About Us

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Prospect House and Civil War Museum, formed to share the story of “Cap” Colehour, Civil War Veteran and entrepreneur, who settled in the West Central Minnesota community of Battle Lake after the Civil War. The purpose of sharing “Cap’s” house, observations, memorabilia, and life is to open a door to history through which those who pass achieve greater understanding and appreciation for an earlier and important time in the making of our nation.


The Prospect House Museum provides unique educational experiences based on authentic objects, stories, and life of an American pioneering family. The Prospect House Museum also explores the stories of the Battle Lake Area as a vacation destination, past, present, and future, to inspire residents and visitors with the creativity and enterprise of the human spirit.


The Prospect House Museum is the clearinghouse for stories and histories of the Battle Lake Area, in particular its history as a vacation destination. Drawing on the history of the Prospect House and the Colehour family as well as stories of other resorts and families in the area, the Prospect House will provide engaging programs to the Battle Lake community and to summer visitors that will connect participants to the people who shaped this community and to the opportunities that face the community as it plans for the future.

Goals and Objectives

To achieve our mission, we will:

  • Preserve the Colehour collection, the Prospect House, its contents, and the surrounding grounds.
  • Bring Colehour’s story and era to life for people of all ages through activities and events, including live and virtual tours of the Civil War Museum and the Prospect House, educational and interpretive programs, and commemorative events.
  • Enhance understanding of the Civil War era and its impact on those who fought by employing various means, including:
    1. Publishing original documents from the Colehour collection.
    2. Making the collection available to scholars, students and others interested in understanding the Civil War era and its people.
    3. Expanding the collection of Colehour Family artifacts and related source materials.

“You have an amazing museum and collection – so glad we stopped by and discovered this treasure!” – Heather

Staff and Volunteers

Jay Johnson: Founder and board chair

Melody Nelson: Administrative assistant

Carrie Fisher: Historian and tour guide

Sheryl Olson: Board member

You may be interested in…

Jay Johnson: Founder of the Prospect House & Civil War Museum

Our Video Library

Our Civil War Collection Video

History of the Museum