Views from the Past...

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 opens on April 22 with a reception from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will run 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

BECHS Closed December 24 - January 2 History Center Closed

The Blue Earth County Historical Society will be closed December 24 - January 2 for the Holidays. We will resume regular hours on January 3 at 9 a.m.

You can still make donations to BECHS online during this period. 

You can also contact BECHS through e-mail, however, these will not be answered until January 3. 

Have a happy and safe Holiday Season!

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!

Images from this year's ghosts from the past Ghosts from the Past 2016

Come one come all! BECHSis celebrating its 30th annual Ghosts From The Past this year and to honor this momentous year, we are bringing back some of our favorite characters from the past. Join us in learning more about the:

  • Yager Schoolhouse
  • Greiner's Store fire in Mapleton
  • Pemberton's Bank Robbery
  • The Rose Castle
  • Green Gables Tornado
  • Typhoid Epidemic
  • Glas Block Christmas Tree Trial

Ghosts from the Past will be October 27 and 28 from 6-9 p.m. each night at the History Center. Tickets are $7.50/adults, $5/children 5-17 and be reserved by calling 507-345-5566 during business hours or emailing

Tours start every 15 minutes, last tour begins at 8 p.m.

Labor Day backgroud image History Center Closed - Labor Day

The History Center will be closed on Saturday, September 3 in observance of Labor Day. We will re-open on Tuesday, September 6 at 9 a.m.

The Historic R. D. Hubbard House will be open Saturday, Septmber 3 and Sunday, September 4 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 Hubbard House has many great events coming this summer. Check back for more as the summer progresses!

Story Time - Fridays June through August, 10:30 a.m.
Join us for a special story time on the lawn of the Historic R. D. Hubbard House. Story time includes stories, crafts and activities. Story time is free and open to the public.

Victorian Lawn Party - Saturday, June 4, 1-4 p.m.
Join us for an exciting afternoon playing lawn games on the Lawn of the Hubbard House. Games include hoop and stick game, three-legged races, croquet and more as well as a doll and teddy bear tea party and opportunities to take selfies with our Victorian cut-outs. All events on the lawn are free, regular admission prices for living history tours of the Hubbard House.

Gaslight Program - Wednesday, June 15, 7 p.m.
Join us for our newest program and experience the Hubbard House in a new light. Costumed characters will be stationed throughout the grounds and the Hubbard House to share more information about the Lives of Servants in this inaugural program. Admission is $5/adults, $2/children 5-17, BECHS Members and Kids under 5 are free. 


Hubbard House Hubbard House Events

The Hubbard House has many great events coming this fall. 

Hubbard House Gaslight Series - Wednesday, September 14, 7 p.m.
Look at the Hubbard House in a new light. This month, we will look at the Architecture of the Hubbard House and how it varies from many of today's styles.

The Historic R. D. Hubbard House closes for the season after September 25. Check back for special hours during the month of December.

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 21.



History Bits and Bites Preview image 2017 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 $5 for adults, Free for BECHS Members and children under 18. Here are the upcoming programs:

January 19 - Restoring Mankato's Stone House with Caleb Wunderlich

February 16 - Victory Drive Memorial Project with Robert Jones and Candace Amberg

March 16 -Winter Fashion with Grace Keir

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.

Individual Tickets now on sale. Click here.

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, Insty-Prints of Mankato, Pub500 and Stinson and 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 Holiday Tours at the Hubbard House

December 10, 11, 17, 18, 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. Guided holiday tours start in the Carriage House and showcase the house as it was in 1905. See if you can locate all the musical instruments throughout the house. Hint: there is at least one in every room!