Minnesota Disasters – Stories of Strength & Survival

76824 SCHS MN Disaster Welcome Banner LR
Sponsored by State Farm Insurance – Plemel Insurance Agency & JP Kreutter

From man-made catastrophes to Mother Nature’s fury, disasters leave an indelible mark on our landscape and our memories.  “Minnesota Disasters” a new exhibit at the Steele County History Center brings these events to life with stories told through extraordinary photographs and film, featuring a Steele County disaster component.  “Minnesota Disasters”, opens at the Steele County History Center on March 31st, 2016.

Minnesotans are no strangers to disasters.   They have faced devastating swarms of grasshoppers, tornadoes, bridge collapses, fires and floods.   Using photos, text and film, “Minnesota Disasters” explores the preparation, reaction and aftermath to catastrophe in our state.  Intertwined with details of those calamities are the incredible stories of human vulnerability and resilience.

Part of this exhibit is on temporary loan from the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul and will be traveling to venues throughout Minnesota. The Minnesota Historical Society Traveling Exhibits Program has been made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008.

1967 Tornado Outbreak: A Look Back, Steele County – Duration: 2:26.

tornadooutbreakDan Moeckly with the Steele County Historical Society recounts the swarm of tornadoes that struck southern Minnesota on April 30, 1967. Click here to view the video.


Wedding Traditions of Steele County

76825 SCHS Wedding Indoor Banner LR (2)Sponsored by Tri M Graphics and the Owatonna People’s Press

Tying the knot in any culture comes with traditions and rituals, such as, “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” Explore how weddings have evolved through time. The photos and artifacts displayed represent many generations of Steele County Residents. This exhibition is more than just a fashion show.

Two roundtable discussions will be featured around this exhibit on April 7th and June 9th.

Vietnam War

76826 SCHS Vietnam War Indoor Banner LR (2)Sponsored by Owatonna Granite & Monument

In honor of Steele County residents who served in the Vietnam War, this exhibit features a conflict overview and personal stories of Steele County veterans. Experience being a soldier for a day with interactive components.

The exhibit features an overview of the Vietnam War and shares our  Steele County veteran’s experiences. A slide show of photos from local veteran’s scrapbooks, several oral histories about their experiences, a foot locker with actual items that the soldiers used every day, souvenirs brought home, uniforms, a North Vietnamese flag that was captured by US Troops and won in a card game, and more.

A roundtable discussion will be featured on May 12th with local veterans participating and sharing their personal stories.




Ellendale Minnesota





Butter Capitol

Butter Capitol











Coming of Age 1968