First Monday of every month 10:30-noon

SPARK! at the History Center of Olmsted County is a monthly program designed specifically for people living with memory loss and their care partners. SPARK! is not about the objects, artwork or documents, but rather the items serve as a jumping-off point for sharing stories, conversation and friendship.

SPARK! is for adults with memory loss and related dementia in the early to middle stages and their care partners.  Care partners are encouraged to actively participate.  Confidentiality and dignity are always respected.

                             Space is limited. Register by calling Aaron Saterdalen at 507-282-9447 or email                                                                                   


    This program is free thanks to the generous support from




The HCOC Archives is happy to announce the availability of the newly digitized KTTC News Out-takes Collection! Check out the Resources page for a complete finding aid and index.  










                                     Jim Sloan and the 1911 Crawford Diary

     The Harold Crawford Collection has recently received an important addition. A diary kept by him in 1911 was purchased by the Jim & Judy Sloan Foundation and donated to our archives. Their ongoing generosity to the History Center is gratefully acknowledged.

     In 1911, Harold Crawford was in his junior year at the University of Illinois School of Architecture. This diary records many details of his academic and social life, which provide new insights into his personality and character. This was a formative year in the life of this iconic figure in the history of Rochester. In 1913 Crawford graduated from Illinois with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. That fall he entered Harvard University’s graduate program in art and architecture, receiving a Master’s Degree in 1916. He then returned to Rochester and started his architecture practice here which spanned a half century. 

     His list of works includes about 150 built projects. His best known local buildings include the old Rochester Public Library (now the student center for Mayo School of Medicine) and the many beautiful homes designed by him on Pill Hill. His works are far more extensive than just these, however. In addition to more residences they also include schools, churches, creameries, industrial buildings, public buildings and commercial structures. They are not just in Rochester, but also occur in many cities and towns across southern Minnesota. Crawford retired from the practice of architecture in the late 1960s and then devoted his remaining years to his passion for watercolor painting. He died in 1981 and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery.

     For more information on the subject, see Master Architect: The Life and Works of Harold Crawford, by Ken Allsen, available in the History Center Gift Shop. The drawings and other artifacts of the Crawford Collection may be viewed in the Library of the History Center. There is also a display of his paintings and some related artifacts in the Museum.

IMG_0955.JPG"Olmsted County and the Great War"

In honor of World War I, the History Center of Olmsted County is featuring "Olmsted County and the Great War." Click the image to the right to learn more about the exhibit and discover how the war affected the people of Olmsted County.





Featured Event

Alan Calavano History Lectures


Jan 24, 2019 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM


"Carillion Bells of Mayo Clinic" by Austin Ferguson


$2.00 non member

Featured Event



Feb 02, 2019 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM


The History Center will be having indoor Winterfest activites from 10am - 1pm February 2, 2019. There will be quill pen and paper writing, corn shelllng, apple press, coloring station, vintage toys and much more. Parents are free!


5.00 Adult, Kids 0-12 Free

Featured Event

Women's History Circle


Feb 04, 2019 5:30 PM - 6:35 PM


Women's History Circle Organizational meeting. Will meet the first Monday of every month at 5:30 pm. New members welcome.



To see more programs and events please check out our Calendar of Events!


Olmsted History Center
Tuesday – Saturday
9 am to 5 p

Closed All Major Holidays.               

On days that inclement weather occurs the History Center will close consistent with Rochester Public Schools closures.


Adults: $5.00
Children: $2.00
HCOC Members: Free