Views from the Past...

REA workers working on a down power line, 1951 Annual Meeting 2016

BECHS' Annual Meeting will be March 6 at 2 p.m. Join us for a State-of-the-Society business meeting followed by a presentation by Garfield Eckberg, former employee and current board member of BENCO Electric. Eckberg's presentation, "How Electricity Changed Agriculture and Rural Communities," is in correlation with our current Traveling Exhibit, Electrifying Minnesota

Doors will open at 1 p.m. for behind-the-scenes looks at what we do at BECHS. 

Please RSVP to or by calling 507-345-5566 no later than March 4.

Surrounded By History Surrounded By History

FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 2017, 6 P.M.

Learn more about the items on our raffle. Tickets on sale now.

Surrounded By History is the Blue Earth County Historical Society's annual fundraising gala
This year BECHS is celebrating over 150 years of transportation in Blue Earth County. 
The evening includes dinner and entertainment, plus a silent auction, and wine raffle.

Thank you to our 2017 Sponsors including North Star Aviation, Fisher Group, Free Press Media, ISG,
Mankato Ford, Mankato Motors, The Tailwind Group, Wells Fargo Advisors & Wells Fargo Bank, Lager's Chrysler World, MinnStar Bank, Dinsmore Photography, Insty-Prints of Mankato, Pub500, State Farm Insurance, and Stinson Leonard Street.

Directions to the Centennial Student Union Ballroom on MSU, Mankato Campus.
Free parking is available in the Visitor Pay Lot just south of the Student Union.

Unable to attend Surrounded by History? You can still contribute to this great fundraiser. Donate now.
Past Surrounded By History Programs

Pictures of Board of Trustees Members in action Volunteer Board Members Needed

The Blue Earth County Historical Society is currently seeking candidates to fill open seats on the Board of Trustees beginning March 2017.  Monthly board meetings are held the 4th Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m.  All openings are for a three-year term ending March 2020. Applications are due by January 31, 2017.

The Board consists of members representing Blue Earth County and is currently seeking individuals strong in one or more of the following areas: financial management, business management, development and/or fundraising.  Previous non-profit Board experience preferred, but not required.

The Historical Society will be making some major changes in the next few years including building expansion which means launching a Capital Campaign. This is an exciting time for the Historical Society but, there is much work ahead to achieve our goals.

Founded in 1901, the Blue Earth County Historical Society is a vibrant community cultural heritage non-profit charged with the responsibility to preserve, protect and present the history of Blue Earth County.  The Historical Society operates two facilities in Mankato: the History Center and Museum at 424 Warren Street and the Historic R.D. Hubbard House at 606 South Broad Street.

For more information about the Historical Society’s Board of Trustees, please visit our website at or contact Jessica at 507-345-5566 or

Electrifying Minnesota Traveling Exhibit on display at BECHS Electrifying Minnesota

Imagine what it was like, for the first time, to have electricity available at the flick of a switch.  Discover what makes the miracle of generating electricity possible.  Learn what people thought about electricity in the late-19th and early-20th centuries and how we will generate it in years to come.   Period silent films, photography and an interactive electromagnetic generator all reveal the power of electricity and how it shapes our lives as Minnesotans.

This exhibit was created by The Baaken Museum in partnership with the Minnesota History Center.  It is on temporary loan from the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul and will be traveling to venues throughout Minnesota.

Hubbard House parlor set for Christmas at the Hubbard House Christmas at the Hubbard House

December 9, 10, 16 and 17, 1-4 p.m.

Admission is $5/Adults, $2/Children 5-17,  BECHS Members and kids under 5 are Free

Take a step back in time and experience the Hubbard House decorated for the Christmas Holiday. Take an hour-long guided tour of the Hubbard House and see if you can locate all the vintage baord games decorating the house! 


1902 Semi-Centennial Celebration, Mankato Anniversary Open House

What a great image! The Blue Earth County Historical Society was formed November 7, 1901 in preparation for the Semi-Centennial Celebration. 

116 years have passed, and we are still collecting, preserving and presenting history. To celebrate our anniversary, BECHS is offering free admission to the History Center Museum, store discounts, refreshments, door prizes and more. Our latest temporay exhibit, Celebrating Minnesota State, 150 Years, will be on display as well. 

Join us November 3-4from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Join us on Saturday, November 4 from 11 a.m. to Noon fot a kid's "stained glass" art project in the Discovery Lab,

Minnesota author, Kathleen Baxter will talk about her new book, "My Betsy-Tacy Miracle: A Literary Pilfrimage to Deep Valley" Saturday at 1 p.m. Baxter wiill be available after the talk to sign copies of her book.

Ghosts from the Past, October 22-23. Image of the poster for the event. Ghosts From the Past 2015

Did you know that Blue Earth County once included the towns of Cream, Butternut, Shelbyville and Medo. These communities were once on their way to becoming thriving towns, but due to unforeseen events, such as the railroad bypassing the town, they are now just distant memories. The 29th Annual Ghosts from the Past will explore the towns that are no more through the stories of the people that once called these places home. Shows begin every 30 minutes; last show begins at 8 p.m. Two nights only!

Tickets are $7.50/adults, $5.00/children 5-17

Call 507-345-5566 or email to reserve your tickets today.

Education and Outreach Position

Blue Earth County Historical Society

The Education and Outreach Coordinator is a three-quarter time position that supports the Blue Earth County Historical Society’s mission and vision by executing educational programs at the museum, Hubbard House and in the community; and ensures these programs are well planned and executed, resulting in a positive and memorable customer experience that exceeds expectations.


Education and Programs

·Oversee and/or coordinate all BECHS programs and education endeavors

·Develop and implement educational initiatives for K-12 and University students at the Museum, Hubbard House or in the classroom.

·Plan and implement public programs for new and existing audiences to meet strategic objectives

·Conduct audience research and evaluates program effectiveness

·Works with exhibitions staff to develop and implement exhibits, and interpretive programs and resources for exhibitions to ensure that the Society’s collections act as a learning resource for all ages.

·Work with Development Manager to identify volunteer needs for the Educational Programming.  Schedule, train and supervise volunteers and interns assigned to programming including but not limited to tour guides.

·Work with the Communications Manager to ensure that the established channels of communication are utilized for all internal and external programs.


The Education and Outreach Coordinator works collaboratively with community organizations and private groups to effectively plan, organize, communicate and execute internal and external programs.


·Work with the Executive Director in establishing annual departmental goals including effective strategies for generating consistent revenue streams for all programming, and is responsible for the execution of those goals.

·Serve on the Education and Program (Outreach) Committee to provide guidance and coordination.


·Bachelor’s degree and prior experience working with children required; 1-3 year education experience preferred.

·Excellent oral, interpersonal, organizational, and written communications skills required with the ability to work effectively and professionally with staff, volunteers, patrons, other historical organizations and community leaders.

·Ability to conduct and maintain good customer service and public relations.

·Self-motivated with the ability to work alone and with a variety of personalities.

·Flexibility to work a varied schedule, including weekends and evening hours.

·Interest in local history required; knowledge of Minnesota History and Blue Earth County History desired.

·Computer skills, including knowledge of Microsoft Office products.

To be considered, please submit cover letter, resume and references to:

Jessica Potter
Blue Earth County Historical Society
424 Warren Street
Mankato, MN  56001


Position open until filled

Full Position Description

History Hero Promotional Image Be a History Hero!

Invest in the future of history! Your gift today will show the importance of history and bring it to life, creating a shared sense of place for residents and visitors of Blue Earth County.
See your impact on the faces of school children when they first visit the Hubbard House, the memory brought to mind with an old photograph, or the appreciation and understanding discovered through a program or in an exhibit. You make a difference! You are a History Hero!

Make a donation to our Annual Campaign today and your investment in BECHS will provide funds towards our expanded building expenses and support our plans for enhanced educational programming.

Together we can save history!

Ways to Give

Mail a check to the History Center at 424 Warren Street, Mankato.

Give online. This donation can be made once, or set-up to be given monthly or quarterly throughout the year.

Violet McNeal and friend with "tonics" 2014 Medicine Show

The 2015 Medicine show will include a variety of color characters from the past.
August 22, 2015 at the R.D. Hubbard House from 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Shows at 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. with a variety of activities throughout the afternoon.
Event is FREE; Admission charged for house tours.

Here we see Violet McNeal and and a friend at the 2014 Medicine Show at the Historic Hubbard House.

Mankato Preparing for the Arrival of the Mankato Vikings, 1966 Welcoming the Vikings

Photograph courtesy of the Mankato Free Press

Minnesota on the Map traveling exhibit Minnesota on the Map

Back by popular demand and now with new maps, BECHS is pleased to announce we will once again host Minnesota on the Map, an exhibit from the Minnesota Historical Society. Drawing from the extensive map collection of the Minnesota Historical Society, the exhibit features 23 reproduction maps and atlases, a video station with commentary by local historians, and a variety of laminated maps that show an up-close look at Minnesota geography and history. BECHS is also delighted to feature a new selection of maps - school wall map of Blue Earth County in 1874, 1853 Minnesota Territory map and historical Blue Earth County Atlas

Free and open to the public.

Construction of Highway 22, circa 1930s Construction of Highway 22

Construction of Highway 22/ Victory Drive in Mankato, circa 1930s

Map of City of Amboy - 1914 Map of City of Amboy - 1914

Map of City of Amboy - 1914


Map of America circa 1635 Map of America circa 1635

Map of America circa 1635. Photograph courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Construction of the Mankato Place Mall - 1977 Construction of the Mankato Place Mall - 1977

A View of the Construction on the Mankato Place Mall - 1977

Girl on Telephone

This girl on the telephone taken about 1908 shows ....

Celebrating 50 Years of Vikings Training Camp: A Mankato Tradition exhibit preview. Celebrating 50 Years of Vikings Training Camp: A Mankato Tradition

July 18 – October 17, 2015

Blue Earth County History Center
424 Warren Street, Mankato

Minneopa Depot

Minneopa Depot  1910c 

Mapleton Public Library Mapleton Public Library

Mapleton MN c. 1920s