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Resources to Explore Plymouth's History


Plymouth Historical Society Museum 

3605 Fernbrook Lane
Plymouth, MN 

Local Plymouth historical artifacts, pictures and a few family histories


Western Hennepin County Pioneer Museum

1953 W. Wayzata Blvd
Long Lake, MN 55436

Western Hennepin County historical artifacts, pictures and family histories.


Minneapolis Public Library Special Collections

Hennepin County Library System 300 Nicollet Mall            
Minneapolis, MN 55401                                                                                                                                            

Pictures, newspapers, letters, maps, etc. indexes searchable but most items require you to go to the Special Collections area by appointment.  Request the items or collections you would like to review and they will retrieve from the archives.


Minnesota Historical Society

345 W. Kellogg Blvd.                                             
St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 

Large searchable state wide collection of photos, newspapers, maps, family history, etc.  Many available on line and others require you to visit the History Center Library to actually view the items.  It is a good idea to call ahead to request the items or collections you would like to review and they will retrieve from the archives other wise you have to wait.


Hennepin History Museum 

2303 Third Avenue South         
 Minneapolis, MN 55404 

Hennepin County historical artifacts, pictures and family histories.  Generally must visit to review collections.  Good list of links to other historical societies and databases.


Minnesota Digital Library

Digital database of more than 135,000 maps, images and documents.


Minnesota Reflections

Searchable data base of 30000 images


Wayzata Historical Society

425 East Lake Street 
Wayzata, MN 55391 

Local Wayzata historical artifacts, pictures and a few family histories


City of Plymouth

3400 Plymouth Blvd.
Plymouth, MN 55447-1482

Current property information is searchable and current maps available.


Hennepin County Government Center 

Hennepin County Public Records Division
A-500 Government Center
300 6th Street South
Minneapolis, MN  55487

Property records of all property in Hennepin County.  You must go to Government Center and need specific information on Range, Township, Section, etc. on property location to review documents.


Church of the Latter Day Saints

Salt Lake City, UT =

Free Family History, Family Tree, and Genealogy Records and Resources from Around the World


Historical Aerials Maps

Historical aerial maps of areas of the USA.  As an example for the Minneapolis and surrounding areas you can put in current address view what was on that location from maps from 1947, 1957, 1979, etc.  If you overlay current streets and roads it will enable you to see changes in highway relocation from early routes.


Historical Hennepin County Maps

Historical maps of Hennepin County


University of MinnesotaJohn R. Borchert Map Library

Historical maps of Minnesota and other locations


University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy

May only be indirectly helpful if there was a Plymouth connection to the U of M.  The database is a centralized, searchable access to institutional digital resources that would have traditionally gone to the University Archives.


Bureau of Land Management – General Land Office Records

Provides access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States. The site makes available image access to more than three million Federal land title records for Eastern Public Land States, issued between 1820 and 1908.


Hennepin County – Property Information Records

Provides access to current Hennepin County Property Information. 


There are many other resources that may provide valuable information and the best way is to search the internet or follow a suggested link at some of the above websites





Mailing Address

Plymouth Historical Society
3400 Plymouth Boulevard
Plymouth, MN  55447


E-Mail Address      

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Historic Site Manager

Natasha Thoreson
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Current Board

President: Dennis Jacobson
Vice President: Ben G. Broman
Secretary: Bob Gasch
Treasurer: Paul Ellefson
At Large: Vern Dotseth, Ted Hoshal


2018 Membership Dues

Individual: $10.00
Family: $15.00
Individual Lifetime: $100.00
Family Lifetime: $150.00



Past Newsletters


The following are links to past PHS Newsletters. They are PDF files and the feature article is identified.

2018 Winter Newsletter - "Plymouth Playhouse Closes - Old Fashioned Christmas"

2017 Fall Newsletter - "The Bertrand's of Medicine Lake Part 3"

2017 Summer Newsletter - "Jonas Howe first Town Clerk of Plymouth"

2017 Spring Newsletter - "The Bertrand's of Medicine Lake Part 2 - Relationship chart

2017 Winter Newsletter - "Corn Belt Cube Homes - The Bertrand's of Medicine Lake - Accession Data Base"

2016 Fall Newsletter - "Thomas Hughes Farm - XY Benefit Assoc. Picnic - Old Fashioned Christmas"

2016 Summer Newsletter - "Village of Plymouth - Elmhurst Junction -Survey of Plymouth"

2016 Spring Newsletter - "Plymouth Farms - Freedom Farm - Blodgett-Guernsey Dairy, Sam Batson Real Estate Flyer"

2016 Winter Newsletter - "Cavanagh's knew how to Party - Old Fashioned Christmas"

2015 Fall Newsletter - "The Farm is a good place to be from - Old Fashioned Christmas"

2015 Summer Newsletter - "Incorruptible Cashier - The Folding Box"

2015 Spring Newsletter - "Staffordsville Station Mystery - Orthography -The Waters"

2015 Winter Newsletter - "History of Mt. Olivet Luthern Church - Old Fashioned Christmas Memories"

2014 Fall Newsletter - "Old Fashioned Christmas - Tale of Two Houses"

2014 Spring Newsletter - "West Medicine Lake Community Club - Holy Name Cemetery - Charlie Brown"

2014 Winter Newsletter - "History Mystery"

2013 Fall Newsletter - "Old Fashioned Christmas - Work House Highlights"

2013 Summer Newsletter - "Preserving History - Town Clerk Records"

2013 Spring Newsletter - "A Family Tragedy - Mabel Ernst"

2013 Winter Newsletter - "Old Fashioned Christmas"

2012 Fall Newsletter - "Ben Avon Farm"

2012 Summer Newsletter - "Kreatz Farm House"

2012 Winter Newsletter - "Ryan Farm House"

2011 Fall Newsletter - "Susie Q Drive Inn"

2011 Spring Newsletter - "Zuhra Shrine Horesmen"

2010 Fall Newsletter - "2nd Grade Class Tours 

2010 Summer Newsletter - "Jonas Holland Howe"

2009 December Newsletter - "Fitzer and Turner Families"

2009 August Newsletter - "Trittlelwitz Farm" and "The Work House"

2008 July Newsletter - "History on Parade Tour"

2008 November Newsletter - "Oakwood School 50th Anniversary"

2007 November Newsletter - "A Few Early Farm Houses Remain"

2007 March Newsletter - "A Bit of Minnesota History" by Walter Ernst

2006 December Newsletter - "The Ryan Farm"

2006 September Newsletter - "Master Model Builder"

2006 April Newsletter - "History of Medicine Inn"

2005 December Newsletter - "The Pioneer House at Medicine Lake and Pat Cronin"

2005 May Newsletter - "1860 Settlers Northeast of Medicine Lake" and "Mission Farms at Medicine Lake"

2004 December Newsletter - "Old Fashioned Christmas"

2004 April  Newsletter - "History Fest" and "Eward Reinke Family "

2003 December Newsletter - "Jacob and Catherine Mengelkock Family"

2002 December Newsletter - "A Brief Look at Plymouths Early History" by Neil Neilsen

2002 April Newsletter - "History Fest"

2001 December Newsletter - "The Day Family"

2001 September Newsletter· "5th installment - Memoirs of Nannie E. Howe "

2001 April Newsletter  "Jonas Howe Family and 4th installment - Memoirs of Nannie E. Howe "

2000 December Newsletter - "3rd installment - Memoirs of Nannie E. Howe"

2000 October Newsletter - "2nd installment - Memoirs of Nannie E. Howe"

2000 April Newsletter - "1st installment - Memoirs of Nannie E. Howe"

1999 November Newsletter - "Kreatz Home"

1999 August Newsletter - "Family History Andrew Jordan"

1999 May Newsletter-  "Electric Short Line RY"

1998 November Newsletter - "Fredrick Radintz Family History"

1998 July Newsletter - "Daniel Curtis Parker Family"

1998 April Newsletter - "Plymouth Schools"

1997 November Newsletter - "Descendants of Thomas Hughes"

1997 May Newsletter - "First Log Church Wedding, Joseph & Gertrude Neuma"

1996 November Newsletter - "The Ditter Family History"

1996 August Newsletter - "History Fest Flyer"

1996 April Newsletter - "Frank Hatcher Sr. Family History"

1995 December Newsletter - "Antoinne and Amable Le Count"

1995 September Newsletter "Peter Winnen Family History"

1995 April Newsletter - "George L. Lamb Family History"

1994 December Newsletter - "William & Christine Smith Family History"

1994 September Newsletter - "James Rooney Family History"

1994 March Newsletter - "Francis & Matilda Clay Family History"

1993 December Newsletter - "Jacob & Catherine Mengelkoch Family History"

1993 September Newsletter - "Gertrude Schmitz, Dennis Schmitz Family History"

1993 April  Newsletter - "Herman  & Christopher Sandhoff Family History"

1992 December Newsletter - "Joseph Day Family History"

1992 September Newsletter - "Schiebe Family History"

1992 April Newsletter -  "The Kreatz Family History"

1991 December Newsletter - "Jonas Howe Family History"

1991 September Newsletter - "Andrew Jordan"

1991 April Newsletter - "Frederick Radintz Family History"

1990 November Newsletter - "Daniel Curtis Parker Family History"

1990 September Newsletter -  "Phil Eckes & Beacon Heights School"

1989 November Newsletter - "Old Fashioned Christmas"

1989 September Newsletter - "Mt. Olivet Church"

1988 November Newsletter - "Old Fashioned Christmas"

1987 November Newsletter - "Old Fashioned Christmas"

1986 September Newsletter  - "Schiebe, Schiebe, Schiebes"

Museum Hours and Meetings


Open Houses

The PHS Museum is open the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month, April through October

Remaining 2018 Dates: July 1 and 15, August 5 and 19, September 2 and 16, October 7 and 21
Hours: 1:00-3:00 pm



The Museum is located in the Old Town Hall:

3605 Fernbrook Lane N
Plymouth, MN 55447


Board Meetings

Monthly PHS Board Meetings are held on the 4th Monday of each month at 7:00 pm. We welcome visitors to tour the exhibits at that time also.





Finding Plymouth'sHistory

Ths section contains information and pictures of a Geocache project to find Plymouth Historical locations.· This was developed by Reba Juetten.

Please look at specific descriptions below to see if there has been a waymark or geocache placed for each specific site. The GPS coordinates listed next to the titles do not necesarily corespond to either of these markers but are as close as possible to the locations of the actual historical sites as were possible with the information provided. They are not guaranteed to be exact but are reasonable estimates. Geocaches or Waymarks will be placed in the general area of these sites in appropriate locations as time allows.


Early Schools

District 104 School (Oak Wood) ( approx. N45°01.151 W093°29.698 )
It was consolidated with Wayzata School district in 1956.· It was eventually torn down when County Road 24, Medina Road and Dunkirk Lane realigned for new intersection with Hwy 55.· A new Oakwood School was built at the corner of County Road 6 and Hwy 101 and opened in 1958.


District 47 School (Deziel School)   ( approx. N45°02.082 W093°29.815 )
It was consolidated with Wayzata School District in 1956.· It was converted to a house and rented out.· It was used for fire department practice and burned in 1973.





District 48 School (Parkers Lake School)  (approx. N44°59.704 W093°29.509)
It was consolidated with Wayzata District #49 in approximately 1920 and closed.

Link to Geocache for··"P" Marks the Spot: Parker's Lake School


District 95 School (Beacon Heights)    (approx. N44°59.651 W93°26.202)
District 95 was later called Beacon Heights because of an air line beacon (used for navigation before radar and direction finding radio) located on hill by Fire Station One. District 95 was consolidated with Wayzata in 1946.


District 123 School    ( approx. N45°03.503 W93°2 5.726 )
The school served their families living around Bass Lake. It was consolidated in 1956. Some of the children went to Maple Grove and Robbinsdale School Districts.


District 51 School       ( approx.  N45°01.776 W093°26.180 )

It was the first school in Plymouth. It was built as a shanty in 1856, then a log schoolhouse in 1859. It was turned into a house and then later it burned. Note the picture taken in 1960 by the City Assessing Dept. and on the one later the cupola is gone but you can see the outline of where it was on the front entrance roof.· District 51 consolidated with Robbinsdale School District in the mid 1950’s.

Link to Geocache for:  "P" Marks the Spot: District 51 School and Mt. Olivet Chapel


Old Town Hall       ( approx.   N45°01.327 W093°27.699 )

Town meetings were held in homes and schools until it was built in 1885. It was used until the early 1960's as the town hall. It was used as storage by public works until it was restored in the mid 1970's. It is now the home of the Plymouth Historical Society and Museum.

old town hall 642 by 480

                                                                           Old Town Hall Today

Link to Waymark for:    Plymouth Historical Society/Old Plymouth Town Hall

Link to Geocache for:   "P" Marks the Spot: Old Town Hall




  Mount Olivet Chapel       ( approx. N45°01.776 W093°26.180 )

Organized in 1854 as the German Evangelical Lutheran Church, the church first met in the Herman Sandhoff home. The church was built in 1880 on land donated by the Sandhoff family (now Mt. Olivet Chapel) and called the "Immanuel Evangelical Church of the Evangelical and Reformed Church of North America." Worship services were conducted in German until the early 1900’s. It was completely restored in 1998 as the Mt Olivet Chapel.

Christoph was the first person buried in the Mount Olivet Cemetery on April 2, 1871.  Other early members of Mount Olivet such as the Sandhoff, Schmidt, Roggerman, and Hoppenrath families are buried there.



Link to Waymark for:   Mount Olivet Chapel and Cemetery 


Saint Josephs Church     ( approx. N45°01.669 W093°26.709 )


The church was organized in 1856. A log church was built in 1858 and called St. Francis. The current structure was built in 1877 for $2,600 and was named St. Joseph's for the patron saint of the donor. St. Joe's Little Church,as it sometimes called, is the burial site of Anthony LeCounte. He is considered to be the earliest settler to build a log cabin in Plymouth, which was located on the east side of Medicine Lake.


Link to Waymark for:    Saint Joseph Church - Plymouth, MN

Link to Geocache for:     "P" Marks the Spot: Saint Joseph's Church


Messiah Methodist Church       ( approx. N44°59.869 W93°28.293 )

It was established in 1868 to be called Plymouth Methodist church. The first church built was destroyed by fire 1871. Services were held in private homes and Grange Hall from 1877 until 1889 when a new church was build. Earle Brown donated an acre of land to build the parsonage in 1920 and sold the land to the west to build the workhouse. The church burned again while an addition was being built for a school in 1947 but was rebuild. The congregation out grew the church and a new Messiah Methodist Church was rebuilt at a different location (Hwy 101 & Cty Rd 6) in 1965.


St. Mary's of the Lake Church     ( approx. N44°59.116 W93°25.206 )

Church Dedicated September 8, 1935



Mission Farms      (approx. N45°01.113 W093°25.249)

Mission Farms was founded in 1926 by William E. Paul. The land was rented for one year; then its 135 acres were purchased on February 1928 for $22,675. After other purchases the land totaled 415 acres including 4 farms. It was owned and operated by Union City missions, and there were 370 beds at the Mission Farms and 220 at the St. James hotel. Up to 1,000 men worked/lived at the Mission Farms during the depression. In 1948 Pioneer House started as the first residential treatment center fore alcoholics in the area. After William died in a car crash in 1955, his son took over as superintendent. He estimated that a "million" people attended church conferences and Bible camp at Mission Farms between 1936 and 1960.




Link to Geocache for:    "P" Marks the Spot: Mission Farms



Medicine Inn Resort/Store    ( approx. N45°00.975 W093°25.153 )

Medicine Inn was built in the 1880's and later became known as Engmans as it was owned by the Engman family.  It was a resort, store, picnic grounds and rented boats. It was torn down in 1967-68 to build the Medicine Lake Apartments.


Flying Tiger/Kings Inn   ( approx. N44°59.601 W93°25.017 )

Over the course of its life it was a blacksmith shop, jail, train station, Jail House Inn, Royal King Inn, Legion Club, and finally Flying Tiger bar.


Charlie's Store     ( approx. N45°00.027 W093°25.711 )

The store had many owners over the years with the last being Charlie Lentz, hence the name Charlie's. It was popular with families that went to the swimming beach.


                                                            Now site of West Medicine Lake Park


Link to Waymark for:    to be provided


Schiebe's Corner     ( approx. N44°59.090 W93°25.275)

A hotel of some sorts was build by Nicholas Bofferding in 1863 and purchased by Carl Schiebe in 1872. It was greatly expanded with barns, tavern, icehouse and dance hall. It became known as "Schiebe's Corner," "Farmers Home Hotel" or the "Half Way House". It was a halfway stop for farmers on their way to Minneapolis and was very successful until the business declined in the 1920's and 30's due to the automobile It was torn down in 1977. (Pictures are from oldest to newest)

Village of Medicine Lake   ( approx. N44°59.539 W93°25.052 )

It was developed as "Medicine Lake Park" by Jacob Barge around 1887. He sold lots to "city folks" to build cabins to get away from the "hustle and bustle" of city life. It became a separate village in 1944 and now the City of Medicine Lake. It is co0mpletely surrounded by the City of Plymouth.




Gilfillan House   ( approx. N44°59.788 W093°28.647 )

John B. Gilfillan was born in Vermont in 1835 and was admitted to the Minnesota Bar in 1860. He was named U of M Regent by Governor Pillsbury in 1880. He served in the 49th congress (1885-1886) and in the Minnesota State senate for ten years prior. He purchased 530 acres of land in Plymouth between 1891 and 1893 and acquired more in 1913. His farm called "Ben Avon" was sold to Earle Brown in early 1920's and was then sold to the city of Minneapolis for a new Workhouse in 1923 for $250 per acre. The Gilfillan house was torn down and replace with a new house for the superintendent of the workhouse in 1933. This was later torn down when the land was made into a park and replaced with a pavilion. (Pictures of the workhouse follow the one of the superintendent's house.)




Log Cabin   ( now located approx. N44°59.713 W093°28.574 )

The Old Log Cabin was located on County Road 6 just north of the Women's Detention Center. J. B. Gilfillan built it about 1900 for his three children as a play log cabin. It was also used as a hunting shack; as the family called the woods around it Deer Park. The current log cabin is a re-creation of the old log cabin.  It was donated to the people of Plymouth by Carol Creelman, who had played in it as a small child.



Link to Geocache for:   "P" Marks the Spot: Parker's Lake