Views from the Past...

Why Treaties Matter Poster Why Treaties Matter

December 8-March 9, 2019

At the History Center, 424 Warren Street, Mankato

In August 2010, a resolution creating a unique partnership of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. was approved unanimously by the tribes residing in Minnesota and made it possible for the exhibition to be developed as an educational tool for Minnesota audiences.

The exhibition will include 20 free standing banners with evocative text, historical and contemporary photographs and maps, and a 10-minute video titled, “A Day in the Life of the Minnesota Tribal Nations.

This exhibit reveals how Dakota and Ojibwe treaties with the U.S.government affected the lands and lifeways of the Indigenous peoples of the place we now call Minnesota, and explains why these binding agreements between nations still matter today. It is meant to share important cultural information with all Minnesotans, that they may better understand the true circumstances surrounding Minnesota land, its use, and even the treatment of the land Indigenous peoples today.

Programs around this event include:

Deember 8, 10 a.m. to Noon - Young Historians - The Ride

December 8, 1-4 p.m. - Exhibit Opening

December 20, Noon - 1 p.m. - History Bits & Bites - Documentary Showing - Dakota 38 Documentary: Healing Journey of the Dakota People

December 26, Welcome Riders Event - More info to come

January 12 - 10 a.m. to Noon - Young Historians - Connections to the Land

January 31 - Program details to come

February 9 - 10 a.m. to Noon - Young Historians - Dakota Traditions

February 16 - Program details to come

March 9 - Exhibit Closing Program

Educators Open House Announcement Educators Open House

Wednesday, August 29, 3-5 p.m.
Thursday, August 30, 3-5 p.m.

The Blue Earth County Historical Society (BECHS) is hosting a free Educator Open House August 29 and 30 from 3-5 p.m. at the Blue Earth County History Center.

We invite all teachers, school support staff and education administrators to come explore the Museum, Research Center and Hands-on Play Areas and discover the diversity of our educational resources.

BECHS offers varied opportunities for students Pre-K and up. From grade-appropriate tours of the Museum or Hubbard House, to interactive classroom visits, this Open House is a great time to learn more about these engaging activities and how they support current education standards.

Self-guided and brief staff-guided tours will be available at both the History Center and Historic Hubbard House. All tours originate at the Blue Earth County History Center.

Questions? Call us at 507-345-5566 or

Educators may be eligible for Continuing Education or Professional Development credits. Please check with your School District Professional Development Coordinator.

1918: Home and Abroad Poster 1918: Home and Abroad

July 7-November 24, 2018

A century ago, the United States was entrenched in a World War and fighting Spanish Influenza. Here in Blue Earth County, the Main Street Brigde had just been completed and local families were doing all they could to help the War efforts. Visit this great exhibit and see what life was like at home and abroad in 1918!

Free and Open to the Public.

Independence Day History Center Closed Independence Day

The History Center will be closed for Independence Day. We hope you enjoy a community celebration!

Pub Crawl, June 8, 6 p.m. Pub 500, Unnies and the Square Deal Historic South Front Street Pub Crawl

Three businesses in Mankato’s City Center will provide a portal into the past as the Blue Earth County Historical Society presents the Historic South Front Street Pub Crawl on Friday, June 8, 2018 at 6 p.m. 

The three stops include The Square Deal, Ummies Bar and Grill and event sponsor Pub 500.   

In addition to free appetizers and great drink specials at each business, the historic walking tour with a twist will include a glimpse into the history of the businesses and buildings on historic South Front Street. Cost is $20 for Historical Society members, $25 for non-members.

Space is limited.

History Center with Snow Closed for Snow

Due to the impending snow, the History Center will be closed April 14, 2018

Man on a Mission promo, sold out event Man on a Mission

Join us for an engaging evening starting with a 60s inspired meal at Pub 500 and then a participatory viewing of the locally-made film Man on a Mission​ at True Facade Pictures. Dress to impress; 1960s attire encouraged.

Sponsored by the Greater Mankato Rotary.

​Miles West, a Mankato Lawyer, is recruited by the government to rescue the daughter of a scientist being held by the East Germans in the 1965 Cold War Thriller film Man on a Mission. ​The movie, funded by the Mankato Rotary Club, was filmed in and around Mankato, using local actors and production crew.

Tickets are sold out for this event!

Coming of Age Exhibit Coming of Age: The 1968 Generation

​On display December 9 - June 16, 2017

Come visit the Blue Earth County Historical Society December 9 through June 16, 2018  and see “Coming of Age, The 1968 Generation,” a traveling exhibit that explores the self-expression, upheaval, change and  sounds of the 60s and Vietnam War. 

In “Coming of Age, The 1968 Generation,” visitors will glimpse into the lives of Minnesotans who grew up in and around 1968. The exhibit features six graphic panels, a record album flip interactive, a computer game show activity and a station where you can create-your-own magnetic magazine cover.   

This exhibit is on temporary loan from the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul and will be traveling to venues throughout Minnesota


Celebration Minnesota State, Mankato 150 Exhibit Celebrating Minnesota State, Mankato 150 Years

From Normal School to University

Throughout 2017 and 2018, Minnesota State University, Mankato will be celebrating its 150 Anniversary and the Historical Society is excited to be a part of the celebration. This exhibit will include photographs and artifacts featuring noteworthy individuals and places on campus as well as fun facts and stories about the college and student life. The exhibit  runs through November 25 and is free and open to the public.

Walking Tour booklets for Valley Campus are available through the History Center Gift Shop for self-guided tours.

characters portraying the Cherry Sisters Cherry Sisters

The 2017 Medicine Show will take place on August 19 from 1-4 p.m. 

Shows will begin at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. Between shows, take in a variety of different acts throughout the grounds.

This event is Free; admission charge for tours of the Hubbard House. 


Saint John's Bible Exhibit The Saint John's Bible

Open July 8-September 1, 2017


Beginning in 1996, the community of Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota, began planning and working on The Saint John’s Bible, the first handwritten, illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in five hundred years. The work of creating the Bible involved countless hours of meetings, artist studio time and financial support of almost 1,400 individual donors. On May 9, 2011, the last word of the Bible was penned, bringing the almost 15-year production phase to completion.

This unique undertaking combines a tradition of craftsmanship with the latest capabilities of computer technology and electronic communication. The words are handwritten on vellum (calfskin) using hand-cut quills fashioned from turkey, swan or goose feathers, and ancient inks hand-ground from natural minerals and stones such as lapis lazuli, malachite, and vermillion. The pages are illuminated with the brilliance of 24-karat gold leaf, silver leaf and platinum. The complete work includes 1,127 handwritten pages over 7 books and over 160 major artworks.

The Blue Earth County Historical Society will host a reproduction of The Saint John’s Bible. On display at the History Center will be a replica of the volume containing Gospels and Acts as well as 25 framed prints of artwork from all of the illustrated volumes. This exhibition was made possible by generous support from St. John’s Episcopal Church, Mankato. St. John’s Episcopal Church in Mankato was founded in 1866 and continues to reside on the corner of Warren and Broad Streets in Mankato. 

Blue Earth County Wedding Married in Style: Blue Earth County Weddings

From simple to extravagant, weddings come in all forms. View wedding dresses from the past 100 years and all the treasures that go into making each wedding day special in our latest exhibit.

This exhibit is free and can be viewed at the History Center during open hours. It runs through July 1, 2017.

Winter Wonderland Exhibit Winter Wonderland: Frozen Fun in Blue Earth County

Join us at the Blue Earth County Historical Society for our latest temporary exhibit! Take a walk through winter's past and experience what it was like in Blue Earth County. Special look at the 1920 Mankato Winter Carnival! 

This exhibit is free and open to the public!

Upcoming events with this exhibit:

BECHS Annual Meeting - March 5

History Bits and Bites - March 16

History Center closed Graphic History Center Closed

Seasons Greetings! The History Center will be closed December 23-26 for the Holidays. 

We will be open December 27-29 regular hours. 

The History Center will be closed December 30-January 1 for New Years.

BECHS Gift Shop Holiday Gift Shop

There is still time to shop the BECHS gift shop before the holidays, You can look through many items that we have online. To ensure you have your gifts for Christmas, please visit the Gift Shop for all your purchases!


BECHS will be closed December 24-January 2. Happy Holidays!

Fur Trade Exhibit at the Blue Earth County Historical Society Fur Trade In Minnesota Exhibit

Explore the fascinating people and places of Minnesota’s first global business in “Fur Trade in Minnesota,” a new traveling exhibit from the Minnesota History Center opening  October 20, 2016, at the Blue Earth County History Center.

Hundreds of years ago, Minnesota played a key role in the fur trade, which stretched across five continents.  Visitors to the exhibit can lift a 45-pound Voyageur’s pack, learn how the fur trade shaped Ojibwe art and discover how beaver pelts could be transformed into sleek, stately hats that were all the rage among wealthy Europeans.

“Fur Trade in Minnesota” will be on view through January 7, 2017.

Special Programs with this Exhibit:

History Bits and Bites on December 21, from 12-1 p.m., will view a documentary about fur trade and discuss this film as a group. There will also be time to view the exhibit. Special this month only - Free and open to the public!

Ghosts from the Past 2018 Ghosts from the Past 2018

The Blue Earth County Historical Society’s 32nd Annual Ghosts from the Past will explore Victorian Stranger Things on Thursday, October 25 from 6-8 p.m. and Friday, October 26 from 6-8 p.m. at the Historic R.D. Hubbard House, 606 South Broad Street, Mankato. Tickets on sale now.

Hazards of the Victorian household, bizarre medical practices, séances and certain women's unmentionables were part of normal life for these “ghosts.” Costumed characters will tell of the stranger side of the Victorian Era at this 32nd Annual family-friendly event.

Hour-long, self-guided, living history performances begin every 15 minutes; last performance begins at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $10/adults, $7/BECHS Members and $5/Children 5-17. Please arrive 10 minutes before the start of your show time. Reserve your tickets for your show time today as a limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Refreshments will be served.

Please call 507-345-5566 or e-mail Museum@blueearthcountyhistory to reserve your tickets today.

Labor Day backgroud image History Center Closed - Labor Day

The History Center will be closed on Saturday, September 1 in observance of Labor Day. We will re-open on Tuesday, September 4 at 9 a.m.

The Historic R. D. Hubbard House will be open Saturday, Septmber 1 and Sunday, September 2 from 1-4 p.m. each day. 

Images of Welsh Locations in Blue Earth County Welsh Settlements in Blue Earth County Bus Tour

Join the Blue Earth County Historical Society and the Minnestoa Welsh Association for a narrated bus tour of Blue Earth County's historic Welsh Settlements of Judson, Cambria and Lake Crystal. Ticket includes narrated bus ride, six stops and catered linch. Please wear comfortable walking shoes. 

Bus tours begins from and returns to the History Center.

Tickets are $30/BECHS or MWA Members, $35/General Public

Please call 507-345-5566 to reserve your spot today as space is limited.

Memorial Day Graphic Memorial Day

The History Center will be closed May 26, in observance of Memorial Day. We will reopen Tuesday, May 29 at 9 a.m.

The Historic R. D. Hubbard House will be open May 26 and May 27 from 1-4 p.m. for tours. 

Thank you!