Prospect House & Civil War Museum, Battle Lake

#85 of 173 in Museums in Minnesota
The Prospect House, a Georgian-style "mansion", was the first house, a later the first resort, in Battle Lake, MN. James A. “Cap” Colehour, a veteran of the Civil War, migrated to Battle Lake, MN and built the first house in town called the “Chicago House” in 1882. In 1886 Colehour built an addition onto his house and began to offer his home to visitors, which he then called "The Prospect Inn", as a seasonal resort hotel. He operated the resort until 1924 when he retired at age 82. Cap’s daughter, Kathrina, and her husband, Ernest Wilkins, remodeled the interior five years later, in 1929. The house’s furnishings and décor have not been changed since that time.

Continually inhabited by descendants of Cap Colehour since 1882, the four stories of Prospect House are filled with priceless artifacts, including a large exhibit room on the lower level dedicated to the Civil War. Historical markers around the yard tell the story of the Prospect House, which is on the State and National Register of Historic Places.

The Prospect House and Civil War Museum is open year round. Call (218) 864-4008 for a tour appointment reservation.
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Prospect House & Civil War Museum Reviews
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19 reviews
  • The museum is not on the regular path, but the nearby city is cute, and has good dining options, even for vegetarians. It really is worth the time to stop in, enjoy a meal, and take in the tour. Jay J...  more »
  • You would not expect to get this cool close up of Civil War history in a small rural Minnesota city. If you've got a few hours and enjoy Civil War history, call an make an appointment to see Prospect ...  more »
  • Upon visiting the Prospect House I was amazed by the many treasures and the wealth of knowledge that sits within the walls of this beautiful museum!
  • I have visited this historic home four times-- the first two before it was a museum. My wife's great-grandfather, "Cap" Colehour, grew up there, and after surviving being shot twice in the Civil War (His uniform with the two holes is on display in the small museum), took possession of the house--and eventually much of early Battle Lake--which is now a quaint, small town surrounded by rolling farms and numerous summer resorts.

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