Betsy and Tacy Houses Are Now Open!
General Information for Visitors
After two years of being closed due to COVID, the Betsy and Tacy Houses have reopened their doors. The Houses (located at 332 and 333 Center Street in Mankato) are open for regular business hours on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Tours During Regular Saturday Business Hours
Tours of both Houses are offered on Saturdays at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Tours are free for Betsy-Tacy Society (BTS) members. Tour fees for non-members:
- Seniors (62+): $8
- Adults (18–61): $10
- College students with ID: $8
- Youth (6–17): $5
- Children 5 or under: free
There is no fee to visit the Shop inside Tacy’s House.
We strongly recommend making a tour reservation. We cannot guarantee tour availability for walk-in visitors. Should you need assistance with our reservation system, please leave a message at 507-345-9777.
Note: The reservation system is for both regular-business-hours tours and private tours. Be sure to choose the correct option when booking a tour during regular business hours (i.e., House Tour rather than Private Tour).
Private Tours (On Days and Times Outside of Regular Business Hours)
Private Tours may be available on days and times other than our regular Saturday hours. To request a private tour, please leave a message at 507-345-9777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you as soon as possible (it may take a day or two).
You may also use our reservation system to request a private tour, though we cannot guarantee that a tour guide is available during your requested time. Be sure to choose the correct option when requesting a private tour outside our regular business hours (i.e., Private Tour rather than House Tour, regardless of your BTS membership status).
Private tour fees (for both BTS members and non-members):
- Seniors (age 62+): $12
- Adults (ages 18–61): $15
- College students with ID: $12
- Youth (ages 6–17): $8
- Children age 5 or under: Free
Note: There is a $30 minimum for private tours regardless of group size.
- Group size is limited to 8 people (adults and children) per tour.
- Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Masks are required inside the Houses for anyone age 5+. COVID vaccinations are strongly encouraged. If wearing a mask presents difficulties for you, please contact us.
- Both Houses are generally accessible, although the only way to access the second floor of Betsy’s House is via a flight of stairs.
- There are bathrooms in both houses.
Note: COVID may affect our open hours; we will announce any changes on our website and BTS Facebook page. Please watch for further re-opening updates on our website and on our social media channels. We can’t wait to see you!
Exploring Deep Valley
There are plenty of things to do in Deep Valley, aka Mankato!
- Take a walking tour of Betsy’s neighborhood. You can pick up a brochure and a map of Betsy-Tacy sites at the porch-side door of Tacy’s House (332 Center Street), or download one here. There are so many places you won’t want to miss! The model for Tib’s house is near the Houses at 503 Byron Street (Dorothy’s and Alice’s houses are also on Byron Street), and Winona I’s beautiful home is just a few blocks away. And be sure to sit on the Betsy-Tacy bench at the top of Hill (Center) Street and take a picture with your best chum!
- Use the maps to explore Betsy-Tacy sites around Mankato. Visit the Carnegie Library, climb the Big Hill, and explore The Slough. Maud Hart Lovelace is buried in Glenwood Cemetery, and there is a lovely monument right near her grave.
Note: If you’re not able to visit Deep Valley in person, you can still enjoy a virtual tour! In this YouTube video, former BTS president Penny Banwart shows you all around Betsy’s House, inside and out. Penny has given hundreds of tours over the years, and her background knowledge is invaluable. You can also tour Deep Valley virtually via our Google Map of Deep Valley.
The Childhood Home of Maud Hart Lovelace
333 Center Street in Mankato, MN
Maud Palmer Hart, daughter of Thomas and Stella Hart, was born on April 25, 1892, in Mankato, Minnesota. The Hart family lived in this house at 333 Center Street in Mankato, MN from 1892 to 1906. It was here that Maud met her best friend, Frances “Bick” Kenney, who moved into the house across the street in 1898. Maud and Bick were lifelong friends. The tales of their childhood in Mankato (Deep Valley) later became the Betsy-Tacy book series.
The childhood homes of Maud Hart Lovelace (Betsy) and her best friend Frances ‘Bick’ Kenney (Tacy) are owned by the Betsy-Tacy Society. Over the past several years these houses have gone through major restoration with the help of the PBS home improvement show, Hometime, many volunteers and sponsors, and hundreds of hours of labor.
Betsy’s house is furnished as a museum to look just as it did when the Hart family lived here from 1892-1906. Visitors entering this house will feel as if they’ve gone back in time and stepped into the pages of the Betsy-Tacy books. See the kitchen where Betsy, Tacy and Tib made “everything pudding” and look out the window where Betsy watched the Kelly family move in across the street.
Betsy’s House is restored as a museum, to look just as it did when Maud (Betsy) lived there from 1892-1906. Some of the Lovelace artifacts on display are Thomas Hart’s rocking chair and footstool, a corner cupboard and drop leaf table.
In 2010, the childhood homes of Maud Hart Lovelace and Frances “Bick” Kenney were designated National Literary Landmarks by the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association.
The Childhood Home of Frances ‘Bick’ Kenney
332 Center Street in Mankato, MN
Frances “Bick” Kenney, daughter of Patrick and Rose Kenney, was born on July 13, 1891, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Kenney family lived in this house from 1898 to 1911. Frances Kenney Kirch and Maud Hart Lovelace were lifelong friends. Maud immortalized the tales of their childhood in Mankato (Deep Valley) when she wrote the Betsy-Tacy series.
Tacy’s House is an interpretive center and gift shop. On display are many Lovelace artifacts including books, scrapbooks, photographs, manuscripts, Mrs. Hart’s (Mrs. Ray’s) original brass bowl, and much more.