As the Minnesota iron mining industry exploded at the turn of the 20th century, people seeking economic prosperity and freedom immigrated to northern Minnesota from nations around the globe. Immigrants brought few material goods on their journey, but with them the rich traditions and customs of their homelands. Minnesota Discovery Center, formerly known as Ironworld, preserves this important period of American history through museum displays, traveling exhibits, special events and more. Minnesota Discovery Center is located in Chisholm, MN. Created in the late 1970s to celebrate the many ethnicities that came together on Minnesota's Iron Range at the turn of the last century to mine the nation's largest body of iron ore, our facility has become a dynamic center for music, the arts and community connections.
The stories and traditions of early immigrants are still honored at Minnesota Discovery Center, but the museum has expanded to host traveling exhibits and accommodate programming that entertains, educates and encourages multigenerational experiences on a year-round basis.
In summer, an outdoor amphitheater hosts performances of all kinds, from country to blues, polka to rock and roll.
An on-site research library is home to an impressive collection of material on Minnesota history, while the facility's archives hold hundreds of thousands of maps, photos and objects.
Minnesota Discovery Center's Heritage Park is a beautiful setting for weddings and other events. Play mini-golf on our newly-restored 19-hole course and explore historic and historically recreated dwellings. Watch for folk arts demonstrators throughout the museum and grounds. Our vintage trolley takes visitors on a 2.5 mile round trip past a spectacular view of a former mine pit. Disembark at Glen Location and explore trails, old mining equipment and even an original location house.
Visitors to Minnesota Discovery Center may encounter award-winning exhibits, popular performing groups and well-known authors. Depending on when you visit, you may hear a local choir, take a dogsled ride, encounter dozens of decorated Christmas trees, see a cooking demonstration, hear a memoir-writing workshop, see a movie or take part in a Finnish festival.
Any time of year, a visit to Minnesota Discovery Center is an entertaining way to learn about the state's rich history and the amazing contributions made by to it by the Iron Range. Best of all, visitors will encounter something new with each visit, all of it anchored in the facility's original intent to honor the Iron Range.