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Group Tours & Field Trips

In 1962 the Society was offered the Saco Church located 7 miles southwest of Owatonna, and with the support of the Steele County Agricultural Society, the Society permanently leased a portion of the southeast section of the fairgrounds to begin a pioneer village.   The original layout was similar to the center of Owatonna and its Central Park, which was originally circular. Thus was established the Village of Yesteryear, which has grown in the years since through the additional move of historic structures, as well as museum buildings built on site.

Built in 1868-69 by Mark Hill Dunnell, an emigrant from Maine, the Italianate-style 11-room house features a belvedere, often called a Widow’s Watch, from its common use on the east coast—wives could watch for their husband’s ship, a ship that often might not return. Congressman Dunnell served three years as Minnesota Superintendent of Schools and then 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, the only U.S. congressman from Owatonna. It has period furnishings throughout provided by residents of Steele County and reveals the story of a most influential Minnesota family. 

The SCHS offers custom tours for your school.

SCHS lectures, roundtables and workshops are educational and entertaining. You are sure to learn something new!

SCHS offers hands-on education for homeschool families.  

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Hours & Rates

 

T, W, & F: 10am - 4pm
TH: 10am - 8pm
SAT: 10am - 3pm
Closed SUN, MON

 

History Center

Adult Admission: $5
Children: 7 - 16 $3
Six and under: FREE

SCHS Members: FREE

 

Village of Yesteryear

Adult Admission: $5
Children: 7 - 16 $3
Six and under: FREE

Group Rates Available
SCHS Members: one free tour

 

History Center & Village of Yesteryear

Adult Admission: $8
Children: 7 - 16 $5
Six and under: FREE

Group Rates Available
SCHS Members: FREE

 

Village guided tours daily May 1st through September 30th at 1:30 pm Tuesday through Sunday or by appointment.