MUSEUMS & HISTORY


We have a rich cultural history in our area, and we love sharing it!

Every day, there is a history that surrounds us. Every building, location, and person has their own story. Here are a few of the organizations that are helping share the stories of our area. They are open for tours and visits - a perfect educational activity for any age! 

History, Arts and Cultural Association

The History, Arts and Cultural Association (HACA), formerly Friends of the Museum, is one nonprofit managing three separate properties in Perham with a mission to unite humanities, art, community, and culture. 

The organization dates back to 1966 with the formation of the East Otter Tail Historical Society, and later the History Museum of East Otter Tail County, where artifact cataloging and genealogical research are centered. Free self-guided tours and access to genealogy resources, including free access to ancestry.com, and a museum store are open year-round, and a "History Mystery Tour" runs all summer for kids. The History Museum is located at 230 1st Ave. North, in the quaint stone building that was the library at one point. Check out the Facebook Page or visit the website for more information. You could also call 218-346-7678. 

In Their Own Words Veterans Museum opened in 2006, based on oral histories of area veterans Free self-guided tours are offered, and docent led tours are available for groups by appointment. In addition to the museum, the 14,000sf building hosts the HACA Art & Events Gallery. The midsize venue with art gallery walls and audio visual systems is used for a myriad of multi-media cultureal events. The gallery hosts traveling exhibits, art classes, music, and theatrical events. It is also available for rent to the community. 

The building provides free meeting space for five veterans groups, an office for the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, an office for Pioneer Village, a food and beverage service area, and 2,000 of commercial space. See their Facebook Page or call 218-346-7678 for more info. 

The most recent addition to the HACA family is Perham's Pioneer Village, a scenic 25 acre indoor and outdoor park-like venue dotted with historic structures, a bandstand, vintage ballroom, and kitchen building that is home to Perham's Pioneer Festival in August. The property is owned by the City of Perham and is managed by HACA for community use. The venue is available for rent for rustic weddings, reunions, and corporate events. See their Facebook Page or call 218-346-7678 for more info. 

 

The Prospect House in Battle Lake, MN

The Prospect House, a Georgian-style "mansion", is a treasure in its own right. Cap Colehour built the house in 1882, based on architectural drawings from his home in Chicago. In 1886 Cap built an addition onto his house and began to offer his home, which he then called "The Prospect Inn", as a seasonal resort. He operated the resort until 1924 when his wife made him retire at age 82. The Prospect Inn was perhaps the first and largest resort in the lakes area, operating for 38 years. Cap’s daughter, Kathrina, and her husband, Ernest Wilkins, remodeled the interior five years later, in 1929. The house’s furnishings and décor have not been changed since that time.

Continually inhabited by descendants of Cap Colehour since 1882, the Prospect House features the Civil War Museum in the lower level. Century old trees define the grounds where the Prospect House was originally built and remains today as a historical site in Battle Lake, Minnesota. Historical markers around the yard tell the story of the Prospect House. Call 218-864-4008 for more info.