Programs and Education


Lunch and a Bite of History – A “Brown Bag Lunch” series held monthly at noon in the BCHS annex,  featuring historians, authors and speakers discussing a wide range of topics. You bring the lunch and we’ll bring the history!

One Room School House Experience – A late 1800s-style building, the One Room School House is located at the Brown County Fair Grounds in New Ulm, and is the site for the BCHS’s annual “One Room School House Experience” for students grades K-5.

History Day Camp – At our History Day Camp, participants will experience the life of a pioneer child growing up in the 1800s. They will perform chores, play pioneer games, and make crafts. See more details below.

Dakota War Week Commemoration – This history-packed week includes compelling “Lunch and a Bite” noontime presentations,  evening films, historic tours throughout Brown County, and popular historic Downtown New Ulm and New Ulm City Cemetery tours.  BCHS partners with the New Ulm Public Library, Sleepy Eye Historical Society and Springfield Historical Society to bring you this event. Check our calendar for dates.

One Room School House Experience

A Living History Camp for Grades K – 5

The Brown County Historical Society offers a living history camp for children that includes grades K – 5. Participants can experience all aspects of a school day in a one room school; much like children did during the 19th Century. The camp is held at the school house on the Brown County Fairgrounds. The program is $15.00 per student and class size is limited.

Students are encouraged to wear clothes of the 19th century. This could be long skirts, aprons, bonnets, bib overalls, or knickers. Shirts & shoes are required. Each child should bring a cold lunch, possibly in a basket or pail. Suggestions for an authentic country school cold lunch include: peanut butter or jelly sandwiches, cold pancakes with sugar, fresh fruit, vegetables, donuts or cookies. (Please do not bring any glass bottles or containers.)

For more information, please call 507-233-2620.

History Day Camp

Participants of the History Day Camp will experience a day in the life of a pioneer child! Have you ever wondered what it was like to grow up in the 1800’s? Would you like to learn all about being a pioneer child and do all sorts of fun activities and daily chores relating to pioneer life?

At History Day Camp you will:

  • Learn about the chore of butter making and churn our own butter.
  • Complete laundry the way pioneers did in the 1800s.
  • Haul water – Get your muscles ready!
  • Play pioneer games and make vintage crafts.
  • Learn about the importance of the buffalo to Native Americans.
  • Dress up like pioneers or fur traders.​

Spend your time at camp exploring history, creating crafts and enjoying games and activities. Participants will take an excursion; they will walk to the Kiesling House where they will do chores, then go on to German Park to play vintage games and eat lunch and then return to the museum for crafts and other activities. (The excursion depends upon the weather. Alternative activities will be planned.)  It is optional to dress in costume!

Pre-registration is required – the fee of $17.50.  Children must have completed K through 5th grades to participate in the one-day program. For more information: call 507-233-2620 or email

New Notecards


Featuring the Popcorn Wagon


$5.50 a bundle


15% off for members!

Dakota War Commemoration Events Scheduled in Brown County

Brown County Historical Society (BCHS), Sleepy Eye Area Historical Society, and New Ulm Public Library (NUPL) are sponsoring a number of events to commemorate the 156th anniversary of the U.S.-Dakota War the week of August 22-26. Confirm programs at 507-233-2620 or

Historical Presentations

Robert W. Galler will present his research on the history of the Crow Creek Tribal Schools at NUPL (17 N Broadway) on Wednesday, August 22 at 6:30 p.m. Galler is a former teacher on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and a current professor of history at St. Cloud State University.

Dan Munson will present “A Financial Outlook on the Dakota War” at the
BCHS Annex (2 N Broadway) on Thursday, August 23 at 12 p.m. Munson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and a student of Minnesota history and financial history. His writings have appeared in Barron’s and various history magazines. He is the author of a book about the Dakota War titled “Malice Toward None: Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, the Homestead Act, and the Massacre – and Inspiring Survival – of the Kochendorfers, A Minnesota History.”

Lower Sioux Agency staff will present “Tipi Life” at Sleepy Eye Area Historical Society Depot Museum (100 Oak Street NW, Sleepy Eye) on Thursday, August 23 at 3:30 p.m. Presenters will discuss tipi construction and customs, items found in a tipi, and the seasonal migration patterns followed by Dakota people.

Lower Sioux Agency staff will also present a program on Dakota Travois on Thursday, August 23 at 6:30 p.m. at NUPL. Presenters will discuss the Dakota culture and innovations that were developed in order to survive on the prairie and explain the deeper relationship with nature, sacredness, community, and family that was created through Dakota travel.

Mary Bakeman will present “After Wood Lake” at the BCHS Annex on Friday, August 24 at 12 p.m. Bakeman is a lifelong Minnesota historian and in her retirement continues to research the aftermath of the U.S.-Dakota War, author family histories, create Minnesota finding aids, and volunteer at the Minnesota State Archives.

All presentations are free and open to the public; seating is first come, first served.

Walking Tours

Walking tours of local historical sites related to the U.S.-Dakota War will be offered free of charge. Tours leave from BCHS (corner of Center Street and Broadway, New Ulm) unless otherwise noted.
Saturday, August 25 at 10:30 a.m. – Katie Gropper walking tour of downtown New Ulm followed by children’s crafts at BCHS. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Saturday, August 25 at 1 p.m. – Tour of U.S.-Dakota War sites in downtown New Ulm. Led by local historian Terry Sveine.
Sunday, August 26 at 2 p.m. – Tour of Pioneer Section of the New Ulm City Cemetery. Led by Darla Gebhard and Sue Ullery. Meet by the cemetery maintenance building (Cemetery Ave, New Ulm).

We are currently working on great things for 2020. Stay tuned!