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Dassel Area Historical Society Museum

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Address: 901 1st St N, Dassel, MN 55325
Phone Number: 320-275-3077
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The Universal Laboratories building is on the National Register of...

The Universal Laboratories building is on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as the home of the Dassel Area Historical Society. From 1937 to the mid 1970s, Universal Laboratories provided raw ergot from the grain fields of the western US and Canada to pharmaceutical companies. Critical drugs were produced from the ergot, saving countless military and civilian lives. Exhibits present the story of ergot and the local area.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Excellent Museum and History of Ergot

Tucked inside an old manufacturing plant where they made yeast and ergot, this museum traces the history of this fungal disease found in rye and other cereals. Ergot was known to... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 5 weeks ago
Minnetonka, Minnesota
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9 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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  • English first
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English first
Minnetonka, Minnesota
Level Contributor
85 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Tucked inside an old manufacturing plant where they made yeast and ergot, this museum traces the history of this fungal disease found in rye and other cereals. Ergot was known to the ancients, who mixed it into drinks for an LSD-type experience. Some, according to the museum exhibit, say that the "witches" of the infamous Salem Witch Trial" were infected... More 

Thank HowdyDoody4
Cokato, Minnesota
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2015

People travel many miles to visit museums that do not come close to the quality of the Dassel Area Historical Museum. The docents at the museum are intelligent, aware of the many nuances in Dassel's unique history, and are obviously interested in sharing this history with visitors. This museum is top notch! Who would have guessed that this small town... More 

Thank Laree14
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2015

We went to the museum to see Deep Roots, a Scandinavian textiles show. The pieces were artfully displayed on the third floor of the museum. But just as interesting are two of the permanent displays, one about the history of the DFL party in Minnesota and Magnus Johnson's political career in the 1920s and 30s. " This exhibit attempts to... More 

Thank strikketoy
East Kingston, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
111 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

Not only does this building serve as the historical society but, this is an ergot museum. Ergot has a long history of death and healing and this building was the headquarters for sorting the fungi from the grain for the pharmaceutical industry. There is a still sorting machinery to view. The building underwent an enormous renovation spanning nearly an entire... More 

1 Thank amybeth24
Dassel, Minnesota
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

Such talent by local artists. It was impressive. The art submitted was very professional. Photo art, watercolors, oils and a lovely hand made chest.

Thank traveler7403
Hutchinson, Minnesota
Level Contributor
90 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Very professionally organized, with obviously great volunteer backing. Interesting and informative exhibits. The community takes pride in it's history, and it shows.

Thank Quist17
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2012

Fascinating story that from the early 20th century, the dicovery of of the alkaloids in a natural fungus of small grains, called ergot, would lead to the relief of migraine and control of blood pressure. (Now produced chemically). Can't remember whether I paid or not - mainly because I didn't care one way or the other. I did however leave... More 

Thank YORKIE70
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2012

I enjoyed the play last done at the museum. For a small town they have great talent and do a great job of supporting this museum and keeping it new and fresh. Small hometown atmosphere and Dessert before performance an added benefit

Thank krenma
Hutchinson, Minnesota
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2010

Stopped on our way through town and found the museum to be a pleasant surprise. Lots of things to see. A big Finnish community so lots of culture here.

Thank smh2

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