Watonwan County Historical Society

Watonwan County Historical Society

This is the Home Page of the Watonwan County Historical Society, affiliated with Minnesota Historical Society, located at Madelia, Minnesota.


To effectively Link the Past, with the Present, And Preserve It, For the Future.


The Watonwan County Historical Society was organized in 1935. World War II ended those activities. Twenty-nine interested persons met at the American Legion Post House, Madelia, in 1966 launching the present organization. Four objectives were adopted:


Meetings are held annually at a county site to be announced. They are usually held in April.


We invite you to become a member of the Watonwan County Historical Society. Annual dues are $10.00 for single/$15.00 for family; Lifetime is $200.00.

The Society can be contacted at:

Watonwan County Historical Society 423 Dill Ave. SW, Madelia, MN 56062 Telephone: (507)642-3247 E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]


Members receive a newsletter two or three times a year.

Major Resources:

Historical Center:

Admission is free but a $2.00 per person donation is appreciated. Exhibits are in the main museum and breezeway leading to the building housing primarily horse-drawn farm equipment. There are about 25 display areas including the Younger Brothers Capture and a Drug Store area. The Ashippun Post Office, the first Post Office in Watonwan County, a log cabin completely restored and furnished as it was a hundred years ago, is housed in the farm equipment building.

Research Library:

The research library at the Historical Center offers a wealth of information for those interested in local history or family histories. Research materials include: Business Histories/Documents, Cemetery Records, Census for Watonwan County (microfilm), Church Records, Club and Organizational Records, Family Histories and Documents, Genealogical files, Library Card Catalog (index files), Maps, Military Records, Naturalization Records (microfilm), area Newspapers (microfilm), Obituary Files, Periodicals and Newsletters, Photograph Catalog file, Plat Books/Atlases and Indexes, Telephone Books, Yearbooks, and more.

Group Tours:

Group tours are available by prior arrangement. Call (507)642-3247.

A map showing "A Suggested Scenic & Historic Tour" of the county and locations of historic sites is available free by writing the Watonwan County Historical Society at the address above. Please include a business-sized self-addressed stamped envelope.

Special Note

The Watonwan County Historical Society is seeking a part-time director.

This position requires strong communication, administrative, and organizational skills. The applicant must be self-motivated and have an appreciation for local history. We would like the applicant to be experienced in the use of the Past Perfect Museum Computer Program. Hours: April-September 3 days/week, 6.5 hours/; October-May 2 days/week, 6.5 hours/day There may be occasional weekend work for special events. If you are interested in this position, apply by Friday, March 1, 2019. Send an application/resume to WCHS, 423 Dill Avenue SW, Madelia, MN 56062 or email to [email protected].

End Special Note


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