Workshops

Looking for a program with interactive elements? A chance for your group to share stories and memories? How about a chance to learn new skills and practice them before you head home? These workshops will deliver!

Object ID 872

Object ID 872

Memories of Grandma’s Cookie Jar

Gotcha! We see your hand in that cookie jar, reaching for some sugary yumminess to dunk in your glass of milk. We may laugh about it now, but sneaking a cookie as a kid felt like the ultimate treachery. Join this fun discussion and take some time to talk about family cookie recipes, traditions, and memories of the family bakers in this class. Please bring along a favorite cookie jar and a good story to share (we’ll provide the treats!)

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Creating Historical fiction from facts

Have you always wanted to write fiction based on the events of the past? Does your family have some great stories that would make a thrilling novel? Do you like a particular era of history and think it would make a brilliant setting for a short story? Bring your ideas to this workshop (or come to generate some!) and we will work through some strategies for creating characters using photos, visioning a setting from experience, and then practice writing from the diary of a Civil War soldier. We’ll even send you away with some homework (don’t worry, the class is pass/fail)!

Living Legacy: Memories that Stick to your Ribs

When it comes to cooking for our families and ourselves, where do you find your meal ideas? The internet? A prepared box? A stash of favorite, no-fail standbys in your head? Dusting off the old family cookbook and recipe cards has never been more fun! Join us to discover more about how you can use family recipes to honor traditions, tell stories, and still reflect on your modern situation. Come add to the living legacy that is both your past and your future.

A County Full of Growing Things

Anoka County may not look like it now, but before the 1950s, this area had a strong agricultural economy that produced potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, cash crops, and even furniture made from the wire grass that grew naturally. Even before that, however, the native cultures used the rivers and open spaces for their survival. In more recent times, sod farms produced much needed landscape material for the Suburban tract homes and bogs were filled in to create more buildable area for businesses and homes. Join us as we explore these ideas, the Colombia Heights Garden Club, and the efforts of Marie DeGraff in this program.

Ansonia Clockwork

Ansonia Clockwork

Time marches on

Taking you on a journey through the ages from sundials to watch fobs to smart phones. How has TIME changed the way we live and how have we changed the way we TIME? Be sure to bring a favorite timepiece and the story behind it to share. Presenter Anoka County Historical Society will showcase the recent restoration on their three Grandfather clocks.

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Telling Your Story: An Oral History How-To (and then "DO"!)

Home can mean many things to many people. Trying to describe that idea usually requires telling a few stories of the people and experiences that shaped the community everyone shares. Join ACHS and discuss how to collect these stories, as well as what to do with them! The first portion of the workshop will explain how to conduct an oral history, including the types of questions to ask, recording devices to use, and how to transcribe the stories gathered. The second portion will be a hands-on workshop where attendees can practice these newly-acquired skills with special guests in attendance.

Parlor games/traditions of fun

Do you know how to entertain your friends in posh surroundings wearing a corset and sipping a delicate cup of tea? It’s more fun than you may imagine! Join us for this (family friendly!) program to learn the intricacies of playing parlor games like “Ball of Wool,” “Speaking Bluff,” and “Taps.” We will also talk about surprising social traditions like drinking from a saucer or leaving calling cards when you visited. Ah, etiquette, how you have changed!

Object ID 2016.1690.36.014

Object ID 2016.1690.36.014

Jon Arfstrom diaries

Did you ever keep a diary as a child? Did you ever sneak a peek into a diary kept by a sibling? How about the doodles on the edge of notebook pages or on homework? Here is your opportunity to get a glimpse into the mind of a local artist who kept a journal during the last decade of his life. This presentation will explore the words Jon Arfstrom left behind as well as showcase the oil, acrylic, pen and ink, or pencil drawings that accompanied his thoughts. Come explore his methods of expression, then experiment with telling your own story the same way!

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Mysteries of History

Historians are really detectives! No, really. And you are too. Ever look back on a photo from a family event and try to use contextual clues to figure out the date? And just which cousin is that? Remember which house that carpet was in? When that color stove was popular? You’re reading artifacts and making deductions just like we do at the Anoka County Historical Society. Join in the fun as we try to reorder construction photos, deduce eras based on the clothing worn, or just try to figure out what in the world is going on in that picture.