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At the Stearns History Museum, we share the heartbreak over the killing of George Floyd and see the stark societal, cultural, and economic cracks that his death has exposed.  We embrace all people who are intolerant of injustice, who are actively opposed to racism, who actively reject hatred and fear.  We are committed to working toward a world better for people of color, knowing, as the late Paul Wellstone reminded us, “We all do better when we all do better.”  The need for change is urgent.

As a local county history museum, we put people at the heart of all we do. We are dedicated to using our platforms for good, sharing stories, letting voices be heard, and celebrating the beautiful diversity that is within our community.

Now more than ever, the Stearns History Museum is committed to fulfilling our mission, connecting people through the power of history and culture. As Board members and staff, we promise to continue to advocate for justice, peace, equality, and acceptance on the local and global levels. We are better together.

Our Vision

The Stearns History Museum offers a premier cultural heritage experience in Central Minnesota. Our organization:

  • Preserves a rich and diverse history by collecting and curating archival materials and three-dimensional objects,
  • Engages all of us who live in and visit Stearns County and Central Minnesota,
  • Inspires people to think about our past, present and future through the lens of history, and
  • Thrives by maximizing opportunities for innovation.

Our Culture

Stearns History Museum is not just a place, it’s us. Our actions speak louder than our words. We live by a set of values and expectations that determine the way the Museum feels: 

  • Board members, staff, and volunteers are dedicated to using the power of history and culture to connect people. We will succeed when we create a workplace where everyone can thrive.
  • We maintain the highest professional standards and continue being recognized for this achievement through National Accreditation.
  • We show our respect for each other and the community we live in through our words and actions.
  • We acknowledge and appreciate one another’s knowledge, experience and expertise and build relationships upon trust.
  • We achieve the best results when we collaborate and our diverse perspectives and skillsets come together.
  • We are open to new ideas and continuously seek to improve.
  • We are accessible to everyone.
  • We are one county.


—Carie Essig, Executive Director & Dorraine Larison, Chair of the Board of Directors