Exhibits

Long-Term Exhibits

The Goodhue County History Center’s long-term exhibits explore the history of Goodhue County, Minnesota, defined by stories of the land and people who call it home. The galleries cover a variety of different topics and time periods and the History Center is constantly changing. Visit the “Temporary Exhibits” page to learn more about what’s currently on view in the Lobby. 

Downstream Stories

Lakes, streams, bottomlands. Flow, cleanse, eddy. Protectors, consumers, polluters. These are the stories of the people and the water downstream on the Mississippi River, continually shaping and transforming one another.

Early Residents & Immigration

Learn how Goodhue County’s early residents lived. Get a glimpse of a Dakota Mdewakanton village or artifacts immigrants brought from their homelands. 

The Stories of Red Wing Archaeology

Goodhue County is home to one of the greatest concentrations of archaeology sites in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. Meet the people who inhabited this area over 12,000 years ago and uncover what remains of their complex societies!  

Coming Home: Prairie Island Indian Community

Hear the story of the local Dakota people in this exhibit co-curated by the Prairie Island Indian Community. Learn how the community has persevered despite the many difficulties they have endured. 

Geology

Discover how local landmarks like He Mni Caŋ-Barn Bluff and the county’s valuable clay pits were formed. 

Agriculture

How did Red Wing export more wheat than anywhere else in the world in 1873? From a blacksmith shop to displays of field tools and dairy equipment, explore the tools and machinery that helped make Goodhue County an agricultural giant.

Rural Schools

Experience a one-room schoolhouse. Take a seat in a desk, crack open a book, or practice writing on the chalkboard while learning about the numerous rural schools that were once spread across Goodhue County. 

Red Wing Pottery & the Clay Industry

Explore one of the industries that put Goodhue County on the map—pottery! A showcase of rare and unique clay products made by Red Wing Pottery and other local artists. 

A Great Divide: Goodhue County in 1914-1917

Learn about the experiences of Goodhue County residents during World War I—from their sacrifices to their triumphs. 

Business, Industry, & Labor

Goodhue County is home to multiple nationally and internationally-known businesses. But how did they become so successful? Discover how local businesses began, industries grew, and Goodhue County workers fought for their rights. 

Sports & Leisure

Explore what Goodhue County residents considered fun and how they spent their free time. 

Law, Medicine, & Government

Learn about the brave law enforcement officers, innovative medical professionals, and dedicated government officials that have kept Goodhue County running over the last century and a half. 

History Lounge

The newest addition to the History Center! Rest, read a book, check out some activities for little ones, or view a selection of art from GCHS’s collection. 

Additional Displays

Believe it or not, there’s much more to see! Smaller displays throughout the museum cover topics such as arts & culture, transportation, buildings & landmarks, and local individuals. 

Coming Soon! 

Goodhue County Through the Lens: Then and Now

Opening April 16, 2020- POSTPONED

How much has Goodhue County really changed over the last 100+ years? The exhibit features historic photos from GCHS’s collection and new views of the same locations captured by local photographers. See how photos from back then compare to the here and now!

Semi-permanent display in the History Center’s Meeting Room.