Friday, June 7, 2013


We found a book at the house entitled Out and About with Kids. In that book I found the Museum of History and Industry. We discovered that the first Thursday of the month is free so we headed there today. We have been to the Museum of Industry in Chicago so I think we were thinking it would be something like that.

This was very much a local history museum which was fun. I lived in this area for two years and my husband longer and we both learned something new about the city.

First as we walked in we were greeted by the pink toe truck. Miss K loved it because it was pink.

I have to say that the volunteers were very friendly and helpful giving us suggestions of places to go and things to see not that the museum is that big.

There was some interesting displays on the founding of the city. One of the interactive areas showed how some of the areas received their names -- from Native Americans, from the British, and from the Spanish.

Learning the names of the early settlers helped to understand some different streets and areas of town. Mercer is an island here, a street, buildings, etc. The Dennys, the Mercers, and one other family that I can't remember right now were all part of the beginning of the city.

The railroad played a big part in the founding of the area. "I've been working on the railroad. . ." They pounded and pounded and watched a bit of history about the railroad.

Do you know what happened here 124 years ago? Everybody knows about the Chicago Fire and can even sing the song about Mrs. O'Leary and her cow. We know about the San Francisco fire after the earthquake but did you know that there was a fire here? I didn't until today. The fire destroyed the central business district and as a result the downtown buildings are 20 feet higher than they were in 1889.

Do you know who was president of the US at his time? An elderly lady asked that question and then called her son to get the answer and told us. Her friend with her from England knew who was Queen at the time -- Queen Victoria but considering she was on the throne for more than 75 years that makes it easy.

Back to the fire and the museum. They had a very nice display about the fire which because in a carpenter's shop with a pot of glue that boiled over. There was a short movie presentation complete with a song about the pot of glue.

Logging and lumber was a big part of the history here.

Of course we moved to more modern history of the area -- Boeing, Microsoft, and Amazon (I was surprised that Starbucks wasn't mentioned).

Did you know that within 5 1/2 hours when the first Kindle was introduced it sold out. I will say that we love ours.

The museum is right on the lake and so they do have a small section of maritime history. There are windows that you can look out and see the lake.

We spent about 2 hours there. I will honestly say that I am glad that I went on the free day. I do not think it is worth $14.00 for an adult. Children under 14 are free. School is not yet out here. There were some younger children but it was mainly older people there. Parking was a challenge but we did find parking for $4.00 for 2 hours.

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