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State School Orphanage Museum

540 West Hills Circle, Owatonna, MN 55060-4701
+1 507-774-7369
Review Highlights
A Must if your visiting Owatonna!

My father has moved to Owatonna several years ago from Colorado. After he had moved here he found... read more

Reviewed 5 weeks ago
Albert Lea, Minnesota, United States
Interesting to say the least.

Lots of stuff there to give you a really good idea of the life the kids had at the school. Found... read more

Reviewed 29 March 2017
Owatonna, Minnesota
Read all 37 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.
  • Excellent84%
  • Very good16%
  • Average0%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
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540 West Hills Circle, Owatonna, MN 55060-4701
+1 507-774-7369
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Reviews (37)
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1 - 10 of 37 reviews

Reviewed 5 weeks ago

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 29 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 23 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 25 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

1  Thank pingsis2
Reviewed 16 September 2016 via mobile

All I can say is wow! What a great experience to history of Owatonna. Must see! It will make you think of how things used to be

Thank Smelly1971
Reviewed 6 September 2016

The residence is quiet and if you listen the children will talk to you. You feel their presence here...I acted in many productions, in the Middle Building of West Hills...Many plays presented to the community. We did everything from Nunsense to, A Few Good Men......More

1  Thank mugga49
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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Jeanette A
When is this open for tours? Are reservations needed? Is there a fee?
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.