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State School Orphanage Museum

540 W Hills Cir, Owatonna, MN 55060-4701
+1 507-774-7369
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Review Highlights
This tells about an important part of MN history

My husband and I stopped on a Saturday to see this museum. We were pleasantly surprised with the... read more

Reviewed April 7, 2018
Jill B
,
Lakeville, Minnesota
via mobile
Great Museum!

This was a very interesting museum. We started out watching the video first, there was a TV and a... read more

Reviewed January 5, 2018
AMC8380
,
Mandan, North Dakota
Read all 42 reviews
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Overview
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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.
  • Excellent82%
  • Very good16%
  • Average2%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
Travelers talk about
LOCATION
540 W Hills Cir, Owatonna, MN 55060-4701
CONTACT
Website
+1 507-774-7369
Write a ReviewReviews (42)
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All reviews
"mn history"
in 2 reviews
"grounds are beautiful"
in 2 reviews
"young children"
in 2 reviews
"on display"
in 2 reviews
"cottage"
in 13 reviews
"stories"
in 8 reviews
"donation"
in 6 reviews
"harvey"
in 5 reviews
"orphans"
in 3 reviews
"art"
in 4 reviews
"americana"
in 2 reviews
"gym"
in 2 reviews
"tv"
in 2 reviews
"maxine"
in 2 reviews
"campus"
in 2 reviews
"volunteers"
in 2 reviews
"sisters"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 42 reviews

Reviewed April 7, 2018 via mobile

My husband and I stopped on a Saturday to see this museum. We were pleasantly surprised with the number of pictures and artifacts on display in this little museum. It is very informative of the workings of the orphanage and stories of some of the...More

Thank Jill B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2018

This was a very interesting museum. We started out watching the video first, there was a TV and a couple chairs near the end of the displays, and I would recommend starting there as it gave us a little perspective before checking out the exhibits....More

Thank AMC8380
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2017 via mobile

This is a jewel in Owatonna's history. Harvey and Maxine Ronglien poured hours into preserving the history of the State School as Harvey was a "State School Kid". Plan to spend some time wondering the entire grounds. It is now the home of the museum,...More

Thank ingodwetrusttoday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed August 8, 2017 via mobile

We personally know Harvey and precious Max, when she was still living. They put their hearts into preserving this forgotten piece of American history. Check ahead to make sure of open hours!!

1  Thank ingodwetrusttoday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2017 via mobile

This was the first tourist thing we did the first time we visited Owatonna. After this visit it helped us decide which city we wanted to move to when looking at town in Southern MN This was very eye opening to think how kids were...More

1  Thank Dawn W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2017

My father has moved to Owatonna several years ago from Colorado. After he had moved here he found out that his grandmothers sisters were placed in the orphanage because at the time the family could not support them. His grandmother somehow avoided it. The history...More

1  Thank MrHappyTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2017

Lots of stuff there to give you a really good idea of the life the kids had at the school. Found myself in there for over an hour looking at and reading all the items displayed. My kids (11, 11 and 14) were even interested...More

1  Thank gators58102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2017

My only visit to this museum. It was very informative, the staff member at Cottage 11 was extraordinarily helpful and obviously loved being a volunteer here. I learned a lot about orphans, abused and neglected children in MN from 1886 to 1945. For some it...More

2  Thank Pip18Wisconsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2017 via mobile

The state school now houses a senior center, daycare, gym, art center, some city & park and rec offices to name a few. Very interesting, they have a self guided walking tour and offer other tours as well. The grounds and buildings are beautiful. Nice...More

1  Thank MOMofMANY7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2016

We visited with a group (St. Cloud Antique Auto Club - Pantowners) the weekend of Oct 7-9. We had a very enjoyable visit and thank you for accommodating our large group.

Thank Andria S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Museum540, Manager at State School Orphanage Museum, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2016

Thank you for coming...and for taking the time to write the great review! The SCAAC group was terrific.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Questions & Answers
Jeanette A
December 16, 2015|
Answer
Response from MNGTO | Reviewed this property |
They have a website, orpanagemuseum with information on hours, self guided or formal tours. Or google Minnesota state school Owatonna to find the web site. TripAdvisor does not allow including web addresses in answers.
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