Past Exhibits

Early Years of Base Ball

Early Years of Base Ball

This was a supporting exhibit that was developed to augment a traveling exhibit on loan from Dunn County Historical Society from Menomonie, Wisconsin about their Early Negro Base Ball Leagues. On view in the Spring 2013, it featured some objects from our collections.  We also developed a nice power point on Lou Gehrig, his visit here to Rochester and who was diagnosed with his terminal disease while here.

Why Treaties Matter


This exhibit was developed in conjunction with a traveling exhibit Mayo Clinic offered in July of 2012. “Why Treaties Matter” was developed by the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.   The exhibit deals with the clash of cultures between Indians and white settlers, how treaties changed their way of life and the role they played in the U.S./Dakota War of 1862, through the 20th century exploitation of tribal lands and modern day tribal government.

Much of our Native American Collection is from that time period. Many of these pieces were on view at the History Center of Olmsted County through the month of August 2012.

The Piccard Balloon Flight

Piccard Balloon

In 1937, Dr. Jean Piccard, a Professor of Aeronautics at the University of Minnesota, was sponsored by the Rochester Kiwanis Club to launch an experimental balloon flight from Soldiers Field. A few facts: The experiment used a total of 94 hydrogen filled balloons and the cost of the experiment  then was estimated at $2,500. Today it would be at least $41,000. This exhibit ran from July – August 2012.

RF Evans Impressions

Mr. Ralph Folland Evans came to Olmsted County for a very specific reason, to work with a friend in the design of a new hotel. What became of that project was part of a local landmark and a series of watercolors that capture the viewer’s attention.

RF Evans

Beyond the Frame

This was an exhibit that focused on items from the fine arts collection. The exhibit was prepared following the cataloging and inventory of the collection.

Ed Fischer: 25 Years of Cartooning

The exhibit featured both originals and copies of Ed Fischer’s works. Ed Fischer worked as the staff cartoonist for the Rochester Post-Bulletin for 25 years. The topics of Transportation, Politics, Health, and Ed’s Favorite Cartoons showed Ed Fischer’s talent and humor.

Surveying the Quilts of Olmsted County

In Minnesota and Olmsted County history, quilting and surveying played key roles. Quilters subdivided fabric into fascinating designs, while surveyors subdivided the land, eventually leading to the patterned landscape we see today.
This exhibit featured several quilts from the History Center’s collection, including crazy quilts and an 1899 red work signature quilt from Grace Universalist Church (Stones from the church went into the construction of Mayowood.)  In addition, the surveying equipment of Col. George Healy, an early Olmsted County pioneer, revealed home life of more than a century ago.