Program Events: History from Around the Bend



The Mayo Clinic Wax Models and Medical Museum (virtual presentation)

March 18th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
THIS EVENT HAS ENDED - The Mayo Clinic is home to a large—and now largely unknown—collection of medical wax models, but if you visited the Mayo Medical Museum on a school field trip as a child, you will remember seeing these fascinating artifacts! Created by in-house artists from c.1924 to 1983, they were used by Mayo physicians to illustrate medical conditions and surgical procedures at medical meetings around the country. This presentation will feature the history of the models and how they influenced the development of the Mayo Medical Museum in the mid- to late Twentieth Century. Tickets available until 5pm March 18, 2021.

History Down the Drain: A History of Rochester Wastewater Treatment (virtual presentation)

April 29th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
What happens after we run the dishwasher or do a load of laundry? Where does all of that water go? Come learn about the 100+ years of wastewater treatment in Rochester with representatives from Rochester Public Works. Wastewater treatment is necessary to protect public health and the environment and we cannot wait to learn more about this vital process!

Vernacular Activism: Hmong Americans Fighting for Same-Sex Marriage in Minnesota (virtual presentation)

May 6th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Many different groups fought for the right for same sex couples to get married. The Hmong in Minnesota were no different. Come learn about how this particular group used both similar and distinct strategies to fight for equal rights and how the concept of vernacular activism was used and continues to be used today.

Spit Spreads Death: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 in Philadelphia (virtual presentation)

May 20th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
During fall, 1918, in the last months of World War I, Philadelphia hosted the largest parade in its history to raise funds for the war chest. Within days, influenza casualties overwhelmed hospitals and paralyzed the city. In this illustrated presentation, Robert D. Hicks, former director of the Mütter Museum, discusses the pandemic as a social catastrophe and considers its memorialization today.

From Oxen to Automation: The Evolving Minnesota Farmer

June 3rd, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Farming has come quite a long way. Hear from educators from Farm America all about the history of farming right here in Minnesota! Follow the technological progression of Minnesota's farmers to discover how machines and GPS are helping improve land stewardship. We cannot wait to see you there!

Walk a Century in My Shoes: Looking Down at American History

June 10th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Sarah Christie Stevens (1844-1919) lived on a farm in Blue Earth County and owned no more than four pairs of shoes. I’m a Minnesota/US historian (1950- ), living in Hennepin County, and willing to admit to owning probably 30 pairs. Together, we will explore why Sarah had so few (it wasn’t because she was poor, she wasn’t) and I have so many (and I don’t have nearly as many as some women I know —maybe even you!). The comparison takes us into changes in industrialization, advertising, architecture, transportation, sports. Before you come, count your own shoes (men, too!) and call to mind your favorites. Our shoes tell us about our society. They also tell about ourselves and our place in history. Historians call this kind of history “Material culture.” I live to call it your history and mine.

Discovery, Exploration and Science in 36 Miles of Cave Passages

July 8th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Come and learn the history that is right beneath your feet! Martin Larsen, the president of the Minnesota Caving Club, will be presenting on his research regarding the diverse and unique cave systems that are present in Southeastern Minnesota. Everything that we do impacts this amazing collection right under us and Larsen has spent years learning about them and will be sharing his knowledge with us!