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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 12 Attractions in Owatonna
Type: Specialty Museums, Museums
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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
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 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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19 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    15
    4
    0
    0
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Arkansas
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
49 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
50 helpful votes 50 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
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
22 helpful votes 22 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
Top Contributor
217 reviews 217 reviews
52 attraction reviews
Reviews in 87 cities Reviews in 87 cities
89 helpful votes 89 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Owatonna, Minnesota
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
34 helpful votes 34 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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