Dakota County Historical Society
To preserve, interpret and promote the history of Dakota County.


Date: Friday, June 12th, 2020
Time: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Location: Sibley Historic Site, Dupuis House
Fees/RSVP: $20 per person ($15 for DCHS or MNHS members).

Have a drink with your friends and the Dakota County Historical Society as you learn about Minnesota’s history of  incarcerating adolescent girls for ‘immorality’. This series offers fascinating stories of historic people, places, and events in a unique and intimate setting. Admission includes one free drink ticket and a cash bar for visitors that includes beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages.

When author Sheila O’Connor set out to uncover buried family secrets, she discovered the little-known history of incarcerating adolescent girls for disturbingly long sentences for “immorality” and “incorrigibility” in the early part of the twentieth century at the Minnesota Home School for Girls in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.  Confronted with a history of not one girl, or one family, but thousands of victims, Sheila O’Connor set out to document, and bring to life, a silenced story that included corporeal punishment, solitary confinement, state-mandated breastfeeding, and parole assignments as domestic servants in private homes.  Drawing on the facts of her own grandmother, who was sentenced as a pregnant fifteen-year-old to six years in 1935, Sheila O’Connor will talk about the historical research that informed her book Evidence of V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts, and Fictions, her ongoing-work to bring this history to light, and the ways in which this lost past remains pressingly relevant to girls and women.

Sheila O’Connor is the author of six novels including her most recent hybrid book, Evidence of V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts and Fictions, published by Rose Metal Press.  Awards for her books include the Michigan Prize for Literary Fiction, Minnesota Book Award, International Reading Award, and Midwest Booksellers Award among others.  A multi-genre writer, her short stories, poems, and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies including Bellingham Review, Minnesota Monthly, Alaska Quarterly Review, Baltimore Review, Great River Review, Blue Earth Review, and others.  She is a professor in the Creative Writing Program at Hamline University where she serves as Fiction Editor for Water~Stone Review.

The site will open at 5:30 p.m. for a social gathering, with the presentation starting at 6:00 p.m. Light food and beverages will be available, including a cash bar.

Must be 21+ to receive a free drink ticket, or to purchase alcoholic beverages. Proof of age will be required before a drink ticket and / or beverage is purchased. 

* Registration:


Visit one of these Dakota County Historic Sites