The Steele County Historical Society was founded in 1949. Since its first location in spare rooms at the county courthouse the organization has grown.
Beginning in the 1960’s the Village of Yesteryear was created and has grown to contain 19 structures representing local history from the early pioneer’s cabin to the 20th century. The majestic Mark Dunnell House is surrounded by a variety of structures, The Carriage House, Gus’ Gas Station, OZ Print Shop, Gazebo, a Bachelor Log Cabin, a Family Log Cabin, District 14 Schoolhouse, Saco Church, Owatonna Town Hall, General Store, Post Office, Fire Hall, Bixby Train Depot, Caboose, Museum of Professions, Farm Machinery, Beaver Lake Pop Stand and Blacksmith Shop.
In 2012 the longtime dream of a modern museum can to be with the opening for the Heritage Center. This building houses a research library, museum store, exhibits gallery, meeting and program spaces and administrative offices.
During 2018 the Steele County Historical Society accomplished many tasks:
Seven rotating exhibits:
Planned and implemented 63 educational programs
Cataloged 25,499 items
Edited 15,483 obituaries
Volunteers contributed 9,000 hours.
We appreciate the support of our donors as it is due to your faith that we are able to be successful.