Mayo Clinic opens the doors to its past - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Mayo Clinic opens the doors to its past

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The lobbies at Rochester's Mayo Clinic house several special exhibits and now visitors will be allowed access to the clinic's artifacts throughout the summer. Mayo Clinic is inviting the community to explore its archives at three Mayo Clinic Sesquicentennial Open Houses.

Visitors will be greeted by docents at the Mayo building, Plummer building and Annenberg Plaza on July 10 and August 14. The open house series opened on Thursday, June 12 with tables set up in the foyers of Mayo Clinic's buildings. Tourists were guided by display tables filled with some of the Clinic's hundreds of historical items which are usually housed in the Clinic's Heritage Hall Museum.

"We know people are very busy when they're working, when they're patients they've got things on their mind," said Matthew Dacy, Heritage Hall Director. "You may walk by during the day but now you can come in the evening. It's restful, it's relaxing and a beautiful night to come down and see this and enjoy the food. Meet your friends and see some wonderful works of art and artifacts."

Mayo Clinic's Historical items on display include some of the Mayo family's personal belongings, like Dr. William Mayo's passport or the carriage he rode in to make house calls. Other historical items at the Open House include medical and institutional artifacts such as one of the first CT Scanners, which Dacy said is about the size of a Volkswagon. Another popular contribution from Dr. Mayo are the Plummer Building's Carillon bells which chime throughout the day.

"Dr. William Mayo was in Europe and heard the bells playing just like this. He loved the sounds. He sent a telegram home to his architect and said 'Add five more stories to our new building. We are bringing home some bells,'" said Dacy.

The tours are free and open to the public. Souvenir items can be purchased online or from Mayo Clinic retailers with the proceeds going to the 150th Patient Care Fund, which supports patients and families in financial need.

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