In November of 2021, the Historical Society shared a BOLD vision to expand the History Center by 10,000 square feet. That’s a big BOLD vision that will take many steps, partners, dollars and planning. To achieve this vision, we realized early on that we will need to take small steps to realize the big dream.

The first BOLD step was to purchase the house next to the History Center at 526 S. Fifth Street to allow for the first phase of growth and investment in our exterior infrastructure. The house was purchased on August 1st. We worked closely with multiple individuals who salvaged building materials from the house for their restoration projects. In September and October, we collaborated with the City of Mankato Fire Department who held valuable fire training exercises in the house concluding with a controlled burn on October 7. Now the site is ready for the next BOLD step.

In the Spring of 2024, the History Center’s 30+ year-old parking lot will be replaced. With the house gone, we will fully reconstruct the parking lot and add many new features – the next BOLD step.

History Center Exterior Enhancements will include:

• Increased parking with eight spots at the same grade as the main entrance making the parking lot more accessible.

• Two new entrances to the parking lot from South 5th Street; currently the only entrance is off the alley.

• Installation of parking lot lighting for History Center and neighborhood safety.

• Beautification projects like extension of our native pollinator gardens, outside gathering space with new commemorative brick patio, bike rack, public art, and monument sign on Warren Street. Click here to purchase your commemorative brick today!

The Parking Lot and Exterior Improvements project is budgeted for $360,000.  Thanks to generous History Heroes over the past three years, we need to raise just $200,000 to start the project next Spring. We need BOLD History Heroes like you.

You are invited to be part of history in the making. You can have an impact on the future by investing in the past. With your ongoing support, we can continue our mission to preserve and share our community’s history. New this year, memorialize your family name, organization, or business in Blue Earth County history while supporting the Society’s important mission to preserve, protect and share our local history. Our new commemorative brick program is now available. The bricks will be placed in the new History Center patio/gathering space. Funds raised will support the parking lot project and future capital improvement projects.

Thank you sincerely for believing in this BOLD vision and these BOLD steps!

Continue scrolling to donate online or you mail a check to:

Blue Earth County Historical Society
424 Warren Street
Mankato MN 56001

We need BOLD History Heroes like YOU!

Investments, like this, in the History Center’s infrastructure are moving us one step closer to realizing the BOLD expansion to come. Thank you for joining us as we celebrate the 121-year history of the Blue Earth County Historical Society and as we take another BOLD step for future generations.


Created using the Donation Thermometer plugin$200,000Raised $56,206 towards the $200,000 target.$56,206Raised $56,206 towards the $200,000 target.28%

If you don’t receive an email confirming your donation, please check your junk mail. If you receive no confirmation, please contact or 507-345-5566.

Expansion Concepts

Current view of the History Center from 5th Street, MankatoFuture view of the History Center from 5th Street (Concept drawing)
BECHS Expansion Phase 2

If you are looking to donate physical items to the Historical Society, please call 507-345-5566.