The Mower County Historical Society is located on the east side of the Mower County Fairgrounds at 1303 6th Ave. SW in Austin, MN. This location is home to many thematic buildings and research library. For more information on the research library, please click on the research tab.
Interested in the history of Hormel Foods? Check out the original building where George A. Hormel started his great company. The building was built in 1892, but was not big enough to keep up with the production that customers wanted from the company.
Did you attend a one-room country school? Excelsior School District #12 has made its permanent home at MCHS. Inside this wonder building, visitors can stroll back in time to when all grades were taught by one teacher in one room. Make sure that you behave on the tour; otherwise your tour guide may have to place you under the teacher’s desk until you shape up!
The fairgrounds site is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM, or after-hours by appointment. MCHS may have special hours or be closed on holidays and for special events. Please call ahead to ensure the historical society will be open during your visit.
Buildings at the Historical Society
There are several buildings and exhibits on site at the historical society.
- Pioneer Building (1949)
- Christ Episcopal Church (1953)
- Ensign Fountain (1956)
- Rahilly Building (1956)
- 1004 Steam Engine (1956)
- Excelsior School House (1957)
- M-4 Sherman Tank (1958)
- Railroad Handcars (1964)
- Oakland Depot (1964)
- Log Cabin (1964 original, 1997 remake)
- Passenger Coach (1966)
- Baggage Car (1968)
- Kehret Wayside Chapel (1969)
- Fire Museum (1970)
- Lewis Farm Windmill (1972)
- St. Augustine Church Bell (1976)
- Communications Building (1978)
- Original Hormel Building (1979)
- Original Fair Building (1982)
- Blacksmith Shop (1982)
- Headquarters Building (1983)
- Administration Building (1992)
- Agriculture Building (2003)
- Collections Building (2018 dedicated)