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Maplewood Historical Society debuts new exhibit
On a warm and nearly perfect summer evening, when the Bruentrup Heritage Farm’s natural beauty was on full display, the real star of the night was in the farm’s barn basement.
On July 7, the Maplewood Historical Society officially opened Magically Adhered, its new exhibit focusing on the special relationship between the City of Maplewood and 3M. The exhibit takes a fascinating look into what happened when 3M moved its corporate headquarters and research facilities from St. Paul to the Maplewood area in the 1950s.
In fact, 3M might well be the reason Maplewood is the city it is today. After 3M left the City of St. Paul, leaders in that city began looking at ways to keep 3M on the tax rolls. They began floating the notion of annexing part of what was then New Canada Township. Residents of the township weren’t keen on the idea, and voted on Feb. 26, 1957, to become the City of Maplewood.
“The exhibit has been four years in the making,” Maplewood Historical Society Executive Director Nicole DeGuzman said. “It’s taken a lot of hard work from a lot of different people.”
During remarks shortly before the exhibit’s ribbon cutting, Maplewood Mayor Nora Slawik noted that she, along with many other Maplewood residents, is grateful that the Historical Society is working so hard to preserve Maplewood’s own unique history.
“3M is Maplewood’s largest employer, with more than 10,000 employees coming onto its campus each weekday,” she added. “From its earliest days, to the new $150 million Carlton Science Center, the exhibit really brings our relationship to life.”
Slawik said when she’s at events with other elected officials, she need only mention 3M to give her colleagues a sense of where Maplewood is located.
“I tell them that, ‘I come from the city that has the company that makes that little thing called the Post-It note. Maybe you have heard of 3M?’” she explained, adding that the city and 3M have a positive and mutually-beneficial relationship that’s lasted decades.
“I encourage everyone in the community to come out and see this important exhibit,” Slawik said.
Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt, who attended the event with her young granddaughter, explained that she’d recently had a conversation with her seven-year-old grandson in an effort to help him understand just how large 3M’s impact really is.
“I told him, ‘3M is so big, and so important, that they’re world-wide and he was amazed,’” she noted.
State Rep. Peter Fischer also praised the Maplewood Historical Society for its advocacy of local history.
“I think it’s important to have a group that is preserving history,” he added.
Exciting roster of events
In the coming weeks, the Maplewood Historical Society will host a number of events to further celebrate Magically Adhered.
There will be public open houses on Aug. 13 and 14 and Sept. 10 and 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
There will also be a number of guest speakers who will share insights into 3M’s history and global importance:
●Life inside the 3M campus, July 25, at 6:30 p.m.
●3M Visiting Wizard, children’s science experiments, Aug. 13, at noon.
●History of 3M innovations, (date to be determined), at 6:30 p.m.
●Remarks from a Carlton Society recipient/innovative scientist, Sept. 12, at 6:30 p.m.
Each speaking event will be held at the Bruentrup Heritage Farm, 2170 East County Road D, in Maplewood. Visit http://www.maplewoodhistoricalsociety.org to find out more about Magically Adhered as well as other Historical Society events.