Junk Bonanza loves history! We’re pleased that Minnesota history blogger Jess Zimmerman, of History by Zim: Beyond the Textbooks, has prepared a special power point slide show that will run throughout the Bonanza for your viewing pleasure!zim3

Jess is the Reference and Instruction Librarian at Bethany Lutheran College’s Memorial Library. Over four years ago, after finishing her MA in U.S. History, she was unsure of her next step. She said someone suggested she start a website to stay in the history ‘zone.’ “If anything, I thought, it would look good on my resume,” she said. “Very quickly I fell in love with it. As I experimented more with the overall look and vibe of the website, I noticed viewership was steadily increasing. The rest, they say, is history…”


Here is her profile!


Jess Zimmerman

Where do you live?

Mankato, MN

What is History By Zim?

History By Zim is a website I created about all things U.S. history. Through articles, photographs, and quotes, I examine famous (and not so famous) historical people, places, and events. Many of which you did not learn about in history class (hence my tagline “Beyond the Textbooks).

Where did your love of history start?

I always loved history. The starting point was probably growing up around my grandparents and great-grandparents who often reminisced about their youth, wacky family moments, and wove spellbinding tales (bordering on tall tales) of a time gone by. As time passed, I realized the seemingly randomness of history as well as the importance of the ‘non-famous’ faces whose stories are just waiting to be told.


How do you share that interest?

The main way I share my history love is through my website and social media. I write with the intention that my history is accessible and streamlined. There is no reason to make it more complex than it already is!

How long have you been coming to Junk Bonanza?

I have been going to the Junk Bonanza for the last two and a half years (both the fall and spring shows).

When did you start your love of junk?

After college, I realized I like the idea of making my space mine through mixing old with new – the concept of having unique pieces that tell stories, or at the very least start conversations, has me come back to the Bonanza time and time again!


What’s the best junk find you’ve made? Details!

This is a toss-up between this amazing steamer trunk with its original hangers and drawers I found dirt cheap at a garage sale and a two-drawer library card catalog at the last Junk Bonanza. I’m still on the hunt for a bigger library card catalog – perhaps this year….

What’s the best history find you’ve made? Details!

Ohhh! I have way too many favorite history finds such as the moment the U.S. and Great Britain almost went to war over a pig (“The Pig War”) or when the Attorney General of Alabama told the Ku Klux Klan to “kiss my a**” (“Attorney GeneralBill Baxley vs. the KKK”) and then there is the time Nevada held atomic bomb-themed beauty pageants during the 1950s (“Odd Contests: Miss Atomic Bomb”).

If I had to choose just one I would have to pick the post I did about a famous Vietnam War photograph depicting Medic James E. Callahan attending to injured troops (“Behind the Photo: Medic James E. Callahan“) I wrote briefly about the moment the photograph was taken and also found information about what happened to him afterwards. The reason this is one of my favorite posts is not the post itself but the reaction to it. I received comments from other Vietnam veterans and by some who actually new Callahan. The realization that history is more than just names and dates – it’s of real people with real family and friends – has never been so palpable.


What is your favorite thing about the Junk Bonanza?

The junk! I also enjoy talking with the vendors about their pieces, they are so friendly. At the last Junk Bonanza, the man who runs a Vintage Parcel told me all of these fascinating details about the structure of a piece I purchased from a different vendor. He told me that the two-drawer library card cataloged I just bought elsewhere was solidly made. He stated that it had good, skilled craftsmanship because of the use of dovetail joints which are not the easiest to make and prevent the wood from pulling apart.

Why is History By Zim and the Bonanza a great fit?

We both deal with stories. The Bonanza tells the tales of times of old through physical items whereas History By Zim translates the story of those people, places, and events through photographs and written narratives. In the end, we offer windows into history and the people that made it what it was and what it is today.

Website: www.historybyzim.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/historybyzim/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/historybyzim

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HistoryByZim

Jess, we look forward to seeing you! Stop by and see the slideshow, located next to the Information Desk in the Main Building!



Photo: A female tourist stands on the edge of Overhanging rock, nearly a mile straight down and only a step–from Glacier Point (N.W.) across valley to Yosemite Falls, Yosemite, CA, circa 1902.

Photo: Marine Private First Class Grady C. Hogue, of Brounsboro, Texas, roped this Japanese version of a Shetland pony after his unit hit the beach at Okinawa in April 1945.
Photo: Ranger naturalist Edwin McKee (in profile) with pygmy nuthatch bird in hand, circa 1929.
Photo: During World War I, women took over the jobs the men fighting overseas left behind. Here two young women are shown delivering ice, 1918.


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