No admission charge for self-guided museum tours but donations are encouraged. Thank you for supporting local history!
The Fillmore County History Center Museum and Genealogy Library is located at the start of the Root River Recreational Trail in Fountain, Minnesota, on Highway 52 and County Road 8. The History Center is home to one of Southern Minnesota’s largest collection of antique agricultural equipment. From vintage tractors to rare handmade wooden tools, the museum traces the tradition of agriculture in Fillmore County.
We also feature a wide variety of exhibits focusing on various time periods. Visit a turn-of-the-century newspaper office, an old-fashioned post office, an antique country kitchen, or nostalgic soda fountain. Children will enjoy the displays of old-fashioned dolls and toys. Ladies will be fascinated viewing exhibits of vintage and antique fashions from a bygone era.
Our collection numbers well over 15,000 three-dimensional objects plus over 10,000 printed, written, and photographic materials. The majority of artifacts date from 1860 to 1915, with a fair number of turn-of-the-century objects.
The Agricultural Display Buildings have been designated for the interpretation of Fillmore County’s farming history. Displays focus primarily on early farm machinery including:
- * several vintage tractors and automobiles, including a completely restored 1937 F-20 Farmall Tractor* a “Simplicity” Livestock Operating Table* a wood-gas powered truck* a collection of antique farm equipment plus handmade tools* Fountain Volunteer Fire Department hand-drawn hose cart* 36 completely restored Oliver Tractors
Our museum maintains one of the largest collections of women’s and children’s vintage clothing to be found anywhere in Southeastern Minnesota.
- * beautifully handmade wedding gowns* fine fur accessories* hair wreaths dating to the mid 1870s* numerous handsewn quilts and needlework
The log house on our grounds was donated by Alfred and Gladys Seem in 1998 to the Fillmore County Historical Society. Richard Stark built the log house in the 1860s. The Robert Stark family occupied the log house until 1919, and at that time it was purchased by Carl Lawstuen, father of Gladys Seem.
After a year of planning, the log house was moved to the Museum location. The building was moved in two sections– the lean-to and the log house. The house was set on a cement slab, and the lean-to was reattached. Repairs were completed and the exterior was given a fresh coat of paint. The interiors was also repaired, painted, and a decision was made to decorate it in an early 1900s styling. The furnishings were taken from the collection of items available from the museum’s collection. The log house’s grand opening was held June 10, 2000. It is the hope of the Historical Society that you will enjoy your “walk through the past.”
Pleasant Dale/Watson Country School
Outside on our grounds is a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse, offering a glimpse into the ABCs of early education. Relive childhood memories as you step back in time to an original one-room country school, furnished with artifacts that were once used in the early days of Fillmore County education.