History Center News
June 2020
A message from our Director

I hope daily life for you is beginning to return to normal as the summer begins. Here at the History Center, staff are returning to work in preparation for reopening. As of today, Minnesota museums have not been given a specific date of when we can re-open. Rest assured, we have a reopening plan and protocols in place to make visiting as safe as possible. We cannot wait to show you our newest exhibit, “The Onward March of Suffrage.”

We regret that the pandemic forced us to cancel the Living History Fair this year as well as the entire regular season of Mayowood Mansion tours. In a normal year these two programs alone would bring in almost $100,000. If you are in a position to make a financial gift, I hope you will consider giving to your History Center. Or, if you are not a member, please join the Olmsted county history community.
Speaking of members, did you know they get a vote! See below for details.

Stay well!

Wayne Gannaway, Executive Director


After much discussion and consideration the History Center decided to cancel the 2020 Living History Fair due to safety concerns and the overall uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
There Is No History Without You:
The History Center Needs Your Support


If you are in a position to give, now is a critical time to show your support with a financial gift. As Dr. Will said: The ills of today must not cloud the horizons of tomorrow." We have a vision and plans to create a revitalized History Center. But we need your help during these challenging times. 
Tell us your story!

We at the History Center of Olmsted County know that history happens everyday, but seldom are we so very aware of it as we are now with the recent COVID-19 outbreak. The effect the disease has had on the world has been immediate, and only time will tell how long-lasting. As home to the stories of Olmsted County, it is our duty to keep a record of the events surrounding this outbreak as we experience them here. That's why it's so important we hear from you! Please take a few minutes to tell us the story of your COVID-19 experience. There's no time like the present, and we guarantee you future generations will be appreciative.


Dig Into History with a Victory Garden at the History Center
Plots are still available
Rent a plot from the History Center and grow your own Victory Garden. During WWI and WWII governments encouraged citizens to grow gardens as a way to increase the food supply and boost morale. Why not try it in our fight against Covid-19? Great way to social distance while enjoying the great Minnesota summer!

My House of Memories and Other Online Resources
As we deal with Covid-19, the History Center is finding new ways to reach our membership and community. We wanted to offer some resources for the spouse/partners who are providing care for individuals with dementia. Caregivers, you are not alone. Although it feels like you are, you are not. Right now there are a few resources to take advantage of while the pandemic is taking place. First, timeslips are a great way to interact with each other by asking simple questions, showing pictures, and listening to audio. Learn more about Timeslips here.

The second option is a resource not usually free but because of the covid-19 pandemic is free for the remaining 2020 school year. This is the Minnesota Historical Society’s northern lights curriculum: the stories of Minnesota’s past. There are 20 different topics you can choose from to prompt meaningful conservations between two or more people.  Learn more about Northern Lights here

Finally, we encourage you to check out the services provided by our friends at Elder Network, a Rochester-based nonprofit that services Olmsted, Wabasha, and Winona counties. Learn about Elder Network Here
Members: Time to Vote!


In the next few days HCOC members will be receiving via USPS a mail-in ballot with a slate of candidates for our board-of-directors. Please make your selection and place your completed ballot in the enclosed self-addressed envelop. We need them back by June 19th.

Our annual meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 24th at 6:00 pm under the HCOC pavilion (weather permitting). Please RSVP due to social distancing requirements. Watch for a special email invite.


Join us on Facebook
June 7, 2020 at 6pm
for the Premier video featuring author Virginia Wright-Peterson, presenting
"A Womans War, Too"
her newest book.
Game Talk by Goose: An update on the Roosters

The Roosters eagerly wait to take the field again. But safety is a priority.

After canceling all May events, the captains of Minnesota baseball clubs decided to meet again on May 31 to make a call on June events. Rochesterfest and the parade were canceled as were our games for that event.

When Governor Walz allowed us to gather again in groups of 10 we were able to get out and practice on May 20th. It felt good to be on the field doing baseball activities and to hang out with fellow Roosters. Local media was on hand to chat with us, and KAAL did a great job of covering what we are doing to keep the players safe during the practices.

Our home events are scheduled to start June 21st, Father's Day, but that event is in jeopardy if we don't get an update on current Phase restrictions. We may still go ahead with the games during the cancelled Living History Fair event on Saturday and Sunday July 18 & 19. We will keep you posted on changes.
We still hope to play during "Days of Yesteryear," on August 8 th and on August 22nd we are stilling planning to host the friendly rivalry between Rochester’s Fire and Police departments in a game of 1860 baseball. So take a seventh-inning stretch and stay tuned!

If you have any questions about the Roosters program, or if you are interested in being a part of the program, you can reach me at cc.gaskell@gmail.com. I am happy to answer any questions you have.
--Corky Gaskell



History Center of Olmsted County

1195 West Circle Drive
Rochester, MN 5592
507-282-9447
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