History/Ergot Museum

The Dassel History Center and Ergot Museum hosts permanent and temporary exhibits. It also serves as an event center for the region. Everything from graduation parties, to theatrical performances, to flower shows, take place there.

Updated July 2022

Known as the cultural, arts and historical center of the Dassel area, the Dassel History Center and Ergot Museum offers an array of events and exhibits throughout the year.

Located at 901 First St. N. in Dassel, the history center is home to the Dassel Area Historical Society (DAHS), an organization with a mission to bring the past, present, and future together in a way in which all generations can learn and enjoy.

The museum is housed in the Universal Laboratories building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2006, it was named one of the 25 top preservation projects in the state of Minnesota by the Minnesota Preservation Alliance.

Its main exhibit, Ergot: From Blight to Blessing, showcases what the building was primarily used for – processing ergot. From the early 1940s to the mid-1970s, Universal Laboratories provided raw ergot from the grain fields of the western US and Canada to pharmaceutical companies.

Critical drugs were produced from the ergot, saving countless military and civilian lives.

The history center offers other permanent exhibits, including Seed Corn: From Maize to Amazing, which highlights the important role played by the local seed corn operations in the development of seed varieties capable of growing corn in colder climates such as Minnesota. This exhibit explains the development of special hybrid seed varieties, a revolutionary process for producing corn seed, that Time magazine recognized as “the most spectacular and far-reaching agricultural development of this generation.”

It also features Peterson Pharmacy exhibit, featuring donated historical pharmaceutical artifacts; and Magnus Johnson: from Swedish Immigrant Farmer to US Senator, showcasing the political career of the late senator from the Kingston area.

In addition, the museum features an assortment of temporary exhibits throughout the year providing artifacts, photos, and historical information.

In addition to the museum, the Dassel Event Center is located on site, where special events take place throughout the year,. It is also available for rent by the public.

The museum is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and by appointment. There is no admission fee.

For more information about the Dassel History Center, visit the website, dassel.com/hs. Questions may be directed to 320-275-3077. The mailing address for the Dassel History Center and Ergot Museum is PO Box D, Dassel, MN 55325.