Current Events

The History Center of Olmsted County offers a variety of events throughout the year. As a non-profit, our events are only possible with the support of the community! If you would like to sponsor an event, call the History Center at 507-282-9447, or contact us by email.

Event Key:
Center Events

2021 Events Coming

New World Opportunities, Old World Skills: The Historic Spangenberg Farmhouse (virtual presentation)

January 7th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Minnesota is filled with stories of early German immigrants moving here and trying to carve out a new life for themselves. Frederick and Charles Spangenberg moved close to the Mississippi River and used the local limestone to start building a farmstead to support their families. Learn about the houses they set up and how the land they first moved to has changed over the years.

A Century of Elegance: Residences in Rochester Designed by Ellerbe & Associates (virtual presentation)

January 21st, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
The Ellerbe architectural firm, headquartered in Minneapolis, first came to Rochester to build a new hotel for John Kahler. They continued to design many Mayo Clinic structures and a number of residences, the only such residences designed by this firm. Come hear about these unique homes and how they play a role in the greater Rochester story.

The Hidden Fort Pulaski (virtual presentation)

February 2nd, 2021
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Fort Pulaski is best known for the thirty-hour bombardment in 1862 during which the Union's rifled artillery made masonry forts practically obsolete. But there is more to this Georgia fort than meets the eye. From the seldom told story of the enslaved who occupied the island to the names carved into the bricks, Fort Pulaski has far more stories to share. Come along and learn about the intriguing history of this fort and what makes it special! This event is presented in partnership with the LIFE program at RCTC.
Visit to register and purchase tickets!

Vaccination Pure and Spurious: The Confederate Vaccination Crisis of the Civil War (virtual presentation)

February 4th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
During the American Civil War, the Confederate States fought several smallpox epidemics. Doctors soon discovered that some vaccinations were ineffective (“spurious”) and had to find creative solutions to this issue. Learn about some of these responses in an illustrated presentation by Robert D. Hicks, former director of the Mütter Museum at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

Norwegian Immigration and Health Care (virtual presentation)

February 11th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Minnesota has long been home to a number of different immigrant communities. All of these groups have faced a number of challenges including getting access to quality health care. Learn about Minnesota's early immigrant community and how they navigated their own health care.

Dearest Anna: A Dramatic Reading of Love Letters (virtual event)

February 13th, 2021
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
"Before my grandmother, there was Anna." So begins the true story of a family secret, a trunkful of hidden letters, and a love story buried for almost a century. Join us for a dramatic reading of love letters exchanged between a young man and woman from Olmsted County in the 1890s. Carol Allis has compiled these letters into a book. A Q&A session with her and the actors portraying the young couple will follow the reading.

Alice in France (virtual presentation)

March 4th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Join historian Nancy O'Brien Wagner as she explores the letters and history of Minnesotan Alice O'Brien, a World War I volunteer in France. Alice served as a chauffeur, canteener, and truck driver, and her insights into the war experience shed new light on the roles and motivations of women on the front.

The Mayo Clinic Wax Models and Medical Museum (virtual presentation)

March 18th, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
The Mayo Clinic is home to a large—and now largely unknown—collection of medical wax models, but if you visited the Mayo Medical Museum on a school field trip as a child, you will remember seeing these fascinating artifacts! Created by in-house artists from c.1924 to 1983, they were used by Mayo physicians to illustrate medical conditions and surgical procedures at medical meetings around the country. This presentation will feature the history of the models and how they influenced the development of the Mayo Medical Museum in the mid- to late Twentieth Century.

Genealogy 101: Establishing the Roots of Your Family Tree (virtual workshop)

April 10th, 2021
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
A virtual half-day workshop to get you on your way to recording your genealogy.