Museums & History

Peterson Station Museum/Visitor Center

“Nearly 100 years after Peterson Station opened to serve Southern Minnesota Railroad customers, it welcomed the public again in 1974 – this time as a museum.  Today, visitors can explore the area’s past through historical memorabilia, photographs, and artifacts, or learn more about their family’s history in the area at the genealogy center.”

John Erickson is the founder and curator of the Peterson Station Museum.  Often seen assisting him is his wife, Darlene.  The museum was moved to its current location from a spot next to the old railroad – now the Root River State Trail.  A new addition was built recently to house the expanding collection.

                   Seasonal Hours:
May – September
Sat  10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sun  11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Mon – Fri  11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Or call for appointment
Contact Information:
(507) 875-2415 or (507) 895-2551,


rack card FRNT Peterson Museum
rack card BCK Peterson Museum



Brief History


ALL ABOARD!  Arrival of the railroad secured Peterson’s place as a rural manufacturing center.  Norwegian immigrant, Peter Peterson Haselrud founded Peterson in 1867.  The following year he gave the Southern Minnesota Railroad Company 15 acres to secure a train station.  The railroad sparked town development and Peterson became a thriving rural manufacturing center supplying goods to state and regional markets.  Numerous freight and passenger trains moved through the station daily until it closed in 1965.”

(Published on the DNR Interpretive Signs found on the Root River State Trail in Peterson Minnesota.)

DIGITAL CAMERA Peterson’s Little Free Library

Just outside the museum is Peterson’s Little Free Library.  Help yourself to a book and leave a book for the next person.  The right side is Children’s Books and the left for adults.

Other Area Museums & History

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park
Step back into 1899 and chat with costumed interpreters. Browse the Forestville store and explore 19th century home garden and farm buildings. See location and contact information above.

Fillmore County History Center & Genealogy Library |
202 County Rd 8 & Hwy 52
Fountain, MN 55935

Lanesboro Historical Museum
105 Parkway Ave S
Lanesboro, MN 55949

Historic Milwaukee Grain Elevator & 1939 Milwaukee Road Boxcar
Visit an original Milwaukee Company grain elevator building & restored 1939 Milwaukee Road boxcar.
Preston Trailhead
Preston, MN 55965

Rushford Historic Depot Museum
Built 1867, Minnesota’s oldest two-story railroad station on its original site.  Discover railroad memorabilia, genealogy and the information about the 2007 flood. Surrounding the site of the original Historic Depot are landmark buildings – the jailhouse, the one-room school house, the small chapel replica and a log home that is being restored with integrity and authenticity of the time it was used.
401 S. Elm St
Rushford, MN 55971

City Celebrations  Museums & History  Music  Root River State Trail

Root River  Arts & Theatre  Amish  Caves