Museums and historic sites published July 6, 2022

Museum hours and special events in the next month

We are part of The Trust Project.

Kandiyohi County Historical Society

Willmar, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, closed holidays, $3 for adults, ages 12 and under and Kandiyohi County Historical Society members admitted for free, 320-235-1881, located at the train engine on North Business Highway 71 across from Robbins Island. The museum has a number of featured exhibits. Along with the museum there is a one-room school, a log shed and a Great Northern locomotive. Maps of county historical sites are available at the museum.

Sperry House: The Sperry House will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Sept. 3. Cost is $3 per person, members are free. Open by appointment during the week.

Guri Endreson site: The Guri Endreson site, located off County Road 5, the field road gate is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Guided tours available by appointment.

125th anniversary celebration: Aug. 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Pioneer Cabin on the Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds. The 2nd Minnesota Battery Light Artillery, of Red Wing, will set up camp to learn about Minnesota soldiers and their life in the Civil War with different stations for the public to see including the cannon and small arms. A ladies area will feature the Soldiers' Aid Society, quilt display, and apothecary. The Gun Drill will be held at 11 a.m., 1 and 2 p.m. The Second Minnesota Battery Re-enactors are a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Civil War history by living it.

There will also be kids' carnival games, root beer floats, food, music, a silent pie auction and a friendly competition between the towns in Kandiyohi County. Each town will have a jar and the one who ends up with the most money in it at the end of the day will be featured in a display in 2023 at the museum and at the Kandiyohi County Fair.


For the silent pie auction, we are looking for anyone to donate pies to us for this fundraiser. We ask that you drop off your pie at the museum on Friday, Aug. 19, or at the Fairgrounds on Aug. 20. We will be having many rounds of the silent auction so you can get a pie any time of the day you come. The winnings from each pie will be put towards the town competition as well. For more information regarding the pie auction, contact Karen Hernandez at 952-540-3470.

Atwater Area Historical Society

Atwater, 10 a.m to noon, Saturdays or by appointment, call Jon at 320-444-0337, Atwater Area Historical Society and Museum, 500 Pleasant Ave. W.

Chippewa County Historical Society

The Chippewa County Historical Society will have several sites open for the summer. Admission prices vary. For more information or to make appointments call 320-269-7636, email or web site .

Mission Sunday: 64th annual event Sunday, July 10, at the Lac qui Parle Mission beginning with 10:30 a.m. worship, noon potluck, and 1 p.m. program by Steve Sandvig. He will be discussing the release of his upcoming historical novel, “All Our Pleasant Places,” the tale of the life of a half Scottish and half Dakota girl who is separated from her parents during the U.S.-Dakota War, followed by a question-and-answer session. Free, open to the public, bring a dish to share and your own plates, etc. for the potluck.

Chippewa City: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 1 to 5 p.m. weekends and holidays through Labor Day; junction of state Highway 7 and U.S. Highway 59 in Montevideo; re-creation of a turn-of-the-century town with 23 buildings and two very old dugout canoes. The Chippewa River Dugout Canoe, carbon dated to between 1436 and 1522, is in the Gateway Building and the Minnesota River dugout canoe, carbon dated to between 1626 and 1679, is in the Gippe Cabin. Admission adults $5, ages 6-17 $2, and 5 and under will be admitted free.

Lac qui Parle Mission: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through Sept. 4. Visitors can ring the church bell, echoing the sound of the original, traditionally known as the first church bell in Minnesota; six miles north of Montevideo on U.S. Highway 59 and 2.2 miles west on County Road 13; free admission. The Lac qui Parle Mission is a Minnesota Historical Society historic site operated by the Chippewa County Historical Society. Mission Sunday will be July 10.

Olof Swensson Farm Museum: 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Sept. 3-4, or by appointment; six miles east of Montevideo on state Highway 7, then five miles south on County Road 6 to the junction with County Road 15. The 17-acre farmstead features a 22-room house, timber frame barn and the remains of a gristmill. Admission adults $5, ages 6-17 $2, 5 and under will be admitted free.

Danube Historical Society

The Danube Historical Society Museum is open from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays in the former Danube Depot Building or by appointment, call 320-826-2236.


Dassel History Center

Dassel, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dassel History Center, 901 First St. N., freewill donation, 320-275-3077,

Fagen Fighters WWII Museum

Granite Falls, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Lenzen-Roe Memorial Airport, 3 miles south of Granite Falls on Highway 23; adults $10, ages 10-17 $5, family $20, active military $5, ages 9 and under admitted free, annual memberships available. Home to a pristine collection of fully operational, active aircraft and vehicles from World War II along with fine art, bronze sculptures, interactive multimedia displays, and a library. It is designed as a self-guided experience.

GAR and Meeker County Museum

Litchfield, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, $3 admission, ages 11 and under free; Grand Army of the Republic Hall and Meeker County Historical Society Museum, 308 Marshall Ave., 320-693-8911,

Grove City Historical Museum

Grove City, open by appointment, call Dorothy 320-244-1044, Ron 320-693-2922, or Gordon 320-857-2636.

Lac qui Parle County Museum

Madison, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; South Highway 75; freewill donation.

Poetry on the Prairie: July 30-31, featuring the work of Robert and Carol Bly of Madison.

On July 30 at the Madison Mercantile, free poetry-writing class at 2 p.m. taught by Athena Kildegaard and Brendan Stermer. Open mic poetry readings at 6 p.m. will give students of the class an opportunity to read what they have written, and others will be encouraged to read their favorite Bly poem or something they have written. For more information go to the Madison Mercantile Facebook page or call 320-361-0006.

On July 31 at the Lac qui Parle County Museum, 1:30 p.m. premiere of “Robert and Carol Bly, Literary Legends of the Prairie,” a video documentary by Rachel Croatt and Joyce Meyer about Robert Bly’s life growing up in Lac qui Parle County, surrounded by the beautiful prairie, his marriage to Carol McLean in 1955, their life on the farm and their involvement with the Madison community. It includes never-before-shared photos and stories of the Blys and their children. Two of the Bly children will also be at the event to share more information about growing up on the prairies of Lac qui Parle. A barbecue supper will be served after the program; freewill donations will be used to help preserve the Robert Bly Study. For more information go to the Lac qui Parle County Historical Society Facebook page or call the Museum office at 320-598-7678.


Maynard History Museum

Maynard, open by appointment, call the Maynard city office at 320-367-2140.

Norway Lake Log Church

New London, 7:15 p.m. Saturdays, July 9 through Aug. 13, vespers service followed by social hour, west of New London off County Road 40 on 99th St. N.W. or by appointment, call 320-905-1539. The summer festival program will be at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 21.

Paynesville Area Historical Museum

Paynesville, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, through Sept. 3, 251 Ampe Drive; freewill donation.

Raptor Ridge

New London, open by appointment, call 320-354-8820, 12050 Co. Rd. 40 N.E. Larry and Barb Levin’s natural history 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.

Renville County Historical Society

Morton, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, research library by appointment only; adults $5, ages 6-12 $3, children 5 and under free. For more information or for a library appointment call 507-697-6147, or email , website .

Ghosts of the U.S.-Dakota War 1862: July 14, 7 p.m., $5 plus an item for the Renville County Food Shelf, seating is limited so pre-registration is required, call 507-697-6147. Join ghost hunter and historian Adrian Lee, along with his elite team of paranormal investigators, on a tour of the most haunted historic places of the U.S.-Dakota War. Learn about specialist equipment and new theories for investigating the paranormal in this one-of-a-kind haunted landmark guide. His chilling firsthand investigations, accompanied by rich historical details, will send shivers down your spine as he recovers history from the lips of the dead.

Wild Roots: July 21, 6 to 8 p.m., free will donation and non-perishable items for the Renville County Food Shelf, pre-registration required, call 507-697-6147; Nicole Zempel presents two-hour interactive workshop on “Fast Forage” on the museum grounds, ID basics, hands-on learning with wild mushrooms and the opportunity to taste what all the fuss is about. Learn about mushroom spore prints and make your own to keep.

Renville City Museum

Renville, open by appointment, Main Street; 320-329-8210.

Sacred Heart Area Museum

Sacred Heart, 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays and by appointment, U.S. Highway 212 in Sacred Heart; free admission, donations appreciated, call 320-765-2274, email .

Schwanke’s Museum

Willmar, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, run mid-may through October, or by appointment, 3310 Business Highway 71 S.; features roadway and farm field history, more than 300 tractors, cars, trucks and fire trucks; gift shop; adults $6, under 12 are $3, 5 and under admitted free; 320-235-4341.

Swift County

Benson, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, or by appointment, 2135 Minnesota Ave.; free admission; 320-843-4467.

Stevens County Historical Museum

Morris, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, Saturday by appointment, 116 6th St. W.; free admission; 320-589-1719. Walking tours have been developed for Alberta, Chokio, Donnelly, Hancock and several parts of Morris. They take about an hour to walk the full path; please stay on the sidewalk and do not enter private property. Check the website to see where brochures/maps are available for each tour.

Yellow Medicine County Museum

Granite Falls, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, through Sept. 3, junction of Minnesota highways 23 and 67 on the Minnesota River. For more information call 320-564-4479.

Donna Middleton started working at the West Central Tribune in 1975 and has been the news assistant since 1992. She compiles the arts, health, farm and community page calendars, as well as rewrites and works on the special sections.
She can be contacted at or phone 320-214-4341.
What To Read Next
Exhibits on display in the next month
Fine arts and student performances at area colleges
Southwest Minnesota Arts Council events in the next month
Original programs scheduled for broadcast on Pioneer Public TV