Museums and historic sites published Sept. 2, 2020

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 adults, ages 12 and under and KCHS members admitted for free, located at the train engine on North Business Highway 71 across from Robbins Island; the KCHS museum has a number of featured exhibits, but Sperry House and outbuildings closed. The Guri Endreson site north of Willmar is open; 320-235-1881.


Here are some of the museum exhibits.

World War I: Exhibit focusing on Kandiyohi County.

Favorite Things, the Collection Inventory: Rotating display each month as the collection specialists highlight their favorite things they inventoried.

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.


Church in Kandiyohi County: Artifacts and photos pertaining to the rich history of the Church in Kandiyohi County.

Civil War Veterans of Kandiyohi County: Display of information on more than 200 Civil War veterans that lived in Kandiyohi County. New photos, information or artifacts on the soldiers is always welcome. A book of biographical and military information on the veterans is available for sale.

Civil, Spanish-America and the World Wars: Military items, photos of local veterans, and lists of local GAR veterans.

Funerals & Funeral Homes: Display showing the history of funeral homes in Kandiyohi County and highlights the different traditions associated with funerals over time.

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.

Hanscom Crazy Quilt: A crazy quilt made by Amy and Marion Hanscom.

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.

Native Americans: Display highlighting the different Native American artifacts in the KCHS collection.


The New Deal in Kandiyohi County: A display highlighting the New Deal and its effects on Kandiyohi County which focuses on WPA projects, such as, Willmar War Memorial Auditorium and Sibley State Park.

Railroad: tells the story how a train works, the story of steam, passenger and freight cars, the caboose and the use of the depot and includes a model railroad.

Something’s Afoot: Photographs, shoe store fixtures and shoes from the 1870s to the 1970s.

Surviving through Time: The story of pioneer Guri Endreson’s struggles with life and happenings during the U.S. Dakota Conflict of 1862. It also features the story of the Endreson Cabin on Solomon Lake.

U.S.-Dakota War of 1862: A display telling the very important story of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 in Kandiyohi County.

West Central Baseball Hall of Fame: Features artifacts and information about the inductees in the West Central Baseball Hall of Fame.

Willmar 8: Letters, newspapers, photos and scrapbooks tell the history of the Willmar 8 strike.

Atwater Area Historical Society

Atwater, by appointment, call Carol at 320-266-7626, Jon at 320-444-0337, Sue at 320-220-0970 or Jo at 320-295-1354, Atwater Area Historical Society and Museum, 500 Pleasant Ave. W.


Chippewa County Historical Society

The Chippewa County Historical Society sites are all closed with only the Horse Power show being held. For more information or if you would like to bring a team of horses for the day, call 320-269-7636,e- mail or web site .

Horse Power Event: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 12, Swensson Farm Museum, 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 entire event will be outside and a mask that covers the mouth and nose are required when within six feet of other attendees. The house and barn will not be open. Vendors will be located on the lawn and there will be music.

The 16th annual celebration of farming in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and focuses on horse drawn equipment with demonstrations including corn binding, dragging, plowing, disking, raking, potato digging, the gang plow and the walking/sulky plow. A parade will begin at 3 p.m.

Freshly dug potatoes will be available at 11:30 a.m. and again at 1:30 p.m. For $2 you can 'hand choose' potatoes to put into your 5 pound bag. There is also a pumpkin patch for the children.

A harnessing demonstration and rope making will take place near the barn.

A Wild Edibles Tour, led by Audrey Arner, will be at 11 a.m. Meet near the back porch of the house to participate in this tour.

The Yellowstone Trail Alliance Sociability Run will also be traveling to the farm with a variety of vintage automobiles.

Lunch will be available on the grounds from the Papa D’s Diner. There are picnic tables on the grounds but feel free to bring chairs or a blanket to have a physically distanced picnic.

Admission is free this year but donations are very much appreciated.

Danube Historical Society

The Danube Historical Society Museum is open from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Fridays in the former Danube Depot Building or by appointment, call 320-212-2877.

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. To visit, call 320-275-3077 or email to make an appointment.

Grove City Historical Museum

Grove City, open by appointment, call Dorothy 320-693-9140, 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. Social distancing rules will be observed, masks required (provided if needed) and no touching of artifacts.

The Women of Lac qui Parle County: celebrates the role women played in our county’s history and the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

Women’s Suffrage: through Sept. 6, a traveling exhibit on loan from The League of Women Voters.

Maynard History Museum

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

Paynesville Area Historical Museum

Paynesville, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, through Labor Day, 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 Friday or by appointment, capacity limited; adults $5, ages 6-17 $3, children 5 and under free. For more information or for an appointment call 507-697-6147, or email

Featured town: Danube is the featured town for 2020.

Renville City Museum

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

Sacred Heart Area Museum

Sacred Heart, 1:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, by appointment only, U.S. Highway 212 in Sacred Heart; free admission, donations appreciated, contact Sonja at 320-765-2274 or Elaine at 320-894-7907; email .

Go Team Go: Sacred Heart sports exhibit through the end of the year.

Schwanke’s Museum

Willmar, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, through Oct. 31, 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.

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.

Wooden Spoons and Aprons: through Nov. 20, exhibit of a wide range of pioneer kitchen artifacts including handmade aprons, butter churns, and more.

Suffrage centennial: through Dec.30, influential women who lived and worked in Stevens County, and related artifacts.

Related Topics: ART
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.
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