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

On November 10, 2020, Dakota County Commissioners met during a General Government & Policy (GGP) Committee meeting to discuss the scope of renovations to be done at the Lawshe Memorial Museum. The approved Dakota County budget included $1.2M in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for ADA upgrades to the Lawshe Museum to be completed in 2020.

During the GGP meeting on November 10th, it was made clear that we did not have full spport by Dakota County Commissioners for this work to be completed. In fact, it was suggested, and agreed upon by multiple Commissioners, that the Lawshe Museum be closed and our artifacts be stored at an off-site location in the county. The original comment was rescinded by the Commissioner that made it in a subsequent meeting.

It is the desire of DCHS to remain in the Lawshe Memorial Museum in South St. Paul, Minn. We also encourage the Dakota County Commissioners to use the already approved $1.2M for ADA upgrades and renovation work.

We are scheduled to present our Strategic & Business Plan to the Dakota County Commissioners on March 9, 2021. We intend to make our wishes clear and explain that a physical museum presence is necessary to achieve our missions.

We ask that you take the time to review the information below. Then, we ask that Dakota County Commissioners and express your concern with these statements. In addition to your own representative, or if you are not a county resident, you can contact Chair Mary Liz Holberg to make sure your voice is heard.

Having a physical museum presence is vital to the work we do as an organization. Not only does the museum act as a place for learning through exhibits, programs and special events, but it is the base for the work we do across our sites, the county and state. Not having a physical museum space would hurt not only our organization's ability to function at our established high-level, but hurt the residents of Dakota County and Minnesota. No museum space would reduce our ability to solicit funds and sponsors, but also lock away our artifacts from public view. Residents of Dakota County would lose one of the only organizations dedicated to preserving, interpreting and promoting the history of Dakota County. This impacts not just county residents, but people across the state and country that visit to learn about Minnesota's founding history.

During a February 2, 2021 Dakota County Commissioners meeting, a public statement was made by a Dakota County Commissioner rescinding their comments made during the November 10, 2020 GGP meeting. You can view the video here, with the public statement beginning at two-hours, 32-minutes and 10-seconds (2:32:10).


For more information on the November 10, 2020 GGP meeting, you can choose from the following options (please note, you will be redirected to the Dakota County website):


As previously mentioned, we were informed that our next opportunity to speak in front of the Dakota County Commissioners is March 9, 2021. Please use this time to show your support! If you do show your support, please let us know by sending us an email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or to executive director Matt Carter (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

You can view a summary of our Strategic & Business Plan here, which is based upon having a physical museum presence to carry our mission and vision.


Visit one of these Dakota County Historic Sites