Available for purchase...

The Center has created and is selling several booklets that would be of interest to Plainview natives and visitors alike.

Plainview Plateau of Plenty - 1856-1956
$5.00

This 100 page history was written for Plainview’s 100th Centennial Celebration. It has been reprinted and is a good source of the community’s history.

Plainview: The Heart of Greenwood Prairie - 1856-2006
$5.00

This 70 page history was written for Plainview 150th celebration. It contains updates to the 100th history plus the next 50 years. It is loaded with photos and “fills in the cracks” left out of the former history. A must for all lovers of Plainview history!

Celebrating 150 Years - Plainview 2006 Calendar
$1.00

This calendar contains 13 beautiful photos of Plainview’s past along with historical commentary. And even though it’s a bit outdated, it is a wonderful way to remember Plainview year long celebration!

A Short History of Greenville
$2.00 (Member $1.50)

A brief 12-page history of the tiny community of Greenville, once located 2 miles east of Plainview from 1855 to 1866. The Plainview Area History Center celebrated its 150th birthday May 21, 2005 with an open house for the event and the writing of a history of the vanished town that once was Plainview’s rival.

A Complete History of Greenville
$7.00 (Member $6.00)

A 50 page history of they tiny community of Greenville, once located 2 miles east of Plainview from 1855-1866. This history contains detailed information on the community gathered from many varied sources. The history also contains a original survey map of the Plainview township as well as biographies of the settlers of the Greenville area. The first ever attempt to pull together all the scattered articles of the village of Greenville in one booklet.

Road Map to Greenville
$1.00

A small one-page roadmap to find the location of the vanished village of Greenville. Today the village is on the edge of two farms with a township road dissecting it down the middle. Just two miles east of Plainview, this map helps the curious historian find the location of the once promising community.

Greenville Celebration Button
$5.00

3-inch diameter button commemorating Greenville’s 150th birthday. The button contains the logo of the vanished town and a great addition to button collectors everywhere. As one newspaper reporter stated, “How many towns that don’t even exist celebrate their 150th birthday?”

Walking Tours
$1.50 (Members $1.00)

Each tour book includes pictures, commentary and a removable map.

  • Journey Down Jefferson Street: takes a look at houses along 4th Street SW (24 pages)
  • Between the Churches: looks at the area between the Presbyterian and Catholic Churches on Broadway (22 pages)
  • Battle on Broadway-Northside Lineup: explains the history of the north side of the business district (20 pages)
  • Battle on Broadway-Southside Lineup: explains the history of the south side of the business district (24 pages)

Twenty-five Unusual and Obscure Stories of Plainview
$5.00 (Members $4.00)

A variety of stories compiled through research in old Plainview newspapers. (46 pages)

A Walk Down Plainview's Mainstreet with Kenneth Baldwin
$3.50 (Members $3.00)

From an interview recorded on January 5, 1984 (22 pages)

Bicycles in Plainview
$4.00 (Members $3.50)

An early history gathered from the "Plainview News".

Original Recipes from the Donut Lady (Merle Staudacher)
$5.00 (Members $4.00)

The Donut Lady was a special person. Her baked goods were famous throughout Plainview for many years. She could be seen coming down the street pulling her little coaster wagon loaded with delicious treats for her customers in the many stores along Broadway... (32 pages)

Favorite Recipes from the Donut Lady (Merle Staudacher)
$3.00 (Members $2.50)

The recipes for this book were taken from a wedding present presented to one of Merle's nieces. The present contained these recipes, along with some words of wisdom that Merle had compiled... (18 pages)

Beaver, Minnesota 1930-1934
$10.00 (Members $9.00)

A collection of newspaper articles from the Beaver social column for each week printed in the Plainview News. (60 pages)

Beaver, Minnesota 1935-1939
$10.00 (Members $9.00)

A collection of newspaper articles from the Beaver social column for each week printed in the Plainview News. (60 pages)

Authentic (Well, maybe not too authentic) Breathing Well Harmonica
$7.00

Relive the unusual Plainview phenomenon of its breathing well of 1891. Have your own harmonica like the one the school janitor used to place over the well head and entertain the community with its unique sounds!

Authentic Mini-Weather Signal Flags
$3.00

In 1884, Plainview had a system of weather signal flags for citizens to know the forecast. Learn about this unusual system of weather communication and get your own mini-signal flags!

Stereo Views of Plainview Main Street
$1.00 each

A view of north side or south side of Broadway. Take your pick. These unusual reprints of the original stereoscopic views printed in 1877 are a must for anyone into the 3D adventure so popular before the turn of the century.

History of the Plainview United Methodist Church 1866-1999
$1.00

16-page booklet of the church history containing a list of pastors from 1857-1998.

Byrl Sylvester
$7.00 (Members $6.00)

A fascinating history of one of Plainview's World War One heroes. A collection of his letters written home. Relive his ride across the Atlantic through submarine scares. Read about the war through the eyes of a volunteer ambulance driver and much, much, more. A must for every World War One buff. (42 pages)

I Thought You'd Like to Know
$7.00 (Members $6.00)

Written in 1946 by Gladys Mack, co-editor of the Plainview News, it contains a series of interesting historical accounts including church histories, commercial building histories, and much more. A good source of early events of the community. (52 pages)

Wabasha County Sesquicentennial Booklet
$5.00

Written for the county's 150th birthday, this booklet is loaded with pictures and a township by township brief history. (40 pages)


J.R. Watkins House Watercolor

11x14 Watercolor of the J.R. Watkins House
$10.00

Created by local artist, Jeanette Ahern, the full-color watercolor captures the look of the renovated J.R. Watkins House.

Note Cards of the J.R. Watkins House Watercolor
$5.00/pack

Each pack contains 3 cards and envelops.

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  • Hours

    • Open - Saturdays, 1-4 PM
    • Other by Appointment
    • Closed on Holiday Weekends
    • The History Center is closed January and February
    • The Watkins House is closed January through April
  • Contact Information

    • Correspondence:
    • 40 4th St SW
    • Plainview, MN 55964
    • Phone:
    • (507) 534-4173 (Center)
    • (507) 534-2670 (Ron Manzow)
    • E-mail:
    • rmanzow@isd2899.k12.mn.us
  • Photos

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  • Genealogical Information

  • Watkins Information

  • Plainview Information