Operation Tombstone: A Limited Time Steele County Historical Society Tour

November 2, 2018

The Great War sprang upon Minnesota at a time of vast political and social upheaval. It brought with it resolution to some problems, leaving uncertainty and new issues in its wake. Visit the Steele County History Center and read first-hand accounts by Steele County residents, experience warfare through sights, sounds and smells, sing along with WWI songs, and more!


As The Great War Centennial continues, SCHS is launching a self-guided cemetery tour, Operation Tombstone. This tour will highlight the lives of Steele County men who served our country during The Great War on the Home Front or in the fields of Europe. The kiosks will be placed in various cemeteries throughout Steele County and will contain biographies, photographs, and discussions of each person’s life.


You can take this tour as your time allows and at your own pace. Maps are available for purchase at the Steele County History Center for $5 each. This map will serve as your guide to the selected cemeteries, show the location of each grave on the tour, and features photos and information on the Great War era.


This limited time tour will be available from 10 am to dusk on Friday, November 9 to 2:00 pm Monday, November 12. Each stop will bring you closer to one of our predecessors and give you a deeper understanding of the impact of The Great War 100.


“There is something about visiting a gravesite that brings life back into the people I research. I can connect with them.  They are real. I am here with them.  I can tell them their lives have not been forgotten. It’s a very personal and private way to feel history,” stated Barry D. Adams, SCHS Volunteer


Over Here, Over There will be on display for two years and will offer a wide range of events and activities, with new experiences and events being introduced throughout the exhibit.


This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society and with the generous support of the Wenger Foundation, an independent, private foundation established by members of the Wenger family.


The Steele County Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1949. Its mission is to preserve and share Steele County history today for tomorrow.  The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Steele County’s past through museum exhibits, research, collections, tours, educational programs and book publishing. 


The Steele County Historical Society, located at 1700 Austin Road, Owatonna, is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am until 4 pm, Thursdays from 10 am until 8 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am until 3 pm. For more information, please call our office at 507-451-1420.

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