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During the summer, the Waseca County History Center will join 2,000 more museums across the country offering free admission to active duty military personnel and up to five family members. Specifically this outreach began on Memorial Day, May 29 and will end on Labor Day, September 4, 2017. Since WCHS has always offered free admission, it is offering a free membership in recognition of their service to our country.

All visitors are welcome to experience two ongoing exhibits: on the balcony is the “Timeline of Unique Stories from Waseca County” exhibit--each cylindrical exhibit case telling the story of a unique person, place, or event from the county’s 160-year history. The panels detail decade by decade the county highlights in the context of key state and national events. 

On the main floor, the “First Settlements Remembered” exhibit will continue into the fall season. There were 12 early towns that were planned, platted, grew awhile, and died. How and why do we remember these first settlement efforts? What were the factors relating to their growth and demise? 

Visitors enjoy the Waldorf Jukebox, also a free “interactive” artifact! 

View the impressive front door of the E.A. Everett home that existed on Clear Lake’s N.E. shore from 1894 to 1958, and many other architectural artifacts saved as the house was razed. On display are many interior photographs of the most gracious home exemplifying Waseca’s early wealth. 

And coming this fall, a new display area renovated from a storage room under the St. Mary stained glass window alcove, will become a new E.F. Johnson exhibit. When the E.F. Johnson State St. Parts Depot and “little museum” closed, most of the product line and personal artifacts were donated to WCHS. Our staff and volunteers are working to display them as soon as possible. WCHS is beholden to the memories of Edgar and Ethel Johnson, and family members, for their financial support to provide a permanent home for WCHS. This was accomplished with the purchase and renovation of the former Methodist Church building. Recently, former EFJ employee, John Oblak, published a history of the E.F. Johnson Company, available to read in the Bailey-Lewer Research Library, and a few for sale in the Museum Gift Shop.

The Waseca County History Center will be open over the summer during regular hours—Tuesdays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and beginning on June 3, open on Saturdays, 12 a.m. to 3 p.m. Summer Saturdays will conclude on August 26. 

This effort is a collaboration of the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, Department of Defense, along with  2,000 museums across the country.

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