Explore the History
From Lakota history to National Monuments, railroad museums and more...
Southwest Minnesota is rich in history, and here, you can still find little houses on the prairie. Nestled between the fields, prairies, and rolling hills, you'll find communities filled with culture, heritage, and historical sites.
Learn about the significance of locations like Jeffers Petroglyphs and the Pipestone National Monument to the Lakota people and other Native American peoples, take a spin on a train turntable and stroll through pioneer-era museums and historic sites.
Westbrook Heritage House Museum
The museum is housed in the 1900 depot of the Chicago-Saint Paul-Minneapolis-Omaha railroad, which was restored in 1985 by volunteers of the community. The displays relate to the history of the local area, its businesses and its people; genealogy and school memorabilia; tours for schools; and changing displays and demonstrations. There is also a restored log cabin from the late 1800’s that was originally located near Dutch Charley Creek.
Photo Credits: Westbrook Historical House Museum
Come see the Jeffers Petroglyphs and immerse yourself in the history, beauty, and culture of this ancient and sacred site. The site includes more than 5,000 ancient rock carvings set in the prairie grasses. These carvings tell the stories of Native American ancestors over more than 7,000 years. The Visitor Center houses interactive exhibits about Native American culture and prairie ecology. Outside, explore trails through native prairie before touring the petroglyphs carved into the stones set amid the prairie grasses. Take off your shoes and explore the rock face in the evening when the lighting is best to view the carvings during a self-guided tour.
Jeffers Petroglyphs is open seasonally. View visiting hours on their website.
Photo Credits: Jeffers Petroglyphs
Historical Society & Remick Art Gallery
Established in 1901 as the old settlers association of Cottonwood County, the Cottonwood County Historical Society has occupied the old Co-Op Oil Association building since 1973. The building houses a 3,000 square foot Exhibit Hall dedicated to telling the story of the county's rich history from American Indian presence to life in the 1940's, the Remick Art Gallery showcasing local and regional artists, and a research library.
The exhibits and gallery are open Monday-Saturday year round.
Photo Credits: Cottonwood County Historical Society