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2022 Wenonga Days Celebration

2021 Woodstack Music Festival

Meet and Greet and Rummage Sale — July 25, 2020

Civil War Freedom Fest Tours & Exhibits held July 29, 2017

Monroe Crossing featured on July 28, 2017

A Mad Hatter Tea Party - June 7, 2017

2016 Fall Luncheon

Sixth annual Civil War Celebration

The Sixth annual Civil War Celebration took place this past Saturday at the Prospect House and Civil War Museum.

WDAY News came out and made a great video of the event that you can watch at the below link.

WDAY Video & Article [no longer active]

Prospect House Museum Benefit Concert - July 2, 2016

Monroe Crossing Poster

2015 Holiday Gala

Holiday Gala Invitation

Attention Booklovers

Jessica Lourey

Jessica (Jess) Lourey is best known for her critically-acclaimed Murder-by-Month mysteries, which have earned multiple starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, the latter calling her writing "a splendid mix of humor and suspense." Jessica also writes sword and sorcery fantasy as Albert Lea and edge-of-your-seat YA adventure as J.H. Lourey, and is branching out into magical realism, literary fiction, and thrillers under her given name. She is a tenured professor of creative writing and sociology at a Minnesota college. When not teaching, reading, traveling, writing, or raising her two wonderful kids, you can find her dreaming of her next story.

Mystery Night at the Museum

October 24, 2015
Prospect House Museum
403 N Lake Ave., Battle Lake
Refreshments served - Free will offering

One lucky participant will go home with Jess's new book:

book cover

Told in a majestic mosaic of strong women's voices, The Catalain Book of Secrets weaves together alchemy, hope, tragedy, and true love to spin a tale in the style of Garden Spells, Eva Luna, and Practical Magic.

More Info about the Book

Fifth Minnesota Infantry, Company D also Coming to Prospect House & Civil War Museum

Cannon Picture
A group of Civil War reenactors and living historians who dedicate themselves to their motto "Remembering the Past, Educating the Future." Members come from Fargo, Grand Forks, and surrounding areas in North Dakota and Minnesota.

2nd Minnesota Battery Light Artillery Coming to Prospect House & Civil War Museum

The 2nd Minnesota Battery, Light Artillery Inc., was incorporated in Goodhue County in 1985. They are a group of men and women, living historians and Civil War re-enactors, dedicated to preserving the history of the United States by participating in lectures, educational opportunities and the re-creation of those years from 1861-1865, when our country was involved in a great Civil War.

Cannon Firing Picture

Although the battery headquarters are located in Red Wing, they have active members in communities up and down the Mississippi River from Coon Rapids to Winona. Members are responsible for purchasing his/her own period clothing and accoutrements that allow them, as an organization, continue to "step back in time".

The unit they portray, the 2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery was accepted for service in the Union Army at Ft. Snelling, MN in February 1862 and served valiantly in the Western Theater of the war until August of 1865.

Wearing historically accurate uniforms and equipment, in their efforts to educate, members of the 2nd Minnesota Battery Light Artillery have feasted on hardtack and salt pork, cooked over an open fire, slept on the hard ground, responded to the call of the bugle, breathed the black powder smoke of battle, endured weather conditions that would keep "less enthusiastic folks" inside and walked in the foot-steps of the men they portray.

Since their incorporation in 1985, the organization has over four hundred sixty appearances on its resume. These appearances have taken them into school systems in Red Wing, Lake City, Cannon Falls, Faribault, Winona, Rochester, Maplewood, Edina, Savage and Oakdale in Minnesota and to Ellsworth and Prescott in Wisconsin. They have lectured to Kiwanis Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Women's Guilds, in public libraries, historical societies, bookstores, and on cable television networks.

Cannon Firing PictureDuring the 125th anniversary years of the Civil War, members of the organization travelled to participate in recreating historical battles at Shiloh TN (1987), Gettysburg PA (1988), Olustee FL (1989), Vicksburg MS (1989) and Westport MO (1989).

Since these "awakening" years, they also participated in recreating historical Civil War battles at 130th Wilson's Creek MO (1991), 130th Perryville KY (1992), 135th Shiloh TN (1997), 136th Chickamauga GA (1999), 139th Wilson's Creek MO (2000), 140th Perryville KY (2002), 144th Perryville KY (2006) and 145th Chickamauga (2008).

To celebrate the 150th anniversary years of the Civil War, members once again travelled to recreate battles at Shiloh TN (2012), Perryville KY (2012), Gettysburg PA (2013) and Pilot Knob MO (2014). These anniversary year events, recreated on historic ground, have been attended by hundreds of thousands of spectators. In May 2015, members will travel to Springfield IL to recreate the welcome of President Lincoln's Funeral Train on the 150th anniversary of this event.

In addition to participating in numerous Civil War reenactments at the National level, their resume includes encampments on the historic grounds of Fort Snelling and Fort Ridgley. They also have participated in a variety of Civil War related community events in the tristate area of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. On July 25, 2015, we welcome the members of the 2nd Minnesota Battery Light Artillery to the Prospect House & Civil War Museum, here in Battle Lake MN.

Holiday Gala

What a fun event this year! Our Gala Sponsor Thrivent provided matching dollars up to $1,000. We were so very fortunate this year between our guests and friends, the Prospect House raised $2,351. The food and beverage was donated by community friends and neighbors.

See our volunteers, as they set before us a feast of hors d'oeuvres and punch. We also enjoyed the presence of three lovely Roaring Twenties Flappers. Thank you friends of the Prospect House Museum.

Pictures taken by Lana Kelly

Photo of Prospect House Pumpkin Fest
September 27
Prospect House Museum
Special Event 1pm – 3pm

It doesn't take a few cool mornings or the slightest suggestions of color on the edges of the maple leaves to tell Minnesota hunters and fisherman that it is unofficially fall. Association with the transition from warm to cold weather, and its related status as the season of harvest, dominates celebrations all over the Midwest. Rural folk created a rich social life combining work, food, hunting, and entertainment early in our history.

Join Jay at the Prospect House for a "special display of hunting and fishing" from the early days of the Prospect Inn to recent history in the Battle Lake Area. For early settlers hunting, fishing was almost purely for survival and more of a way to get food for the family. Major regulations were not established until the 20th century.

You are also invited to bring your own memories and pictures of hunting and fishing in Minnesota to share with the group.After the presentation, refreshments of pumpkin/apple cake donuts and apple cider will be served; and tours of the Prospect House and Civil War Museum will be offered for $10.

Monroe Crossing Band Photo Monroe Crossing Concert
Saturday, July 26, 2014 - 8:30 p.m.
Lakes Area Community Center
112 Main Street, Battle Lake, MN 56515

Monroe Crossing is coming to Battle Lake to put on a concert for the benefit of the Prospect House and Civil War Museum. Named in honor of Bill Monroe, "The Father of Bluegrass Music," Monroe Crossing dazzles audiences with an electrifying blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and heartfelt originals. Their airtight harmonies, razor sharp arrangements, and on-stage rapport make them audience favorites across the United States and Canada.

Based in Minnesota, the group plays an average of 125 shows a year at major venues and festivals, frequently for non-bluegrass audiences — and people often comment that they'd never really liked bluegrass music until they attended a Monroe Crossing concert!

Monroe Crossing is made up of five very distinct personalities with differing musical backgrounds and tastes, combining for a very unique ensemble sound. They are Derek Johnson: guitar, lead & harmony vocals; Lisa Fuglie: fiddle, mandolin, lead & harmony vocals; Matt Thompson: mandolin, fiddle, baritone vocals; Mark Anderson: bass & bass vocals; and David Robinson: banjo. Their paths crossed through the music of Bill Monroe so they like to say they had a "Monroe Crossing."

More information about Monroe Crossing can be found at their website:

Blue Grass Concert on July 26 after the Wenogna Day Parade Tickets are $15, all proceeds benefit Prospect House. Cash Bar. For tickets call (218) 535-1588.

"The Atlanta Campaign: In early May 1864, Sherman began a major offensive to capture the city of Atlanta and cut vital Confederate supply lines. Over the course of two months, his 110,000–man force pursued the Confederate army under the command of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston from its winter camp in Dalton to Kennesaw Mountain, some twenty miles northwest of Atlanta. While the armies clashed in a number of battles that spring, none proved decisive. Though only half the size of the Union force, the Confederate army was able to parry Union thrusts and escape destruction; however, it could not stop Sherman's advance, and in early July, with the Union army approaching Atlanta's outer suburbs, Confederate President Jefferson Davis relieved Johnston of command." (

James A. "Cap" Colehour rode with Sherman on this march in 1864. The Prospect House & Civil War Museum celebrates the 75th Anniversary of Gone With the Wind, and commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta.

On May 3, 2014, Matti's Millinery and Costumes modeled fashions and gowns from the Civil War era. Jay Johnson was available to share the memories of his great grandfather, James A. "Cap" Colehour. Wine, cheese and traditional southern cake was served. The event fee was $10.00.

Veterans of the Civil War Exhibit at Otter Tail County Historical Society

Veterans of the Civil War came to Otter Tail County shortly after the war and made numerous contributions to the county as early pioneers, businessmen, township organizers and much more. This exhibit will explore their contributions to the county and the far reaching effects of those contributions. (Otter Tail County Historical Society, Fergus Falls, MN)

Jay Johnson, Founder/CEO of The Prospect House and Civil War Museum gave a presentation at OTCHS on February 21, 2014 to a group of Civil War enthusiasts. His presentation was about the life of James A. "Cap" Colehour, Civil War survivor, his great grandfather. On display at OTCHS is the life of James A. Colehour and the Prospect House when it was a hotel and home of James A. Colehour and family. There is also a display of a unique structure, Battle Lake Baptist Church, the church where James A. "Cap:" Colehour was a founding member.

For more information contact the Otter Tail County Historical Society at 218-736-6038.

January Thaw - Meet the Author

On January 25th, meet the author of January Thaw, Jess Lourey.

"Private-eye-in-training Mira James loves Minnesota's crisp January days, as long as she can spend them in the arms of hunky Johnny Leeson. But when Mrs. Berns's erratic Zamboni driving uncovers an icebound dead man, Mira's cold-weather tranquility threatens to melt away.

With a frozen body in the lake and a freak January thaw descending on town, neither Johnny nor generous portions of high-octane comfort food are enough to ease Mira's frazzled nerves. There's big trouble brewing in Battle Lake. And if Mira can't figure out who's behind it, the next time she feels sub-zero temperatures, she may be sporting a toe tag in the town morgue."

Buy it Today

The Prospect House and Civil War Museum has become a member of the Blue Star Museum Group. Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. First launched in the summer of 2010, Blue Star Museums offers free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day, May 27, through Labor Day, September 2, 2013.

Join the ancestors of the James (Cap) A. Colehour family for a new display of antique valentines. Many of the valentines are over 100 years old. The valentines on display were also featured in "In Good Company" magazine's winter edition 2011. This year, the Prospect House and Civil War Museum is celebrating 150 years since the Civil War, the year is 1863. Our special guests on Valentine's Day will be President Abraham and Mrs. Lincoln. In 1863, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and he will be there to present this historical document. The hours for the display on February 14, 2013 are from 1PM – 6PM, serving light refreshments. Also, when you leave the Prospect House Museum treat your sweethearts to a delicious meal at the Shoreline Restaurant just north of the Prospect House Museum on Highway 78.

A new display was added to the Civil War Museum during December 2012 showing many details and pictures about the local G.A.R. chapter. The "Grand Army of the Republic" was formed in 1866 in Illinois, the year after the Civil War ended, as a re-union for Union soldiers. It was a forerunner of the VFW and gradually faded out of existence as the old soldiers rapidly disappeared. The average life span at that time was less than 50 years of age. The "Everts" Post No. 138 of the G.A.R. was founded in 1885 in Battle Lake by James A. Colehour and E. A. Everts, and was named after E. A. Everts' father, Rezin Everts. The Everts Post sponsored a large G.A.R. Regional Encampment in Battle Lake in 1886. The few remaining Civil War survivors in Battle Lake disbanded the Post in 1900 due to declining numbers and poor health. The survivors were nearly 60 years old. James A. Colehour and E. A. Everts joined the "Stanton" Post in Fergus Falls — named after Edwin Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary of War. Everts passed away in 1916 and was buried with the Post's G.A.R. flag on his chest. Colehour, the last Civil War survivor in Otter Tail County and of his regiment, passed away on Christmas Day 1938 and is buried beside his best friend E. A. Everts in Lakewood Cemetery, Battle Lake.

Also in December 2012 a new display was added to the second floor of the Prospect House showing some momentos, post cards and pictures of family members that attended the World's Fair in Chicago, IL in 1933. Cap Colehour lived in Chicago before moving to Battle Lake in 1882 and still had many relatives in the area at that time. Here is some original footage of the 1933 World's Fair:

Be sure to ask your tour leader to tell you the story of Andy the turtle!

Joint Gala at Prospect House Museum

Gala Photo Working together closely, the Prospect House Museum and Otter Tail County Historical Society (OTCHS) raised almost $900 in a joint fundraiser gala in December. Two 1920's-themed events brought people together over hors d'oeuvres, music and a bit of theatre for this $20 per-person fundraiser.

Chris Schuelke, director of OTCHS, donned a 1920s hat and tie to play the role of "Cap" Colehour, owner of the Prospect House during that time. As Colehour, Schuelke recounted the story of early life, Civil War days, work in Chicago, and the move to Battle Lake in the 1880s for health reasons.

Two talented musicians give solo performances in the beautiful furnished, holiday decorated living room. Jake Dyrhaug, consummate jazz pianist and pastor of First Lutheran Church in Battle Lake, played keyboard and led guests in a 1920's sing along. On the second evening, Dan Carlson, Band Director at M-State in Fergus Falls, gave an outstanding performance on trumpet with music from the period.

During the evening, Jay Johnson, "Cap's" great-great grandson gave tours of the four-story museum, including the Civil War room with artifacts, letters, and mementoes dating to the civil war. Johnson's wife, Abby, greeted guests in 1920's flapper attire replete with feather headdress. Johnson formed a nonprofit organization, the Prospect House Museum, in 2010 and turned operations over to the organization and its Board of Directors. The museum is open for tours year-around.

Both non-profit organizations would like to thank those who attended the gala events for their support.

For more information, contact: Reba Gilliand at 218-862-5510 or

From November 1 to December 24, 2012 the Prospect House & Civil War Museum is providing a traveling exhibit of artifacts to the ITOW Veterans Museum of Perham, MN.

Visit the Prospect House & Civil War Museum this Halloween

1st Annual Old Fashioned Halloween Event

Battle Lake, MN (October 2012) – The Prospect House and Civil War Museum is holding itsfirst official Halloween event. Join the ancestors of the James (Cap) A. Colehour family andstep back in time for the treat of an old time Halloween. You might see a couple of Civil WarVeterans!!!

Festivities begin on October 31st at 3:30pm and end at 7pm.403 Lake Ave N.
Battle Lake, MN 56515


The garden tour event of July 14 & 15, 2012 was very successful earning a large donation toward landscape renovation of the Prospect House grounds.

In late July 2012 six historical markers were placed around the grounds of the Prospect House telling the story of the early days of the Inn and showing pictures of the house in different eras. The markers were also a donation from Warren Colehour's memorials.

Yard Sign Photo Yard Sign Photo

Cannon Photo
The Civil War 150 year celebration on July 28 & 29, 2012 proved to be an exciting weekend. There were Civil War reenactors, a teaching booth for making bullets, quilt and lace makers, Abraham Lincoln and two cannons. The large cannon was fired several times and if you were standing nearby you got a real feeling of what the original soldiers went through. There were many people walking the grounds of the Prospect House with the Museum and House tour being the epicenter of the weekend.

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