collections up close Blog

Collecting pieces of Minnesota's past for the future


The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.

See Collections Up Close Blog Archive

All MNHS Blogs

Subscribe by e-mail:

 Subscribe in a reader


By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 30, 2019

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Gerry Spiess of White Bear Lake on Friday, June 28. He built and sail the "Yankee Girl", a 10 ft. sailboat of plywood and fiberglass, for his successful one-man trip across the Atlantic in  1979. Spiess later sailed across the Pacific in the same vessel. Attached to or stored in the sailboat's interior are items including a wooden boom with mainsail and 2-part aluminum mast, radio and communication equipment. 
Spiess donated the boat to MNHS in 1984.