in the study of local history?
Online class for educators: Teaching Digital Media Literacy in the Content Areas: Using Primary Sources