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State School Orphanage Museum

540 West Hills Circle, Owatonna, MN 55060-4701
+1 507-774-7369
Review Highlights
Worth the trip!

We personally know Harvey and precious Max, when she was still living. They put their hearts into... read more

Reviewed 8 August 2017
Owatonna, Mn
via mobile
Visited many times!!

This was the first tourist thing we did the first time we visited Owatonna. After this visit it... read more

Reviewed 11 July 2017
Dawn W
via mobile
Read all 39 reviews
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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.
  • Excellent83%
  • Very good17%
  • Average0%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
540 West Hills Circle, Owatonna, MN 55060-4701
+1 507-774-7369
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Reviews (39)
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1 - 10 of 39 reviews

Reviewed 8 August 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
Reviewed 11 July 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

Thank Dawn W
Reviewed 20 May 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
Reviewed 30 March 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
Reviewed 24 March 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

1  Thank Pip18Wisconsin
Reviewed 14 February 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
Reviewed 21 October 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
Museum540, Manager at State School Orphanage Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 24 October 2016

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

Reviewed 20 October 2016

My sister and I visited the museum on a Thursday. The museum is full of history. We spent more than 2 hours there.

Thank Rosemary S
Reviewed 11 October 2016 via mobile

We visited the orphanage because we have family who were put into it, so we wanted to find out more about it. It is an incredible and educational place to visit. The minnestota state did not "sugar coat" the stories, they share experiences from different...More

1  Thank coldnorth55
Reviewed 26 September 2016

My mother was raised in an orphanage so it was rather heart-breaking to look at the rooms and listen to the history and experiences of a man who was actually raised there. I was impressed that the city had kept the building in such good...More

2  Thank pingsis2
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Questions & Answers
Jeanette A
16 December 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.