Hennepin History Museum's exhibitions highlight the diverse and rich history of Hennepin County, the largest county in Minnesota. From urban to suburban to rural, Hennepin County has it all!
Now on View
Members are an essential part of Hennepin History Museum. Membership benefits include free admission to the museum (including all Fireside Chats!), the archives, a discount in the Museum Store, and a subscription to Hennepin History.Join Today
Hennepin History Museum is a busy place, and hosts a wide variety of events and activities, including our signature Fireside Chat series, First Free Thursdays, exhibition openings, special tours, book signings, and traditional artist demonstrations.Calendar
Our Location 2303 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55102
Closed Saturday July 4
Monday Closed Tuesday 10:00 am - 2:00 pm Wednesday 1:00 - 5:00 pm Thursday 1:00 - 8:00 pm Friday 1:00 - 5:00 pm Saturday 1:00 - 5:00 pm Sunday 1:00 - 5:00 pm
Closed Saturday July 4
Monday Closed Tuesday 10:00 am - 2:00 pm Wednesday 1:00 - 5:00 pm Thursday 1:00 - 5:00 pm Friday 1:00 - 5:00 pm Saturday 1:00 - 5:00 pm Sunday Closed
Children 6 and under - Free
HHM Members - Free
We are located a half block north of Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Museum visitors may park in the museum parking lot.
We regret to inform you that our building is not fully accessible and does require climbing stairs.
HHM History The Christian Mansion
Hennepin History Museum was officially founded as the Hennepin County Historical Society in 1938, although it has roots extending back to the 1858 founding of the Territorial Pioneers Association. The museum's first home was located in St. Louis Park's City Hall; in the 1940s, the expanding organization moved to a location on Harmon Place in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. In 1958, the Hennepin County Historical Society purchased the George Christian Mansion to house its growing collections. The space in the sprawling 44-room mansion gave the museum room to expand its education and exhibition programs, and to continue to add to its historical collections. In the 1980s, the organization's name was officially changed to Hennepin History Museum. We remain in the historic Christian Mansion, where we continue to offer the public a wide range of exhibitions, educational programming, and access to our extensive collections.
Cara Letofsky, President
Barbara Grahn, Secretary
Bill Hogle, Treasurer
Cedar Imboden Phillips, Executive Director
Jack Kabrud, Curator
Susan Larson - Fleming, Archivist
Anthony Conteh - Morgan, Curatorial Assistant
Pamela Albinson, Historic Aquatenial Archivist
James Bacigalupo, Visitor Services and Graphic Design
Nancy Hegdahl, Bookkeeper
There are no jobs available at this time.
We are happy to arrange a special guided tour for groups of all sizes! Please contact us to schedule a tour. There may be an additional charge for guided tours.
Can't come to the museum? We're happy to bring the museum to you! Our educators will visit your school, community center, nursing home, or other facility with a box full of interpretive props or an illustrated Power Point presentation, all the better to make local history come alive. Topics range from the Aquatennial to the history of Minnehaha Falls. Please contact us for additional details. Special Delivery tours cost $50 to help us cover our costs; limited scholarships are available.
Support There are many ways you can support Hennepin History Museum
Individual support makes up 23% percentage of our annual operating budget-- meaning that supporters like you play an essential role in helping us to preserve and share local history. Your tax-deductible charitable gift helps to support exhibitions, the archives, educational programming like the Fireside Chats, and the preservation of the collections for current and future generations.
While we keep a tight watch on our expenses and income, there's no question about it: it costs money to maintain a 44-room mansion, publish a quality magazine, maintain historic collections, and install informative, exciting exhibitions.
Hennepin History Museum by the Numbers
$20,350 produces one year's worth of Hennepin History magazine
$3,500 provides one year's worth of exhibition supplies
$1,000 heats the building for one winter month
$100 funds one Fireside Chat
$30 buys a large archival box suitable for safe storage of historic textiles
$15 buys a large box of file folders
As you can see, every dollar counts -- please join us in preserving and sharing the story of Hennepin County.
TRIBUTE AND MEMORIAL GIFTS Are you looking for a meaningful way to honor or memorialize a friend or loved one? Please consider making a gift to Hennepin History Museum.
PLANNED GIVING Please contact us to discuss planned giving opportunities.
Hennepin History Museum has many volunteer opportunities. From working in the archives to giving tours, beautifying the grounds or entering collections data in our database, we have options for volunteers with all levels of experience, time availability, or interests. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Did you know that you can rent Hennepin History Museum for your private events? Whether you're looking for a perfect space for a corporate retreat or for your next big anniversary or birthday blow-out, Hennepin History Museum may be just what you're after. The space is elegant, the rental includes access to the exhibitions, and prices start at only $100/hour. Please contact us for more information or to check on availability.
SHOP FOR MUSEUMS
While we encourage you to shop local, we know that sometimes online shopping is the easiest option. Please consider shopping via the Shop for Museums portal to send a portion of your purchases (at no cost to you) back to Hennepin History Museum. It's easy, it's free, and it helps us to meet our fiscal goals and to continue to bring quality museum programming to the people of Hennepin County.
The Historical Society of Hennepin County, Minnesota
The Hennepin History Museum is one of the Twin Cities' most unique social history museums. We offer superb exhibits, a historic mansion setting, and archival collections of priceless scholarly value. HHM has evolved from the Hennepin County Territorial Pioneers Association in 1858 to the County Historical Society in 1938 to an award-winning history museum embracing a diverse range of cultures and social histories. Our mission is to collect and preserve the history of Hennepin County while serving as a center for knowledge and public education in the community.
Hennepin History Museum maintains an extensive collection of historic artifacts and archival materials relating to the history and evolution of Hennepin County. Our collection has its roots in the early collecting efforts of the Minnesota Territorial Pioneers Association, an organization dating back to the 1850s and representing members who were residents of Minnesota prior to 1858. In 1938, the Hennepin County Historical Society was organized, encompassing both the earlier Territorial Pioneers Association collections as well as materials obtained by the newly formed organization. The collections have continued to grow, and represent the history and stories of both the earliest local residents as well as more recent arrivals.
While we would like to be able to collect everything and anything related to Hennepin County history, such a collection would be too large for one institution to manage. Space is an issue in the building, and maintaining and preserving an item to museum standards is a costly endeavor. For this reason, we have to say no more often than we can say yes to potential museum donations; to accept everything would mean that we could not give the collections the time and care that they deserve. If you feel that you have an item that would be appropriate for the HHM collection, we encourage you to contact the museum directly.
Library and Archives
The Reading Room is open Tuesdays through Saturdays during regular museum hours. The archivist is available to assist researchers Tuesdays through Thursdays. We also welcome your questions electronically or by phone. If your project is extensive, contact with the archivist prior to your visit is encouraged.
Holdings include diaries, journals, manuscripts, letters, scrapbooks, atlases, maps, correspondence, reminiscences and diaries and ephemera including menus, contracts, advertisements, deeds and certificates, sheet music, postcards, posters, broadsides, invitations and calling cards, illustrating life in Hennepin county. Photographs make up a significant portion or the collections and include the Confer Real Estate photos, detailing views of properties sold by this company from 1915-1940. Other notable photo collections include the St. Anthony Falls Water Power Company, detailing riverfront development from ca. 1895-1906; The Kjorlie photos, illustrating Minneapolis and St. Paul during the late 1930s and 1940s; Minnesota Volunteers 1861-1866, From the Whitney Negatives; and the Arthur Adams lantern slide collection of Minnesota images, ca 1920s. These last 4 collections are also available on the Minnesota Digital Library.
The Archives also contain extensive records and artefacts of the Minneapolis Aquatennial. Holdings also include many locally produced cookbooks and school yearbooks. Hennepin History Museum has published Hennepin County History, later Hennepin History since the early 1940s. These magazines are an invaluable source for information on the history of Hennepin County.
Our Museum Store is stocked with a variety of books, cards, and other materials related to local history. Our strength is in difficult-to-find titles, some of them no longer in print. Remember: all members enjoy a 10% discount! All proceeds benefit Hennepin History Museum and our programs.
The popular Hennepin History magazine is published three time annually, and comes as a benefit of membership. Copies are also available for sale at the Museum Store. We are always open to new writers; please contact us if you would like to learn more about publishing opportunities.
Our newsletter is mailed to members three time each year, and provides updates on Hennepin History Museum happenings.
Our e-newsletter is available to everyone, regardless of membership status, and keeps you informed on upcoming events and current Hennepin History Museum news.
Children 6 and under - Free
HHM Members - Free
Free First Thursdays
Admission to the museum and archive reading room is free to all on the first Thursday of the month in 2015.
Our Thursday hours are 1-8 for the museum galleries, and 1-5 for the archive reading room. We hope you will visit us, and bring a friend!
HHM does not have air conditioning and may be closed in extreme weather. Please call (during open hours) before visiting, if you are concerned that the museum may be closed due to heat or storms.