Educational Programs

The History Center of Olmsted County is proud to offer educational programming designed for your enjoyment. There’s something here for you whether you are 8 or 80 - tours, exhibits, special events, presentations, classes, and even off-site activities. Peruse this page to learn about all of the awesome education opportunities we have available to you.

Traveling Programs

Can’t make it in to see us? No worries, we can bring historical fun to you with our Traveling Program. There’s no limit on the audience age range – everyone is welcome! For the best experience, we suggest that the number of attendees be kept between 20 and 35 people. We offer a variety of different program options for a pre-determined presentation fee.

  • One 45 minute presentation = $100.00
  • Add a second presentation = + $75.00
  • Add a third presentation = + $50.00

*Note – additional presentations must be in the same building on the same day. For more than three presentations, or for programs at care facilities, scouts, youth groups, and student organizations, please contact Aaron Saterdalen at 507-282-9447 or by email at programs@olmstedhistory.com.

Current Traveling Program Options

Immigrant Trunk – See the contents of an immigrant trunk and discover the immigration journey of an 1800’s Norwegian family.

Life as a Pioneer Child – Experience life as a pioneer child via hands-on exploration of household artifacts, an inquiry-based discussion, and playing period-specific games.

The One Room Schoolhouse – Learn classroom activities typical in the late 1800s including elocution practice, slate-writing, and lessons from McGuffey’s Readers. Compare student and teacher expectations of the past to those present today. This program is only offered in winter.

How WWII Started – Understand how WWII began with fun facts, relevant pictures, and related artifacts from the 1940s.

Life as a Civil War Solider – View real artifacts, photos, and guns from the Civil War! Learn what it was like to be a Civil War soldier in the 1860s. This presentation is aligned to the Minnesota social studies standards.

Firearms of the 1800s – Explore the evolution of 1800s firearms! Get hands-on interaction with black powder firearms, and see photos of the full line of firearms in the collection at the History Center.

Americans Move West - Discover the occupations of the Wild Wild West that had a lasting impact in the 21st century, like Miners, Ranchers, and Cowboys.

Summer Day Camps

Immerse your child in history with a summer day camp! Rest assured, knowing that your child will be having a blast and learning at the same time. Day Camps at the History Center allow children to participate in "living history," creating a more engaging learning environment.

All camps run from 10a.m. – 2p.m. Please make sure that your child has a sack lunch, and wears appropriate clothing. Space is limited so be sure to register today. Pre-payment is required for all Summer Day Camps. For additional information, please email programs@olmstedhistory.com.

Pioneer Life at the Cabin Day Camp

Description: Are you ready to travel back in time? Your child will experience mid-1800s pioneer life. They will work alongside an interpreter as they live the life of a pioneer child and tend gardens, beat rugs, wash clothing, play pioneer games, and more!

Accepting: 12 students between 1st and 6th grade

Dates: Wednesday, July 19th

Cost: $30 non-members, $25 members

Civil War Soldier Day Camp

Description: Attention all recruits! Enlist in the 3rd MN Company for an afternoon at the History Center of Olmsted County. Spend the afternoon learning what life was like for soldiers serving in the 1860s. Attendees will enlist, learn to march and drill, watch musket firings, and much more.

Accepting: 16 students between 3rd and 8th grade

Dates: This camp is not offered for 2017.

Cost: $45 non-members, $40 members

Carpenter Workshop

Description: Prior to 1900, nearly all furniture was made by hand. This workshop gives children an introduction into carpentry through building their own wood projects. Attendees will learn how to use carpentry tools (tools are provided) from our volunteers and/or staff, who will assist with the projects. Projects may include a birdhouse, toolbox, jewelry hanger, or wooden toy gun.

Accepting: 12 students between 1st and 6th grade

Dates: Wednesday, August 2nd

Cost: $30 non-members, $25 members

Summer Schoolhouse Day Camp

Description: Let your child step back in time and experience what it was like to be a student in a one-room schoolhouse. It will be a day full of learning and reenacting with lessons in reading, arithmetic, geography, penmanship, and elocution. There’s even a spelling bee! Of course, no school day is complete without recess so we’ve added in some 19th-century games.

Accepting: 12 students between 3rd and 7th grade

Dates: Wednesday, August 23rd

Cost: $30 non-members, $25 members

History Hay Rides

Come take a ride through history with us. Relax on our canopied wagon this summer season as you take a 90 minute guided tour of the History Center campus. You’ll see:

  • The George Stoppel Farmstead
  • The William Dee Log Cabin and Heritage Garden
  • The Hadley Valley Schoolhouse
  • The Ralph Stoppel Farmstead

Tuesdays from June 15th – August 11th

Cost is $8.00 for adults and $4.00 for children 12 and under. (Receive a $4.00 discount on adult tickets for History Center members!) No registration required, but tours are on a first come, first serve basis. For more information, call 507-282-9447.

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