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About the Stearns History Museum

Our History, Our Vision

The Stearns History Museum’s story began in 1936, when a group of local citizens formed the Stearns County Historical Society. Fast-forward to 1973, and the organization started transitioning into a physical museum. By 1982, groundbreaking was underway for the current facility, and we continue to flourish from that same yet modernized place today.
The Stearns History Museum is a vibrant organization, with a passionate staff that has continued to draw a steady stream of interest both locally and globally. Every year we serve our community with an impressive lineup of programs, events, and attractions from our museum headquarters that sits alongside our 80-acre nature park. With walking trails, abundant wildlife, a skateboard park, and a serene getaway from the immediate adjacent surroundings of metropolitan St. Cloud (which also has lots to offer!), our unique setting has long been a beloved part of “what to do” in Central Minnesota.

Growing From Here:

Current Members

2019 Visitors

 Proud To Be Centrally Located

The Stearns History Museum is an ever-changing hub of local and global history exhibits, events that let you learn and do, programs that keep you engaged, and much more. Each year our talented curators rotate our expansive exhibition space with exhibits from both our in-house archives and local donors, and traveling exhibits from partner institutions like the Smithsonian.

Aside from our exhibits, you’ll find plenty of things to do each month, both inside and outside of the Stearns History Museum. Come take a look for yourself.

Pay By The Visit

Think of it like a day pass, any day you want. Our admission prices are minimal, and you can feel free to visit whenever it works for you.

Join As A Member

Memberships pay for themselves within a few visits, and they help sustain our programming here at the Stearns History Museum.

Mission & Vision of the Stearns History Museum

 Our Mission: To connect people through the power of history and culture.

Our Vision: To offer a premier cultural heritage experience in Central Minnesota.

We’re Committed To:

  1. Preserving a rich and diverse history by collecting and curating archival materials and three-dimensional objects.
  2. Engaging everyone who lives in and visits Stearns County and Central Minnesota.
  3. Inspiring people to think about our past, our present, and our future through the lens of history.
  4. Thriving by maximizing opportunities for innovation. Our Dedication to Transparency: Annual Report | Strategic Plan | Audit | 990

Meet Our Team

Carie Essig

Carie Essig

Executive Director

Rod Runge

Rod Runge

Finance Coordinator

Gena Hiemenz

Gena Hiemenz

Executive Assistant / Communications & Donor Relations Associate

Amy Degerstrom

Amy Degerstrom

Development Associate

Eric Cheever

Eric Cheever

Exhibits & Collections Curator

Caitlin Carlson

Caitlin Carlson

Program Curator

Steve Penick

Steve Penick

Head Archivist

Jessica Storlien

Jessica Storlien

Archivist

John Decker

John Decker

Archivist

Meet Our Board of Directors

Board Chair

Dorraine Larison

Vice Chair

George Rindelaub

Secretary

Patricia “Pat” Webber

Treasurer

Susan Palmer

DIRECTORS

Annette Atkins

John Bodette

Barb Carlson

Christopher P. Lehman

Stephanie Peterson

Chuck Rau

Elizabeth Reisinger

Bruce Skalbeck

Philip Terry

Dan Tideman

Ex-Officio

Jeff Mergen, Stearns County Commission, District 3