2620 Center Drive
Hudson, WI 54016
Phone: (715) 690-2500
Fax: (715) 690-2501
Arts & Museums
The renowned Octagon House Museum is also referred to as the John S. Moffat House and was established in 1855. The exquisite house, located in Hudson, is an aesthetic structure with tremendous monumental value. Constructed by the then renowned architects Andrews Brothers, it is a stellar model of the Greek Revival and the Octagonal Mode styles of architecture. Operated as a history museum at present, the house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Established in 1976, the North Star Museum of Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting is a unique museum. Get to know the stories and the influence of scouts through photographs, media files, photographs, books and artifacts. It delves into the history of boy and girl scouting from Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota, and Minnesota.
After spending much of the 1990s on the brink of financial disaster, this small museum resurfaced in 1998. Housed in a series of rooms on the second floor of the splendid Landmark Center in St. Paul, the museum has adequate room to show off its fine collection of 10,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints. The permanent collection is comprised of 130 years of American Art collected over a period of 40 years. It is home to works by well-known artists such as Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton and Childe Hassam. The museum also showcases the talents of many local artisans plus many traveling exhibits.
Located on the site of Minnesota's first railroad maintenance shop, this museum encourages visitors to learn about the railroad industry. Visitors learn about the history of the railroad and can watch the maintenance of passenger cars and locomotives, which operate in the Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway in Wisconsin. The roundhouse was built in 1907 as part of the Jackson Street complex, founded shortly after the Civil War, to service and maintain steam locomotives. Several public grants and many volunteers have helped in the restoration of the Roundhouse. Parking is available on-site.
A collection of working locomotives, steamships, train depots, roundhouses, trolleys and motor coaches brings the history of local transportation alive. The MTM has five exhibit sites in and around the Twin Cities area that are visited by more than 100,000 people annually. The various restored depots and roundhouse allow visitors to travel back to the golden age of the railroads.The most popular exhibit is the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, a rebuilt portion of what used to be the nation's largest urban rail service that was a 500-mile system in its heyday. Restored cars dating from the late 1800s and early 1900s run a two-mile round trip course between Lakes Harriet and Calhoun in South Minneapolis. Cars run every 15 minutes and passengers can board at the Linden Hills Station or the Lakewood Cemetery platform. The museum's other big draw is the Minnehaha, a 1906 steamboat which used to ferry streetcar passengers all over Lake Minnetonka. Back from a watery grave, the restored steamboat is as good as new and spruced up with a snazzy maroon and gold paint job.
The Schubert Club, established in 1882, has for over 100 years served as the bastion of classical recital music in the Twin Cities. Musical instruments dating back 425 years, such as items in its keyboard collection, are elegantly displayed in posh style. The museum's exhibits include musical manuscripts and instruments from around the world (such as Song of India). A docent is on hand to guide your tour. Admission is free. Groups exceeding five people are encouraged to call in advance.
Designed for children four months to 10 years old, this museum features four permanent galleries and two others hosting traveling exhibits. Visitors are encouraged to use all of their senses to explore the many things there are to see and do. They can be in the spotlight on the sound stage, crawl through the maze of tunnels in the giant ant hill, create a thunderstorm, operate a huge crane and much more. Activities and performances by singers, dancers, jugglers and storytellers take place daily. This is truly a place where 'learn to play, play to learn' is more than just a phrase. There is free entry on every 3rd Sunday of the month.
Opened in 1902 as a federal court building, this lavish Victorian architectural masterpiece sits facing St. Paul's Rice Park. Constructed of pink granite and red tile roofs, it boasts multiple turrets and gables along with other fanciful details. The richness continues inside with a five-story courtyard lit by a massive skylight and extravagantly appointed rooms with 20-foot ceilings, marble fireplaces and carved mahogany. Besides office space for numerous arts organizations, the Landmark Center is home to the prestigious Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Ramsey County Historical Society and the Schubert Club. The St. Paul Cafe, an excellent spot for lunch, is located on the first floor. Free tours take place at 11a on Thursday and 1p on Sunday. For something a little more unusual, take the Gangster Tours offered on the last Sunday of each month at 1p. Reservations are required for these special tours.
Built into the bluffs on the Mississippi River, this 370,000-square-foot museum features a hall of human biology and a large screen, 415-seat theater that supplements the museum's exhibits of dinosaurs and fossils. Rotating exhibits on everything from holograms to the human heart keep the crowds returning. The William McKnight-3M Omnitheater screens a varying selection of films. The state's longest reptile, a 40-foot steel iguana, guards the main entrance.
Housing a collection of more than 100,000 objects and 500,000 documents, this is a must-stop for residents and tourists alike. The dramatic setting alone is worth the trip. Inside the History Center, past times are alive and well. 'Minnesota A to Z,' an ingenious depiction of various aspects of Minnesota life over the past 150-plus years, will jog the memories of longtime residents. Kids can climb inside a full-size boxcar and replica of a grain elevator. Changing exhibits use interactive techniques, recordings and videos to make history lessons painless.
Guides dressed in period garb lead tours through this well-preserved Victorian house. This Second Empire mansion was built by Alexander Ramsey, Minnesota's first territorial governor, in 1872 and is furnished with many original pieces. During his political career, Ramsey was also mayor of St. Paul and a United States senator. The house was occupied by Ramsey descendants until 1964 when it was willed to the Minnesota Historical Society. The house is seasonally decorated during the holidays and daily hours are expanded from November 27 through December 31. The office is in the adjacent carriage house. Cookies baked in the house's kitchen are included in the admission fee. Call ahead for varying dates.
Once the home of railroad baron James J. Hill, the Minnesota Historical Society now owns this mansion. Tours provide a glimpse into what astonishing wealth could buy at the turn of the 19th century. It contains 42 rooms including 13 bathrooms, 22 fireplaces and a 100-foot reception hall. Stained glass windows, an enormous pipe organ and intricately carved woodwork are just a few of the highlights. The two-story art gallery is worth the price of admission alone. Tours depart every half-hour.