Digital Project: Prohibition Tour of Minnesota Speakeasy Bars

I have successfully created a historypin for this project, and have started to populate it with some of the images and locations I want to use in a tour. Currently I have 9 pins, a few of which are extra and aligned to demonstrate the actual history held by certain locations on the map. My plan moving forward is to have a total of 10-15 restaurants/bars, and find a relevant newspaper clipping to attach to establishments that have document ties to a former speakeasy. Once those have been compiled, I will create a tour using the locations of establishments.

This will create a piece of interactive history for the community seeking to learn more about this event that took the country by storm over 100 years ago, and give them something to have visiting family do. While the pins will highlight restaurants and bars that have a speakeasy theme, or places that offer tours of speakeasy era Twin Cities, the comments with each seeks to understand what can be learned from each location. As a public historian, I believe that making history fun does not have to detract from the value of learning it. This project accomplishes that digitally.

This map will marry the reality of bars that commodify the history of the era through their food and drink with the newspaper documentation of various arrests and busts in the Twin Cities during the 1920s. By creating this digital resource it will allow local history buffs to learn more about specific locations history, and discover the history of the area that might have inspired many of the themed bars and restaurants.

The challenges I’ve been experiencing with this project are how to narrow this down into a concise package that is doable with digital access to resources. Additionally, some of them are quite spread out, but still a day trips distance from the Twin Cities to help any potential out of state visitors figure out where else they might want to go for a vacation or help locals discover other areas in the state. Aside from that, I have also spent time crafting the inclusion of current establishments into this to give it a more interactive feel fro guests that might want to learn more about the state and its ties to the landmark event of 100 years ago.

I’d love to hear suggestions for locations or revisions from you, please don’t hesitate to drop me a comment!

One Reply to “Digital Project: Prohibition Tour of Minnesota Speakeasy Bars”

  1. Hi Jess, Exciting to see how this is coming together! The concept on this is really great and how that you have some of your content up on the map you are well on your way with your project.

    The challenges you’ve identified are really great things to be thinking about. I think this is a great moment to return to some of our readings and discussions about user centered design and ask yourself some questions about who you imagine your audience for this project and how they would connect with and engage with your resource? For example, is this primarily for residents our is it for folks from out of town? Along with that, I think it’s worth thinking about how folks find this and make use of it. On that front, you might even think about making up something like a brochure or a flyer that some of the locations you feature in the map could have on hand to promote this particular set of locations or tour.

    It’s great that you are thinking about distance and proximity in this cluster of locations too. Depending on how you want to develop this, you might end up with a closer together cluster that you try to lay out as something that can be visited in a day. Alternatively, if you end up with a wider net of locations it could also work that some of them are things someone might go out on a broader day trip.

    All that is to say that it’s great to see that you have the technology and system for this working, and now I think you’re in a good spot to be thinking about how to tweak and refine what you’ve done toward particular objectives for specific user personas.

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