COVID-19 and BECHS History Center Update 6/9
The Blue Earth County Historical Society Board of Trustees is announcing August 1, 2020, as a tentative re-open date for the Blue Earth County History Museum at 424 Warren Street, Mankato.
“Since we are currently closed to the public due to health concerns from COVID-19, we felt this was the opportune time to also consider the health of the building environment for our staff, volunteers and visitors,” notes Jessica Potter, BECHS Executive Director.
The home of the Historical Society was built in 1960, and with buildings of this age, it’s common to find asbestos used in different ways throughout the building. Such is the case for the History Center.
The building will remain closed until at least August 1 for asbestos abatement on the main level and other necessary repairs associated with the project. “We are looking forward to a clean and healthy History Center and are excited for enhancements to our exhibit space and meeting rooms,” Potter comments.
In addition to the asbestos abatement, the Historical Society is also installing a new boiler which replaces the original 1960 boiler. Maintaining proper temperatures year-round is vital to the long-term preservation of the objects being protected by BECHS.
When the Historical Society reopens, it will not only feature building improvements, but also a new exhibit titled The Great Outdoors: Summertime Fun in Blue Earth County. This exhibit will explore the many great places in Blue Earth County’s past and present that can be enjoyed during the summer months.
COVID-19 and BECHS History Center Update 5/22
The Blue Earth County Historical Society Board of Trustees made the hard decision to not open the Hubbard House for the 2020 summer season. While some rooms in the historic house museum do allow for social distancing, many do not. Also, cleaning products needed to sanitize the house between visitors would be harmful to the historical collection pieces. Staff will continue to monitor the House to ensure the safety of the objects housed on-site.
“For the safety of our staff, visitors, and the historical items on display at the Hubbard House, we feel it’s best to not open for the season. There are just too many factors to consider when maintaining a historic house such as how do you sanitizing a 130-year old staircase railing without causing damage to the wood,” noted BECHS Executive Director Jessica Potter.
Although you can’t visit the Hubbard House in person this year, you can visit virtually. The Hubbard House Facebook page will continue to have content posted regularly including virtual tours highlighting different rooms and items throughout the historic home.
In addition, BECHS will continue to make local history accessible with weekly programs presented through Zoom. These virtual programs include a weekly series titled History @ Home with BECHS, monthly Virtual Pub Crawls, and Talking Ancestors Genealogy Group. More information about these programs can be found on our website at BlueEarthCountyHistory.com/Events.
- While the BECHS Research Center will be closed to visitors, research services may be accessed via website, email, and phone. For more information: call 507-345-5566 or email research@
- Check out our Facebook Page for daily content.