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‘Junk in the Trunk’ kicks off at the history museum

Identify these artifacts: historian Sara Canada researches interesting relics at the history museum in Perham. Submitted photo

For those who have a unique family heirloom but don’t quite know what it is: “Junk in the Trunk” might help.

This new series at the History Museum of East Otter Tail County in Perham, premiering Thursday, Nov. 21, from 5-7 p.m., can help people identify artifacts.

For the first “Junk in the Trunk” event, the museum has invited Marlene Johnson, a knowledgeable collector, to show and share information from her collection, including artifacts from the old Schroeder Brewery.

“When I come across something and figure out what is it and what it was used for, it brings history to life for me,” said Joan Happel, a volunteer at the museum. “I appreciate the people that may have used it. All of our artifacts tell a story.”

Community members are invited to bring interesting items to the event; museum historians will help identify them.

Museum historian Sara Canada will have some unusual artifacts on hand from the museum’s collection.

“Sara brought out a few items that I was able to identify before she found one that stumped me,” said museum Executive Director Darla Ellingson. “It’s really fun to search for clues, make educated guesses and do some research to learn about pieces of our history.”

“Junk in the Trunk” is part of a monthly speaker series, which encourages residents and visitors to explore the resources of the history museum. It is free and open to the public. Donations are encouraged to support museum operations.

For more information, visit or find the museum on Facebook.