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“Lots to see.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of State School Orphanage Museum

State School Orphanage Museum
540 West Hills Circle, Owatonna, MN
+1 507-774-7369
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Ranked #1 of 15 things to do in Owatonna
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Attraction details
Owner description: Experience what life was like at this state-run school for orphaned or neglected children. The Minnesota State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children was built in 1886 and closed in 1945. The museum uses exhibits of artifacts, as well as video and audio stations to tell the story of the more than 10,000 children who came through the school.
Brainerd, Minnesota
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Lots to see.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2012

They have a large collection of items from the period. Cottage 11 is especially moving. You really get a feeling for the era the school was actve.

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Arkansas
Level Contributor
100 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Sad and depressing :(”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2012

It was sad to read some of the stories about some of the children their, and the cemetery also for the children that died their. It was free, I looked for a donation box and was unable to find one. The cottage wasn't open when we where their, if it had been I would have loved to have taken a look inside it, they need to open it sooner in the day. Despite me finding it sad and depressing I did find it interesting. I will also add, it's nice to see that the place has been preserved (no longer forgotten) and the buildings are still being used by local gov. offices.

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chatfield, Minnesota
Level Contributor
33 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A forgotten chapter of MN history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012

The State School once was home to all of Minnesota's neglected, abused, or orhapned children. Some loved it, some hated it, but it had a significant impact on thousands of MN children. The museum and cottages are worth spending 2-3 hours to check out.

Visited October 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Owatonna, Minnesota
Level Contributor
293 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Very interesting and informative”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

We visited when Harvey Ronglien was a tour guide. He grew up in the orphanage. He stayed late, after closing time to show us the museum and tell us the history.

Visited December 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Owatonna, Minnesota
Level Contributor
67 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“A very sad place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2012

I try and go at least once a year. It maybe sad but we need to realize how good we have it now. It is our Minnesota history that should not be forgotten.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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