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State School Orphanage Museum

Review Highlights
Day trip

What a beautiful museum. It was free and so well done. It was sad, but also had success stories... read more

Reviewed October 23, 2018
Minneapolis, Minnesota
via mobile
Interesting history

The museum shows the early beginnings of the orphanage and the fate of many young children. Good... read more

Reviewed October 11, 2018
Clare L
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Traveler Overview
  • Excellent79%
  • Very good19%
  • Average2%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
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“mn history”(2 reviews)
“main building”(2 reviews)
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...more
540 W Hills Cir, Owatonna, MN 55060-4701
+1 507-774-7369
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Reviews (47)
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All reviews young children mn history main building interesting history guided tour day trip on display cottage stories donation harvey residents orphans grounds presentation art americana
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1 - 10 of 47 reviews
Reviewed November 6, 2018

Owatonna, MN, was the home of the state school for Orphans for much of the 1900's. A former resident and his wife spearheaded a committee to collect the memorabilia and display it in one of the buldings (which is now the offices for the City)....More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Marquisman
Reviewed October 23, 2018 via mobile

What a beautiful museum. It was free and so well done. It was sad, but also had success stories. It is worth the stop. The buildings as well as the grounds were beautiful...

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank 186curtisp
Reviewed October 11, 2018

The museum shows the early beginnings of the orphanage and the fate of many young children. Good presentations.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Clare L
Reviewed August 23, 2018

This is a very interesting museum where you can take your own walking tour with stations that tell more about the buildings. Be sure to go through the main building also as there's more information and photo's. Kids don't like to stop to read all...More

Date of experience: August 2018
1  Thank raescar1
Reviewed August 18, 2018

Very interesting. Didn’t realize there was this big orphanage here. Lots of reading information that may not be for young children, but you can view one of the dorms and look over the huge grounds .

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank msgleason2
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

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank 655jillb
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

Date of experience: October 2017
Thank AMC8380
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

Date of experience: June 2017
Thank ingodwetrusttoday
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!!

Date of experience: June 2017
1  Thank ingodwetrusttoday
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

Date of experience: July 2017
1  Thank Dawn W
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Questions & Answers
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Jeanette A
December 16, 2015|
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.