History Center of Olmsted County, Rochester

#24 of 33 in Things to do in Rochester
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
Vision Statement

To become a gathering place for the broader community that inspires and encourages the exploration of history in order to understand the past, its relevance to the present and enlighten the decisions of tomorrow.

Established in 1926, the History Center of Olmsted County interprets the history of Olmsted County and SE MN region. This 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization is governed by its membership through a Board of Directors.

Today the History Center of Olmsted County actively serves the region by offering a varied presentation of educational programs, events, exhibits, a state of the art research center and archives. It owns and operates five historic buildings and sites. A professional staff manage the programs, collections and properties assisted by over 400 enthusiastic volunteers.

The History Center of Olmsted County is also assisted in it's mission by an auxiliary organization, the Olmsted County Genealogy Society and through a commitment to education by the generosity of Master Gardeners of Olmsted County and the Mechanical History Round Table. With funding support from the citizens of Olmsted County and City of Rochester.
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History Center of Olmsted County reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
25 reviews
  • This is a gift to residents and visitors of Olmsted County and the City of Rochester. You cannot help but feel history of which you are a part no matter where you were raised. You can feel the...  more »
  • It is wonderful to learn more about the past of Rochester. The museum and any learning classes are great knowledge. Their tours of Mayowood are fantastic.  more »
  • Just a fantastic place to visit! Highlights for us included the research center and the old schoolhouse. The featured exhibition when we were there was about the Green Book and the travel experiences of African Americans during the early part of the 20th century. Rochester's landmark Avalon Hotel was featured, which has a rich historical context. The staff were very helpful, courteous, and friendly. When visiting or driving through Rochester, plan on spending a few hours here!
  • Really good local history museum and resource center. They also have information on tours outings in and around the county a few times per month to go the eagle center in Winona, or to a nearby regional or state park to learn some skill, or something like that. They have databases and historical documents for family history research. I plan to join as a member, actually, and look forward to returning often in the spring and summer to see some of the living history activities, including a baseball diamond where they play baseball "the rules in use in the 1920s".

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