Program Events: History from Around the Bend



New World Opportunities, Old World Skills: The Historic Spangenberg Farmhouse (virtual presentation)

January 7th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Minnesota is filled with stories of early German immigrants moving here and trying to carve out a new life for themselves. Frederick and Charles Spangenberg moved close to the Mississippi River and used the local limestone to start building a farmstead to support their families. Learn about the houses they set up and how the land they first moved to has changed over the years.

Vaccination Pure and Spurious: The Confederate Vaccination Crisis of the Civil War (virtual presentation)

February 4th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
During the American Civil War, the Confederate States fought several smallpox epidemics. Doctors soon discovered that some vaccinations were ineffective (“spurious”) and had to find creative solutions to this issue. Learn about some of these responses in an illustrated presentation by Robert D. Hicks, former director of the Mütter Museum at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Tickets available until 5pm February 4, 2021.

Norwegian Immigration and Health Care (virtual presentation)

February 11th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Minnesota has long been home to a number of different immigrant communities. All of these groups have faced a number of challenges including getting access to quality health care. Learn about Minnesota's early immigrant community and how they navigated their own health care. Tickets available until 5pm February 11, 2021.

Alice in France (virtual presentation)

March 4th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Join historian Nancy O'Brien Wagner as she explores the letters and history of Minnesotan Alice O'Brien, a World War I volunteer in France. Alice served as a chauffeur, canteener, and truck driver, and her insights into the war experience shed new light on the roles and motivations of women on the front. Tickets available until 5pm March 4, 2021.

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

March 18th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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.