Sunday, November 22, 2009

Minnesota Attractions

The Olmsted County Museum preserves and interprets the rich heritage of Olmsted County and Rochester. Exhibits featured at the museum include healthcare, St. Marys Hospital, IBM, and the Tornado of 1883. Children will enjoy the experience of the Hands-On Cabin. The Olmsted County Museum is located at 1195 County Road 22 SW. For more information call (507) 282-9447.

The Mayo Clinic was built in 1914 when the Mayo Brothers outgrew their space at St. Marys Hospital. Today the clinic treats more than 250,000 patients each year. Patients come from all over the globe to receive the best healthcare that Mayo has to offer. The Mayo Clinic has virtually every expertise with more than 100 specialties and a teamwork approach to healthcare as well as extensive medical education and research. Surprisingly, the medical care costs at Mayo are 15% below the national average. The clinic offers tours that highlight Mayo, past and present, and the donated artwork on display throughout the clinic. Located at 200 1st Street SW, Mayo Clinic is a must see, even if you don’t need to visit a doctor. Call (507) 284-2511 for additional information.

After the devastating tornado in 1883, the sisters of St. Francis set out to provide a hospital for the Rochester community. By 1889, they had raised $60,000 and St. Marys Hospital was constructed. It was the first general hospital in Southeast Minnesota and offered 27 patient beds. Today, St. Marys Hospital is a 1,157 bed facility with more than 50 operating rooms. Tour brochures are available at the information desks for those interested in a self-guided tour. The hospital is located at 1216 2nd Street SW.

Plummer House at 1091 Plummer Lane, was built in 1917 by Dr. Henry Plummer. The English Tudor mansion is an impressive five-story structure with nearly 50 rooms. Dr. Plummer died in 1936 and his family remained at Plummer House until 1969 when the house and grounds were given to the City of Rochester. The mansion is surrounded by 11 acres of beautiful grounds that include gardens, trails, and a water tower. Call (507) 281-6160 for additional information.

The Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial is located in downtown Rochester at the Soldiers Field Park. The memorial’s purpose is to honor veterans who have served in the United States military. It was dedicated June 25, 2000, and cost $1.3 million to construct. Visitors will see a list of nearly 2,000 Minnesotans from the area who have died in combat since the Civil War.
The most complete carillon in North America can be found on top of the Plummer Building in downtown Rochester. The Rochester Carillon’s 56 bells originated in England and Holland. Thirty-minute concerts can be enjoyed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in downtown Rochester. Call (800)634-8277 for more details.

The Mayowood Mansion was built in 1911 and was home to three generations of Mayos. This elegant 50-room mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can tour the spacious grounds, beautiful gardens, and see a wealth of Mayo Family items in the mansion. The Mayowood Mansion is located at 3720 Mayowood Road SW. For more information call (507) 282-9447.
Rochester’s Assisi Heights Convent, a 3-story Italian Romanesque building at 1001 14th Street, is home to the sisters of St. Francis. The structure bears a striking resemblance to the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Italy. The convent has a unique red tile roof, slate floors, a Romanesque ceiling, and beautiful hand-blown stained glass windows from Germany. Call (507) 280-2180 for more details.

Oxbow Park, a 572-acre park, was established in 1967. The park has 8 miles of developed trails for hiking as well as facilities for camping, picnicking, and fishing. Zollman Zoo is also located at the park. The zoo houses 30 native Minnesota animal species. A majority of its animals have been permanently injured and the zoo serves as an animal shelter. Bison, Bald Eagles, bear, elk, mountain lion, and porcupine are among some of the residents at the zoo. For additional information call (507) 775-2451.

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