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540 West Hills Circle
Owatonna, Minnesota 55060
Directions

Individual Tour Hours
Museum
Monday-Friday: 8am-5pm
Saturday-Sunday: 1pm-5pm

Cottage 11
Tuesday-Sunday
May 1-Labor Day:1pm-4pm
Labor Day-Dec 31: 1pm-3pm
Closed January and February
March 1-April 30: 1pm-3pm
or by appt. at 507-774-7369
$2 per person donation appreciated.

Campus
Seasonal: May 1-November 1
Six audio stations. Guide maps and brochures available at Campus Directory.

Group Tours
We happily schedule guided tours for groups of 10 or more. You will visit the Museum, view a 1930's video, and tour Cottage 11, a restored boys' cottage. A fee is charged. Group Tours Page

Contact Us
507-774-7369
museum@ci.owatonna.mn.us
Request Records
Volunteer
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A Self-sustained Institution

This institution was often referred to as the "city on the hill" or as a "city within a city." At the height of its existence, the school housed 500 children in 16 cottages. Other buildings would include a nursery, hospital, school, gymnasium, laundry, and residences for employees and the superintendent. The school had its own power plant, greenhouse, icehouse, cemetery, and complete farm with cows, horses, swine, and chickens, making it close to being self-sufficient.Self Sustained

The Main Building served as the school nerve center. Built in five phases beginning in 1886 at a cost of $50,000, it came to house the library, chapel, offices, employee and children's dining rooms, industrial departments, and living quarters for small boys and employees.

Trades: Many crafts were conducted right on campus. In a normal day you could visit a functional bakery, cobbler shop, laundry, barber shop, sewing rooms, butcher, and carpenter shop.

Agriculture: Originally housed on 160 acres, the grounds grew to 329 acres by 1937 with 42 acres for campus and 287 acres for cultivation to feed all the livestock, and fruit/vegetables for its inhabitants. In addition to grains, the State School farm produced potatoes, carrots, beans, squash, strawberries, raspberries, apples, etc. The Wards were expected to act as the primary labor force, especially during harvest. Many foods were canned and stored for use in winter.