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Located at 206 Broadway in Alexandria, Minnesota, the Runestone Museum is a private museum that focuses on the story and history of the Kensington Runestone, a rectangular slab of Graywacke stone containing runic writing on its face and one edge.
Found in 1898 on the property of Olof Ohman, a Swedish farmer, the stone primarily depicts the story of a band of Vikings in 1362.
Also on display are artifacts that illuminate Viking history, the history of the early immigrants to the area, history of Alexandria, and Norse adventures and legends. Prominent among the displays are the 45-foot Viking ship Snorri and Fort Alexandria, an exact replica of the stockade constructed in 1862 by the Eighth regular infantry.
The Discovery Room, Kids Interactive Exhibit, Minnesota Wildlife Exhibit, Native American Exhibit, Pioneer Room, War Memorial and Gun Exhibit are the museum's main areas.
Featured in the Discovery Room is the Kensington Runestone, as well as such Viking artifacts as ax heads and spear points found in Douglas County and the surrounding area. The latest information about the ongoing language and geological study of the runestone also is available.
Highlights in the Minnesota Wildlife Exhibit are a varied collection of birds and mammals, all native to Minnesota’s forest and wetlands.
The Native American section features items donated by a Dr. Oliver, a Douglas County physician. A peerless range of artifacts from the late 19th and early 20th century can be found in the Pioneer Room. Photographic displays also are included in the collection.
The War Memorial and Gun Exhibit section contains an array of firearms and accessories, ranging from the early-19th through the 20th century.
An added attraction is the Runestone Mercantile Gift Shop, with a selection of Minnesota souvenirs and unique gifts.
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