Minnesota State Public School Orphanage Museum540 W Hills Cir
Owatonna, MN 55060
From I-35 near Owatonna, exit 41 (Bridge St). E 1/2 mi to State Ave, turn Left. Follow State Ave 1/2 mi. Follow signs.Get Directions
There were 10,635 "State Schoolers" between 1886 and 1945 -- kids orphaned, abandoned, or abused and sent to the Minnesota State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children in Owatonna, Minnesota.
Relive history through the Orphanage Museum with pictures, artifacts, and personal stories. Don’t miss the newly restored Cottage 11, State School Kids' Memorial, Children's Cemetery, Flag Pole Plaza, and Rock Garden. Our outdoor audio tour will guide you across the campus, with stories of children’s lives here.
Cottage 11 is open six days a week for afternoon tours. Check our web site for seasonal hours. Cottage 11 is air conditioned in the summer and handicapped accessible.
Hours & Dates
- Monday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
- Tuesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
- Wednesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
- Thursday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
- Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
- Saturday: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
- Sunday: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
M-F 8AM-5PM and Sa-Su 1-5PM.
Closed major holidays.
Weekend access through Owatonna Arts Center.
Cottage 11: Open Tues-Sun.
Hours: May 1 - Labor Day: 1-4PM; other months 1-3PM.
Closed Jan and Feb. C-11 closed major holidays.
Admission is free, but a $2.00 donation per person is suggested.
For information on guided group tours call 507-774-7369.
- Accessible to disabled
- Can accommodate groups of 45 or more
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
Based on 54 reviews
I was really looking forward to visiting this museum was, but it was beyond disappointing. It is located in a building that states it is “city hall” over the entry door, so I’m not sure whether it...
— Robin B, October 6, 2021
If you take some time here you will get a very complete picture of the history of orphaned/unwanted children in America. Be prepared to be moved to tears at times. If you are a history buff, and...
— workhardplayhard27, January 15, 2020
child live and life in this world without love and protect from their parent. I knew what they feel and feel it too. They was great and may god always bless all of you. Love you kids!
— Lydiatuan, December 8, 2019
Amazing part of MN history that I never knew about before this visit. These children were taken care of but certainly did not experience 'typical family life' growing up here. Purchased the book "Boy...
— Marilyn B, September 9, 2019
Children born to mothers who were unable to love them, had fathers that were often abusive, that were institutionalized into unloving environments, were used as indentured child-labour, were...
— johnbyl50, September 3, 2019