Turner Hall

    Turner Hall derives its name from the Turner Colonization Society of Cincinnati, who arrived in New Ulm in 1854 and helped to establish the New Ulm Turnverein.  The first Turner Hall was dedicated in 1858, but was destroyed in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.  After the Civil War a new hall was built on the same location in 1865 and added to in 1873.  In 1900 the north section was demolished to make way for a theater and gymnasium complex, completed one year later.  In 1952 a fire destroyed the complex, which took two years to replace in its current form.  The current Turner Hall houses a full court gymnasium and dining room.  Additionally, the hall contains the Rathskeller, the oldest bar in Minnesota.
    When the building was constructed in 1873 the basement featured paintings of scenes from Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.  In 1917 the U.S. was close to entering World War I and the Turners' loyalty was questioned due to their close ties with Germany in general and more specifically an anti-involvement rally in July of the same year (a protest attended by Federal and State spies) that prompted the Governor's Committee of Public Safety to deem the Mayor, City Attorney, and City Auditor traitorous and remove them from office.  The murals were painted over soon after.  It is suspected that the murals were painted over to make the town appear less German, however the painting over also may have been an aesthetic choice as the murals were deteriorating.
    In 1998 an effort was made to restore the murals.  Manager Rich Runck worked with local volunteer Carrol Elijah to remove the layers of paint over two years using 250,000 feet of duct tape to reveal the murals.  In 2013 the murals were touched up to remove smoke and grime, restoring them to their original state.

Site Address: 102 S. State St., New Ulm, MN 56073
Phone: 507-354-4916

Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. - 7 p.m.


Turner Hall Website