Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the more frequent questions we receive about the History Center of Olmsted County (HCOC) and the Mayowood Mansion. If you still have questions after reading through this page, feel free to contact us by email at, call our telephone number (507)282-9447, or visit us in person at 1195 West Circle Drive SW, Rochester MN, 55902.

Q. What are the History Center's hours?
A. The History Center is open Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with special hours for certain events.

Q. What are the Mayowood Mansion's hours?
A. The Mayowood Mansion's regular tour schedule can be found on the Tours of Historic Mayowood web page. The mansion is open March-October.  Tour days and times are subject to change so please check the page linked above for specific information. The Christmas tour schedule can be found on the Christmas Tours of Mayowood Mansion web page. Christmas tours require tickets to be purchased in advance, so please call the History Center at (507)282-9447 to schedule your tour.

Q. Do you do guided or group tours through the History Center or Mayowood Mansion?
A. The HCOC does accommodate group tours of the History Center and Mayowood Mansion. For more information about scheduling a tour, please contact us at (507)282-9447 or by email to

Q. Is photography allowed on HCOC grounds or in the museum? 
A. We do allow personal photography by visitors at the History Center, both in the museum and on the grounds with payment of the normal museum admission price. Professional photographers must purchase a photography pass in order to photograph on HCOC grounds. Please see our Photography Policy web page for more information on our photography policy.

Q. Is photography allowed at the Mayowood Mansion?
A. Photography is not allowed at the Mayowood Mansion.

Q. Can I rent space in the History Center?
A. Yes, HCOC has two event rooms available in the museum, as well as a pavilion that may be rented. Information on HCOC rentals can be found on our Rentals web page. The grounds provide a beautiful landscape for a wedding and the History Center and grounds may be rented for weddings. Please see our Weddings web page for more details and contact information. The Mayowood Mansion is not available for rentals.

Q. Can I do research at the History Center? 
A. Yes! The History Center has a research center with extensive archives that is open Tuesday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The research center does have a $5.00 admission fee for non members, that is shared with the museum, so once you finish your research, you are welcome to tour the museum as well. The History Center does have Online Databases to assist you when you visit. You are also welcome to search them from home!

Q. I live far away or out of state. Can I still do research?
A. You can contact the research center by e-mail, phone, or mail and our friendly staff and volunteers will assist you with your research request. Research orders are subject to additional fees, which are listed on our Research Center Fees web page and may be submitted electronically through our online submission form. We have a minimum charge of $10.00 for a research order. For assistance, please email, call 507-282-9447, or send a letter to 1195 West Circle Drive SW, Rochester MN, 55902.

Q. How do I donate items to the History Center's artifact and archival collections? 
A. For information about donating items to the History Center of Olmsted County, please see our web page on Donating an Artifact. The History Center does require that all items donated be used or owned by people who lived in Olmsted County.

Q. I am interested in becoming a member of the History Center of Olmsted County, how do I do that? 
A. Thank you for your interest in being a member and supporting us! You can find more information about becoming a member on the Become a Member web page. If you are interested in an online donation, you can make your donation through the Donate web page.

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