Last updated: 6/10/2019
Rochester, Minnesota
Street Address
1195 West Circle Dr. SW
Rochester, MN 55902
Mailing Address
1195 West Circle Dr. SW
Rochester, MN 55902
Tuesday - Saturday9 AM - 5 PM
Adults: $5
Members: Free
Children: $2
Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
Wayne Gannaway, Executive Director
phone: 507-282-9447
Aleta Maccini, Marketing & Volunteer Coordinator
phone: 507-282-9447
Kathy Dahl, Mayowood Mansion Coordinator
phone: 507-282-9447
Aaron Saterdalen, Education & Programs Coordinator
phone: 507-282-9447
Dan Nowakowski, Curator
phone: 507-282-9447
Krista Lewis, Archivist
phone: 507-282-9447
Kevin Whaley, Collections Manager
phone: 507-282-9447
Darla Buss, Member Services
phone: 507-282-9447

Each year the History Center of Olmsted County, together with its enthusiastic volunteers, provides presentations, educational and outreach programs, special events, museum exhibits, and more. The History Center currently owns and operates two historic buildings and two historic farmsteads.


Give people of all ages and backgrounds access and opportunity to learn about the past through interpretive programs and exhibits, research, publications and events.


Burton Eaton, along with several other founders, established the Olmsted County Historical Society in 1926 with the intention of collecting and preserving the history of Olmsted County. The Historical Society's first museum opened in the basement of the Rochester Public Library in 1940. The Society moved into the Bethel English Lutheran Church in 1959, but before long, the Historical Society outgrew the church. Land was purchased at our current location in southwest Rochester in 1972 where the museum building was quickly built. In 2006, the Olmsted County Historical Society began doing business as the History Center of Olmsted County.

Now, almost 100 years later, we are still committed to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history and heritage of the region and sharing it with our community.

Artifact Collections

The Material Culture Collection contains many different types of three dimensional artifacts from textiles, to art, to farm machinery. Artifacts from the Material Culture Collection are displayed in the museum gallery in exhibits. Museum exhibits are changed periodically, so an artifact that you may have seen on a previous visit might not be on display. Artifacts not on display are kept in the History Center's storage vaults.

If you are researching Olmsted County or are researching specific artifacts (military, textiles, medical, agricultural, etc.), contact the Curator of Collections directly to schedule an appointment. For research, the History Center’s Research Library has valuable information and librarians ready to assist your research needs.

Research Collections

The Archival Collection contains our informational artifacts and are stored in the Wicklund Archives. Archival materials can be books, family papers, photographs, electronic media, or any other format meant to exchange information. These items are readily available to researchers and can be accessed in the Willson Research Library. Indexes for some of our archival materials can be found on our website's Resources page.

Educational Programs

The History Center of Olmsted County is proud to offer educational programming designed for your enjoyment. There’s something here for you whether you are 8 or 80 - tours, exhibits, special events, presentations, classes, and even off-site activities. Peruse this page to learn about all of the awesome education opportunities we have available to you.

Do you like learning about a variety of history? Join us for the Princess Café Lecture Series on the second Wednesday of each month at the History Center of Olmsted County.

Check out our website for a full list of our programs and events!


Lecture Halls


The Olmsted County Historical Society dba History Center of Olmsted County is an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization governed by our members via a Board of Directors. In addition, the History Center partners with several local organizations, including an auxiliary group, the Olmsted County Genealogy Society, to assist us in accomplishing our mission


Access: General Public, Students, Scholars, Members

Appointment required: No


Wheelchair Accessible




Gift Shop

Special Event Rental


Group Tours

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Charles Town, West Virginia

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