Plymouth Author Reveals “Secret Twin Cities” in New Book
Julie Jo Severson wrote a book called “Secret Twin Cities” that reveals some of the interesting, yet relatively unknown places in the Twin Cities. Severson says she interviewed everyone from archivists, bartenders and food truck drivers to compile the list.
How well do you know the Twin Cities?
“Secret Twin Cities” will test how well you know the immediate area where you live.
“You know, this opportunity just fell in my lap I have to admit,” said author Julie Jo Severson, who lives in Plymouth.
A local publisher was looking for someone to write a certain kind of book. A friend and mentor recommended Severson for the job, and she tackled the job with gusto.
“I talked to tons of locals. I reached out all over the place, got in my car and explored and read a lot,” said Severson.
“Secret Twin Cities” is part travelogue, part guide book. You can learn about delightful oddities and fascinating places, all with their own backstory.
“My kids always laugh because I always had a big, giant, crinkly old fashioned map. I still like an old map on my floor. I would circle destinations when I found something I wanted to write about,” said Severson.
A few examples…
Did you know that the 45th parallel runs right through the Twin Cities? If you stand on that spot you’ll be exactly half way between the north pole and the equator.
“It’s marked actually in 3 places in the Twin Cities. Because it enters the Twin Cities in the western suburbs through Plymouth. It goes over Medicine Lake and there’s a marker there. As you walk around Medicine Lake you’ll pass by a sign and then it goes through Golden Valley,” said Severson.
Do you know where there is a life size wooden carving of a diver wearing an actual diving helmet?
“I call it the corner lot diver. It doesn’t really have an official name,” said Severson.
The diver is lit up at night and even has a light inside the diving helmet. He’s in Plymouth.
Do you know where you can find medieval knights guarding a water tower?
“It’s just unbelievable that you don’t see it. You can drive by it all day and not know it’s there. It’s this 110 foot tower on top of a hill,” said Severson. “During the process I just kept reading more and more history. This book is filled with artists and entrepreneurs, but not necessarily the well known ones. But they’re just doing what they love,” said Severson.
The book will inspire you and your family to get out and explore this wondrous place where we live.
Reporter Neil Pursley wanted to get to more spots for this story, but he discovered you can’t always get what you want…. which took him on a final stop to Excelsior.
In the book Severson explains the connection between a bench, Mr. Jimmy, and the Rolling Stones.
“I fell in love with Minnesotans and history and what got us to where we are today,” said Severson.
While you can’t always get what you want, if you try sometimes like Severson did, you just might find, you get what you need.