The Plainview Area History Center is a non-profit organization and an affiliate of the Rural America Arts Partnership. The building was purchased entirely by funds raised through the generous giving of groups and individuals. It is not a city funded organization and receives no tax dollars. The Center relies entirely on generous gifts from organizations, individuals, and grants.
The Center was purchased from the Methodist Church in late December 1998, taking possession in May of 1999. A "Get Acquainted Opening" was held June 1999 featuring tours of the building and horse drawn rides with historical commentary.
By October 1999, the Center was readied and open to the public.
In 2008, the Center purchased the J.R. Watkins house. It has been renovated to show the humble beginnings of the Watkins enterprise and tell about the Watkins family and their 17 year stay in Plainview.
Both sites are open on Saturdays from 1-4 PM. The History Center is closed January and February. The Watkins House is closed January through April. Both sites are closed on holiday weekends.
The Center is totally staffed by volunteers. It relies on your generous contributions to maintain the buildings and provide displays. Special tours can be arranged by calling the Center at (507) 534-4173 during hours or Ron Manzow at (507) 534-2670. Yearly memberships are $12/individual and $24/family. All checks should be made payable to "Rural America Arts Partnership".