• History Center receives anonymous $10,000 matching gift

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    July 25, 2019
    “Who is the $10,000 History Mystery matching donor?” everyone is asking.
    An anonymous donor has challenged Wayne Gannaway, the new executive director at the History Center of Olmsted County, to lead the organization in an effort to match a $10,000 gift.
    “The game’s afoot!” says Gannaway. “I’ll go anywhere in the county to make the case that the History Center is vital and to invite folks to help us meet the donor’s challenge. Every dollar counts!”
    As explanation for the gift, the anonymous donor said: "A thriving community requires an understanding of what built that community. I challenge everyone to support the important work of the History Center of Olmsted County!" The mystery donor made the gift this week expressing confidence in the new executive director and the future of the History Center.
    “I am thrilled to be leading the History Center in a community that values the lessons of our past,” Gannaway added. “This mysterious donor is really laying down the gauntlet. Although I’ve only been in Rochester for a little over a month, I’m game,” Gannaway said. He will be inviting the History Center board of directors, members, and history fans throughout the county to help the History Center raise $10,000, which the mysterious donor will match dollar for dollar.
    All donations help the History Center provide affordable resources and educational activities for people of all ages, from students and genealogists researching in the archives, to families and adults of all ages learning about Rochester and Olmsted County through lectures and exhibits, and opportunities for experiencing the past first hand at events such as the Living History Fair.
    The History Center of Olmsted County campus consists of 54 acres in southwest Rochester that
    incorporates two historic farmsteads, historic buildings, and the History Center museum. The History Center museum houses the exhibit gallery, gift shop, the Willson Library, and the Wickland Archives.
    The History Center of Olmsted County also operates public tours and special events at the historic Mayowood Mansion. Mayowood was built in 1911 by Dr. Charles H. Mayo, who lived there until 1939.
    Now, this 38-room historic house is home to an extensive decorative arts collection, gorgeous gardens, and antique furnishings from the French, Spanish, German, and American cultures. Ownership of the Mayowood Mansion was transferred to Mayo Clinic in 2013. Mayo Clinic is currently performing renovations on the mansion and grounds, but the mansion is still open to the public on scheduled tour days.
    The History Center museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (closed on major holidays). Admission costs are as follows: adults (12 & up) - $5.00; children (2-12) - $2.00; children under 2 and Members – FREE! 
    Mayowood Mansion tours for the 2019 season are March 20 - October 26 and operate weekly on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Admission is as follows: adults (12 & up) - $17.00; children (2 - 12) - $5.00; children under 2 – FREE! Purchase tickets at the Mayowood Mansion approximately 10-20 minutes prior to your selected tour time. Tours are conducted by an educated tour guide and last about 60 minutes. Christmas tours are offered every November and December. Group tours are available upon request.
    More information on the History Center or Mayowood Mansion can be found at
    www.olmstedhistory.com or by calling 507-282-9447.
    Wayne Gannaway, Executive Director
    (507) 282-9447