If you're looking for an educational, engaging, and affordable attraction in Rochester, the History Center has you covered! Our exhibits explore the extraordinary and everyday stories of Olmsted County and Rochester and the people who live here.

Featured Exhibit

To Have and To Hold: 10 Years of Marriage Equality in Minnesota

On March 14, 2013, same-sex marriage was made legal in Minnesota. 10 years later, this exhibit examines the laws, activism, and legal cases that culminated in marriage equality for all people in Minnesota, as well as sharing the perspectives of Olmsted County's LGBTQ+ community.


Life and Death in Olmsted County

This exhibit explores society’s views of death, mourning, and cemetery spaces throughout history through the lens of the 160th Anniversary of Oakwood Cemetery in Rochester, Minnesota. From 1863 to 2023, Olmsted County residents have mourned and honored the people they've lost.

Community Connections: African Americans in Rochester-
CLOSED New Exhibit Coming Soon

What makes a community?  Learn how the African-American community in Rochester developed in the 1960s and 1970s.  See how companies, social groups, churches, and sports helped create a community.


On July 14th, 1953, KROC-TV (now known as KTTC) went on the air with initial test patterns. This started a tradition of bringing the news to the people of Rochester and Southeastern Minnesota.

This exhibit was curated by the marketing team at KTTC. Learn more on their website: KTTC at 70 Years

Rochester Recordings: Moshpits and Memories

Explore Rochester's music scene of the 90s and 00s through old show flyers, band merch, videos, recordings, and more! 

This exhibit was curated by the community group Rochester Recordings - find them on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram!

A Lasting Legacy: The Story of the Mayo Family

Discover the stories of the members of the Mayo family and how their lives and achievements affected Rochester, Minnesota.

Olmsted County Through Time

The history of Olmsted County spans thousands of years. Travel through this history with the stories and artifacts in the Olmsted County Exhibit.  Journey from the prehistoric period, with its cephalopods and woolly mammoths, to the present, learning about the Native peoples, early European settlers, and surveying. The Olmsted County Exhibit tells the story of our community’s land and people. 

I WANT YOU: Olmsted County Service During World War II

In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, America joined the Allies in World War II to combat Germany, Japan, and Italy. Countless men either enlisted or were drafted into the armed forces. The exhibit features the stories of men and women from Olmsted County who served their country.

Origins of Olmsted County: The Land for Enterprise

Learn how Olmsted County enticed settlers and what benefits the county offered. The exhibit includes a hands-on section where you can handle items early settlers brought with them when moving to Minnesota. Along with Olmsted County, learn about the numerous treaties that shaped the state of Minnesota.

Get to Know a Township: Cascade 

The building blocks for democracy can be linked to our townships in Olmsted County. Discover the unique story of both Cascade and Haverhill and the dispute they shared in 1870.

The Legacy of Gold Cross Ambulance

The exhibit highlights John Perkins and some of the innovative technology (AED) that John pioneered into Gold Cross use during their long history. Gold Cross was prominent in the state of Minnesota with locations in Rochester, Owatonna, Mankato and Duluth.

Traveling Exhibits

The History Center schedules a range of traveling exhibits. Each one can be exhibited from several weeks to several months at a time. Check back to see any upcoming traveling exhibits.