Here's just a sample of what you can expect to find when you visit the Jackson County Historical Society:

Evelyn Kroupa Williams Rural Schools Project

This rural schools exhibit is dedicated to the memory of Evelyn Kroupa Williams (1917 - 2015), a lifelong resident of Jackson County who attended and taught in rural schools in the county, and to all who taught in these schools. The exhibit represents our attempt to highlight the importance of and capture the experiences of the vast rural school system in Jackson County. At these schools, valuable lessons were learned, and longtime friendships were forged based on these common experiences.

Of the 135 school districts that once existed in Jackson County, JCHS has about 90 represented in photographs. The effort to find information, photographs, artifacts, and stories that represent these schools and their time in history will be ongoing; please contact JCHS if you or your family can help!

"Chesapeake of the Midwest"

At the turn of the century, Heron Lake in western Jackson County was an unparalleled prairie lake and wetland producer of waterfowl. The high point was reached on an October day in 1906 when an estimated 700,000 canvasback ducks blackened the sky over Heron Lake. Since that period, there has been a steady deterioration in the vegetation and water quality of the lake which remained unchecked until 1989 when a coalition of federal, state, and local agencies agreed upon a 20-year restoration plan. The restoration of Heron Lake will add another chapter in the fascinating history of this major natural resource of Southwestern Minnesota. Observe the vast biodiversity once housed at this locale and learn about its status as a paradise for hunters and birdwatchers alike.

Main Street

Several towns in Jackson County, like many in the United States, have a "Main Street" running through their center. Often, this single road would be the artery to the beating heart of our communities, featuring its most prominent businesses and serving as an important place for social interaction. Our Main Street exhibit celebrates these hubs of activity and the history they hold. It includes a store displaying the evolution of wedding dresses, post office boxes from the old Wilder Post Office, materials from the site of two bank robberies in the 1930s, and more.