Current Events

The History Center of Olmsted County offers a variety of events throughout the year. All events are listed at Central Standard Time (CST) unless otherwise stated. As a non-profit, our events are only possible with the support of the community! If you would like to sponsor an event, call the History Center at 507-282-9447, or contact us by email.



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Events


2021 Events Coming

Spit Spreads Death: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 in Philadelphia (virtual presentation)

May 20th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
During fall, 1918, in the last months of World War I, Philadelphia hosted the largest parade in its history to raise funds for the war chest. Within days, influenza casualties overwhelmed hospitals and paralyzed the city. In this illustrated presentation, Robert D. Hicks, former director of the Mütter Museum, discusses the pandemic as a social catastrophe and considers its memorialization today.

From Oxen to Automation: The Evolving Minnesota Farmer

June 3rd, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Farming has come quite a long way. Hear from educators from Farm America all about the history of farming right here in Minnesota! Follow the technological progression of Minnesota's farmers to discover how machines and GPS are helping improve land stewardship. We cannot wait to see you there!

Roosters vs Local Media

June 5th, 2021
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
The Roosters first year was 1997, and their very first match was against a group of local media personnel. With 2021 being our 25th year, we wanted to have a match to celebrate that event, and host a group of local media with our first home match of 2021. We hope this event will serve as a great community gathering spot to celebrate the 25 great years the Roosters have had with the History Center of Olmsted County.

For more information, visit the Roosters Facebook page.

Food on the Farm: Stoppel Farm Tour

June 6th, 2021
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
What did early settlers of Olmsted County eat? How were their food ways different from ours? How are they similar? Come learn all about this and more at Food on the Farm! We are excited to be offering this unique look at the life of the Stoppel family on their very own farm while we sample different foods that the Stoppels would have actually eaten! Come out and have a bite, learn some history and explore this magnificent site! Food will also be available for purchase from True Smoke BBQ food truck.

Digging the Past

June 9th, 2021
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Travel back in time with the History Center as we learn what plants and animals roamed the earth thousands of years ago! Visit with paleontologists from the Science Museum of Minnesota and dig up your very own fossils! Recommended for ages 8 to 14. Please complete the registration form here.

Walk a Century in My Shoes: Looking Down at American History (virtual presentation)

June 10th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Sarah Christie Stevens (1844-1919) lived on a farm in Blue Earth County and owned no more than four pairs of shoes. I’m a Minnesota/US historian (1950- ), living in Hennepin County, and willing to admit to owning probably 30 pairs. Together, we will explore why Sarah had so few (it wasn’t because she was poor, she wasn’t) and I have so many (and I don’t have nearly as many as some women I know —maybe even you!). The comparison takes us into changes in industrialization, advertising, architecture, transportation, sports. Before you come, count your own shoes (men, too!) and call to mind your favorites. Our shoes tell us about our society. They also tell about ourselves and our place in history. Historians call this kind of history “Material culture.” I live to call it your history and mine.

Painting, Planting and the Past

June 12th, 2021
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Are you excited for summer? Have some creative ideas that you just can't get out of your head? Then, come down and create your own custom planting pot and start growing! We will also be doing tours of our community gardens to get you inspired to work on your own gardens and we will learn about the traditional herbs of Native Americans who lived in Olmsted County and what they were used for! This is going to be a great day to be outside and we hope you will join us!

Pioneer Life

June 16th, 2021
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Are you ready to have fun on the farm?? Come explore the lives of early pioneers and learn all about life on the George Stoppel Farm. We have a fun filled day camp all planned and just waiting for you! Recommended for ages 8 to 14. Please complete the registration form Please complete the registration form here.

Turnout: Making Minnesota the State that Votes (virtual presentation)

June 17th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Minnesota has a long history of high voter turnout for different elections and that is not by accident. While working as Secretary of State, Joan Anderson Growe worked hard to encourage voting and eliminate obstacles to voting. Her new book, written with Lori Sturdevant, explores this and other themes and both authors will be present to discuss their book. Our VIP experience includes a copy of Growe and Sturdevant's book, Turnout , mailed directly to your home! Come learn about voting in Minnesota!

Pioneer School Day

June 23rd, 2021
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
What did kids do before technology? Come and visit the Hadley Valley School house and learn all about school in the 1800s. We will have some fun activities while we learn more about the past and early pioneer kids. Recommended for ages 8 to 14. Please complete the registration form here.

Digging the Past

June 30th, 2021
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Travel back in time with the History Center as we learn what plants and animals roamed the earth thousands of years ago! Visit with paleontologists from the Science Museum of Minnesota and dig up your very own fossils! Recommended for ages 8 to 14. Please complete the registration form here.

Pioneer Life

July 7th, 2021
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Are you ready to have fun on the farm?? Come explore the lives of early pioneers and learn all about life on the George Stoppel Farm. We have a fun filled day camp all planned and just waiting for you! Recommended for ages 8 to 14. Please complete the registration form here.

Discovery, Exploration and Science in 36 Miles of Cave Passages

July 8th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Come and learn the history that is right beneath your feet! Martin Larsen, the president of the Minnesota Caving Club, will be presenting on his research regarding the diverse and unique cave systems that are present in Southeastern Minnesota. Everything that we do impacts this amazing collection right under us and Larsen has spent years learning about them and will be sharing his knowledge with us!

Pioneer School Day

July 14th, 2021
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
What did kids do before technology? Come and visit the Hadley Valley School house and learn all about school in the 1800s. We will have some fun activities while we learn more about the past and early pioneer kids. Recommended for ages 8 to 14. Please complete the registration form here.

The Confederate Battle Flag: Symbol of Heritage or Discord? (virtual presentation)

July 15th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
What is the Confederate Battle Flag and what does it represent today? Dr. Cameron Lippard, Professor and Chair of the Sociology Department at Appalachian State University, will present his research on the Confederate battle flag as a symbol of heritage and discord. During his session, Dr. Lippard will present theory and research on the power of symbols, as well as how they can be used to honor and dishonor memoires. He will also cover the historical use of the Confederate battle flag, its transition to a symbol of racial division, and its use in multiple anti-government and anti-integration efforts around the world.
This event is FREE but we do ask that you pre register so that we can send you the zoom link.

Living History Fair

July 17th, 2021
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Come explore the 19th Century here at the History Center! This year, we will be recreating the Battle of Wilson's Creek while transforming our grounds into a robust 19th century village complete with handcrafts, a tin smith and oh so much more! Join the Union Army, learn how to sew a quilt, check out the latest fashions and watch cannons explode in this action packed family friendly event! Tickets coming soon!

Living History Fair

July 18th, 2021
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Come explore the 19th Century here at the History Center! This year, we will be recreating the Battle of Wilson's Creek while transforming our grounds into a robust 19th century village complete with handcrafts, a tin smith and oh so much more! Join the Union Army, learn how to sew a quilt, check out the latest fashions and watch cannons explode in this action packed family friendly event! Tickets coming soon!

Pioneer Life

July 21st, 2021
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Are you ready to have fun on the farm?? Come explore the lives of early pioneers and learn all about life on the George Stoppel Farm. We have a fun filled day camp all planned and just waiting for you! Recommended for ages 8 to 14. Please complete the registration form here.

Exploring the Unknown: Lessons from George W. Gibbs Jr.'s Legacy (virtual presentation)

July 22nd, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
George W Gibbs, Jr., joined Admiral Richard E. Byrd's III United States Antarctic Expedition from 1939-1941. As a mess attendant aboard the USS Bear, Gibbs was the first Black explorer to set foot on the continent. Gibbs made it a point to leave things better than he found them. Rochester, MN has a more cohesive history because of his contributions to the town he loved. Discover the lessons from his adventures and how it informed his legacy of leadership. Part history and part call to action, The Call of Antarctica: Exploring and Protecting the World's Coldest Climate educates you on this historic expedition and asks the important question: Have you heard the voice of Antarctica? Written by his daughter, the book launches in August 2021. This event is at Central Standard Time (CST).

Digging the Past

July 28th, 2021
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Travel back in time with the History Center as we learn what plants and animals roamed the earth thousands of years ago! Visit with paleontologists from the Science Museum of Minnesota and dig up your very own fossils! Recommended for ages 8 to 14. Please complete the registration form here.

Pioneer School Day

August 4th, 2021
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
What did kids do before technology? Come and visit the Hadley Valley School house and learn all about school in the 1800s. We will have some fun activities while we learn more about the past and early pioneer kids. Recommended for ages 8 to 14. Please complete the registration form here.

Hootenanny at the History Center

September 18th, 2021
1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Grab your picnic blankets and sun block! The Hootenanny at the History Center is back!! Come and enjoy a nice afternoon of local blue grass music while sampling some of the finest food truck cuisine that Rochester has to offer. We are excited to welcome back Root River Jam while also offering some new performers. You will have to come and check out all that we have in store for this great afternoon! Tickets coming soon!

Creepy Doll Cocktail Party

October 23rd, 2021
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The creepy dolls are back and they are ready to celebrate with you! Come and meet our special contestants in the flesh, so to speak, and learn the history of these creeptakular dolls while enjoying themed cocktails and live music! And, don't forget your Halloween costume as we decide who truly is the creepiest of them all! Tickets coming soon.