Views from the Past...

Hubbard House Hubbard House Events

The Hubbard House open Friday-Sunday June, July and August!

Admission is $7/adults, $3/children 5-17, BECHS Members and kids under 5 are free.

Upcoming Events at the Hubbard House:

August 8 - Hubbard House Gaslight Series - Nooks and Crannies Tour

August 18 - Medicine Show: Charlatans and Shenanigans

When Home Won't Let You Stay Exhibit When Home Won't Let You Stay: Stories of Refugees

The Blue Earth County Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of “When Home Won’t Let You Stay,” a poignant photography exhibition about refugees in Minnesota by documentary photographer James A. Bowey.

The exhibition on display at the Blue Earth County History Center runs from May 7 to July 30. It seeks to provide a new perspective on the often hidden lives and compelling experiences of refugees in our communities. The exhibition consists of contemporary color portraits accompanied by first-person stories highlighting the plight and resiliency of refugees who call Minnesota home. BECHS is the inaugural presentation of the exhibition which will travel to other Minnesota communities in the summer and fall.

“We are very excited to present this important work,” said Jessica Potter, Executive Director of BECHS. “It’s an important contemporary issue that links us to the vital role that migrants and refugees play in the history of this region.”

The number of globally displaced people has risen dramatically in recent years and is expected to continue to rise in response to ongoing conflicts, poverty, and climate change. International and national events have prompted conversations in communities across the country about our American roots, our national identity and the refugee experience.

“As a documentary artist I’m drawn to stories that provide a window into the state of contemporary society,” said Bowey, “and I think at the present moment there is no more compelling story than the plight of refugees.”

The exhibition is being supported in part by Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC) Refugee Services through a grant from The Linking Communities Project supporting the welcome and resettlement of refugees. MCC Refugee Services provides comprehensive services to support refugees in the Twin Cities and Mankato areas.

BECHS along with MCC and the Greater Mankato Diversity Council, will co-host a community conversation at 1 p.m. on May 21. The Society’s History Bits and Bites will feature a presentation by Bowey at noon on June 29. 


James A. Bowey is a documentary photographer who explores issues of human rights and social connection. He has spent his career covering a wide range of global and national stories from the war in Bosnia to Hurricane Katrina. His work has been featured by The New York Times, Time Magazine, the Associated Press, as well as in numerous exhibitions. Bowey is also an educator and was on the faculty at Winona State University from 2008 to 2015 where he won the national WOW award for innovation in higher education.


From more information about “When Home Won’t Let You Stay,” visit:

Trivia Night at Old Main Trivia Night Fundraiser at Old Main Village, May 20, 2016


Join us for food, cash bar, fun and prizes at the Trivia Night Fundraiser for the Blue Earth County Historical Society at Old Main Village.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and Trivia starts at 7 p.m.

Appetizers provided by Old Main Village include bacon wrapped scallops, petite quiche, BBQ meatballs, dessert bars and more. Appetizers are included in ticket price. Cash bar provided by Buffalo Wild Wings.

Trivia questions will cover a wide range of topics and prizes will be given away throughout the evening with a grand prize for the best overall team.


A Stitch In Time Exhibit at BECHS A Stitch in Time: Blue Earth County Quilts

From baby quilts to Grandma’s wedding quilt, they all have a story. Discover quilts from the Historical Society’s collection dating from the 1880s to today on exhibit at the History Center. This exhibit is free and open to the public.

Special exhibit opening on April 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with refreshments. Audrey Gatchell and Ken Ziegler will be in the Discovery Lab discussing their family quilts and people of all ages will have the opporunity to contribute to a paper quilt.

Image of guides at the Hubbard House Hubbard House Assistant Position Open



The R. D. Hubbard House Assistant is a part-time, seasonal position that exists for the operation of the Blue Earth County Historical Society (BECHS) R. D. Hubbard House and will work with the BECHS staff and volunteers to meet the needs of visitors to the house. Specific duties include, but are not limited to:

Hubbard House

·Responsible for the seasonal operation (May-September) of the R. D. Hubbard House, including the areas of tours, visitor services, gift shop, maintenance, cleaning and security.

·Provide guided tours and educational programs to the general public

·Develop and implement living history programs

·Oversee the display and security of objects in the main house and carriage house; and perform light conservation as directed.

·Maintain accurate gift shop sales records and inventory at the Hubbard House Gift Shop

·Perform light cleaning and maintenance of the property.


·Interest in local history required. Knowledge of Minnesota history, Blue Earth County history, and/or 1900s Victorian history helpful.

·Excellent verbal, interpersonal and communication skills.

·Self-motivated with the ability to work alone and with a variety of personalities. Must be detail-oriented and highly organized

·Good customer relations skills

·Professional attitude

·Ability to work the posted Hubbard House schedule:

· May – Saturday and Sunday 1-4 p.m. (7 hrs./week + scheduled tours);

· June – August – Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 1-4 p.m. (16 hrs./week + tours);

· September - Saturday and Saturday 1-4 p.m. (7 hrs./week)

· Note: Hubbard House seasonal staff are allowed only ONE weekend day off PER month.

Wages $9.00/hour

To Apply Send Resumes to:

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

Applications now being accepted through April 6.



History Bits and Bites History Bits and Bites

History Bits & Bites is the latest program at the Blue Earth County Historical Society. Join us on the third Thursday of each month at Noon for a great program. Each program is designed to last no more than 1 hour. Bring your lunch and learn a bit of history. Admission is $7 for adults, Free for BECHS Members and children under 18. Here are the upcoming programs:

July 19 - The Vietnam Experience in Drawings with Al Smith

August 16 - TBA

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 invite Surrounded By History

FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2018, 6 P.M.

Raffle tickets on sale now!

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

Thank you to our 2018 Sponsors including gold sponsors ISG, Neubau Holdings LLCMankato Free Press, Wells Fargo Bank and Wingert Realty & Land Services; and bronze sponsor 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.

Preivew of the evening

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 2018.  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 2021. Applications are due by January 31, 2018.

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 Hubbard House December Hours

December 8, 9, 15 and 16, 1-4 p.m.

Admission is $7/Adults, $3/Children 5-17 and BECHS Members are free

Toys from different decades will be on display throughout the house for this year's decorations! Through your guided tour of the 16-room house, see if you can locate all the miniatures in the house and carriage 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. 

117 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, 1918: Home and Abroad, will be on display as well. 

Join us November 2-3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Join us on Saturday, November 3 for two great events as well! From 1-3 p.m., Monica Zrust will be on site to sign copies of her book, Can Candy Save Christmas. Mrs. Clause will also be on site for photos! Then at 2 p.m., the Boy in Blue Memorial Project will launch their book The Boy in Blue: Blue Earth County, Minnesota's Civil War Memorial. Author's Bryce Stenzel and Julie Schrader will be here to sign copies and talk about their 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