Museums and historical society programs
Kandiyohi County Historical
Willmar, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 1 to 5 p.m. weekends and holidays; free admission, located at the train engine on North Business Highway 71 across from Robbins Island; the KCHS museum has a number of featured exhibits and the Sperry House will also be open most days; 320-235-1881.
Fifth annual "Tea at the Sperry House: 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. June 12. A variety of tea and authentic treats made from century-old recipes will be served. Themed "Mad Hatter's Tea" guests are encouraged to wear silly, crazy, and unique hats. If guests do not own hats, KCHS has a variety of hats visitors could borrow and wear for the day. Cost is $16 per person (adults only), with proceeds to benefit KCHS. There are still openings, stop at the KCHS museum to register or call 320-235-1881.
Immigration: To celebrate the diverse ancestry and heritage of Kandiyohi County and the state of Minnesota. The immigration exhibit features one of four original Red River Ox Carts left in the state of Minnesota along with pictures of traditional costumes of peoples who settled this region during the nineteenth century. There us a map of ethnic communities in the late 1800s and early 1900s show our county's "old" ethnic neighborhoods, with an immigrant truck and artifacts brought from the Old Countries.
Kandi Resorts: As Minnesota is the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" and Kandiyohi County is "Where the Lakes Begin," KCHS is honoring the lake-based economy in an exhibit dedicated to early resorts and the lakes. The exhibit features bathing suits, fishing gear, resort pictures and brochures.
Something's Afoot: Photographs, shoe store fixtures and shoes from the 1870s to the 1970s.
Beautiful buildings: Photographs, history and a few leftover "pieces" tell the stories of several buildings that were razed in Willmar and missed by residents who remember them.
Velma's Hats: Hats from the collection of Velma Swanson, from the 1940s to '70s, along with a special Red Hat Society-style number made by Sharon Richmond along with photographs and accessories.
Last run of 2523: The year 2005 marked the 40th anniversary of the "last run" of Great Northern engine 2523 to the historical center. This photo exhibit shows the stages of the move
No! No! is an eclectic display of museum objects that were or are considered immoral or shocking. Confiscated liquor bottles from the Prohibition era, century-old "racy" stereopticon views, spittoons, and other tobacco items are some of the obviously "sinful" pieces in the exhibit. Other features remind viewers that currently acceptable practices such as Sunday shopping or trends like bobbed hair or jazz music were formerly considered "No, No's."
Hotels: Hotel photos and objects are featured, along with the former Lakeland Hotel telephone booth.
Collectible stamp sets: Elmond Ekblad displays his stamp collection, with stamps for each season.
Take note: Music is the theme with some distinctive and typical instruments and local photographs.
World War II: World War II oral history with local veterans video can be shown upon request.
Civil, Spanish-America and wars: Military items, photos of local veterans, and lists of local GAR veterans.
Buggy-riding: Judge Muller's buggy is the focal point of a new exhibit. It is flanked by photos of buggies and equipment used with horse-drawn vehicles.
Newspapers: Interpretive panels telling the history of the press in America have been added to the old printing press and Linotype exhibit.
Halvorson inventions: A generator and carburetor invented by Lars Halvorson of Willmar, who also built the first gas-powered "horseless carriage" in the area, are displayed with the museum's early automobiles.
Milan, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday or by appointment by calling 320-734-4868 or 320-734-4829; photograph and historical museum celebrating its 25th anniversary; free admission.
Atwater Area Museum
Atwater, open by appointment, call 703-598-4827; the Atwater Area Historical Society and Museum.
Chippewa County Historical
The Chippewa County Historical Society has several sites that will be open for the summer. Admission prices are adults $4, ages 6-18 $2, and 5 and under will be admitted free. For more information or to make appointments call 320-269-7636.
Chippewa City: 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday and Monday; junction of state Highway 7 and U.S. Highway 59 in Montevideo; re-creation of a turn-of-the-century town with 23 buildings.
Olaf Swensson Farm Museum: 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays through Labor Day, or by appointment; six miles east of Montevideo on state Highway 7, then five miles south on County Road 15. The 17-acre farmstead features a 22-room house, timber frame barn and the remains of a gristmill.
Lac qui Parle Mission: open daily through Labor Day, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; six miles north of Montevideo on U.S. Highway 59 and 2.2 miles west on County Road 13; free admission.
GAR and Meeker County Museum
Litchfield, noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, $2 admission; Grand Army of the Republic Hall and Meeker County Historical Society Museum, 308 Marshall Ave.
Grove City Historical
Grove City, open by appointment, call Dorothy 857-9422, Irma 857-2176 or Chuck 857-0169, South Grove Square, Grove City Area Historical Society Museum.
Mikkelson Classic Boats
Willmar, open by appointment, call 320-231-0384, 418 Benson Ave. S.E.; featuring classic speed boats, outboard motors, toy boats and motors and boating artifacts; $6 admission.
New London, 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, through Labor Day, old Lebanon Church, Norwood St. N.W.; a historical museum with exhibits, vintage clothing, military display, paintings and photographs and library for genealogy research; 320-354-2990.
Natural History Museum
New London, open by appointment, call 320-354-8820, 12050 Co. Rd. 40 N.E. Larry and Barb Levin's Natural History Museum includes collections of butterflies, seashells, rocks, minerals, Indian artifacts and dinosaur bones. The museum is located on County Road 40, 2.8 miles east of state Highway 23 on the north side of the road. Admission is free.
Norway Lake Log Church
New London, 7 to 9 p.m. Saturdays, through Aug. 8 with a church service at 7:15 p.m. followed by social hour, west of New London off County Road 40 on 99th St. N.W. or by appointment, call 320-231-2519.
Paynesville Historical Museum
Paynesville, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Memorial Day through Labor Day, 251 Ampe Drive; freewill donation; allow one hour or more for guided tour.
Sacred Heart Area Museum
Sacred Heart, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and Friday or by appointment, U.S. Highway 212 in Sacred Heart; 320-765-8868.
Willmar, 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 3310 Business Highway 71 S.; features roadway and farm field history, more than 300 tractors, cars, trucks and fire trucks; gift shop; adults $5, under 12 are $2; 320-231-0564. Open Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the car show at Kennedy Elementary.