During to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Brown County Historical Society remained committed to presenting the history of Brown County, and created a digital exhibit on the history of baseball in the county. The exhibit can be see here.
We anticipate making additional digital exhibits in the future, so keep an eye out for them!
Becoming Brown County: The Land and its People
Open now is a new permanent exhibit in the Brown County Historical Society’s museum, Becoming Brown County: The Land and its People. The exhibit tells the story of the early history and formation of Brown County during the periods of prehistory, early human habitation, and European settlement.
Specific topics include the geographical formation of the county and how it has affected human settlement, Native American cultures before and after European contact, the fur trade, settlement by Europeans, formation of Brown County, early towns, early industries and businesses, ethnicity and culture of inhabitants, and significant events. The exhibit will include other topics, such as transportation, early education, health care, or recreational activities as space allows. These other sections will be rotated out and replaced with new themes to keep the exhibit fresh.
The exhibit is located on the first floor of the Brown County Museum.
Traveling Brown County
Open now is Traveling Brown County a new exhibit on the 2nd floor of the Brown County Museum. Traveling Brown County is a companion exhibit to Becoming Brown County: The Land and its People, on the first floor of the museum and describes the history of transportation and the various methods of travel used by the county’s residents. The exhibit includes artifacts and photographs of transportation that was powered by animal, water, steam, and gasoline.
The exhibit will be open through April 2023.
Historic Pottery of Brown County
Historic Pottery of Brown County
Pottery is one of humanity’s oldest inventions; humans have made pottery for thousands of years to store goods, or to use as decorative objects. Pottery appeared in Brown County about 2000 years ago as storage vessels for the Native Americans who lived in the area. After German immigrants founded New Ulm, the first pottery factory opened in 1861. Pottery making continued in the city until the last factory closed in 1900.
Historic Pottery of Brown County describes the history of the three pottery factories in New Ulm, the New Ulm City Pottery, Dauffenbach, Stoeckert & Company (later operated by three other pottery ventures), and the City Pottery. Featured in the exhibit is pottery made in Brown County or in nearby areas. Pieces on display are from the collections of the Brown County Historical Society and from private collectors. Some pieces on display will be changed every few months during the exhibit so additional artifacts can be shown from other collectors.
Historic Pottery of Brown County will be on display until fall 2023.
What’s New? showcases recent additions to the BCHS collections and includes a variety of different types of historic artifacts from the people of Brown County. The exhibit will give members of the public a chance to view these new additions before they are placed in the museum’s storage areas. On display are several pieces of furniture; a bed made by Charles Wagner, who operated a furniture store in New Ulm, and three pieces of furniture from the Dacotah Hotel. The Dacotah Hotel was built in New Ulm in 1859 and operated until 1971.
Other artifacts on display include photographs and artworks created by Brown County residents. They include a painting by Catherine Neierengarten, a New Ulm artist and business owner, and several Wanda Gág sketches, items from the Comfrey Railroad depot, artifacts from local businesses, homemade textiles, and several articles of clothing.
This exhibit will be on display until spring 2024 on the second floor of the Brown County Historical Society’s museum.
A New Ulm Hero: Captain Willibald Bianchi
More than 3500 American service members have earned the Medal of Honor. Included among them is Captain Willibald Bianchi. In this display, you can learn more about the life and service of Captain Bianchi.
Bianchi grew up in New Ulm, and Bianchi joined the Army in 1940. He served in the 45th Infantry Regiment, Philippine Scouts during World War II and participated in the defense of the Philippines after the Japanese Army invaded in 1941. Captain Bianchi was later posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for destroying two Japanese machine-gun nests. Captain Bianchi was taken prisoner in April 1942. On January 9, 1945, Captain Bianchi was tragically killed on a Japanese prison ship when it was bombed by a U. S. Navy plane.
Never Shall I Forget – A New Look At Brown County and the U.S.-Dakota War
The exhibit, Never Shall I Forget summarizes the events of the U. S. – Dakota War that began in August, 1862. The exhibit explores the causes, events, and effects of the war shaped Minnesota’s history.