Archived Story

Historical museum addition is really coming together

Published 6:44am Sunday, June 23, 2013

Column: Preserving the Past, by Pat Mulso

Heehaw and zippy do da the elevator has been inspected and is ready for use! The kitchen appliances have arrived, the cupboards are installed and the serving counter is being built. The flooring should all be installed by next week and the walls are being wiped down and some floors are already waxed. The retaining walls are almost complete and if we could just get more than one day in a row without rain we could get the sidewalks in. The construction of new walls in the old building have begun and things are changing quickly as we prepare for the transition to the new building and the relocation of storage, exhibits, offices, archives, library, etc.

Pat Mulso
Pat Mulso

The museum will be closed this year during the Fourth of July holiday as we continue our preparation for the move. We will be open our regular hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 2 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 3 and then we will be closed July 4-8 and will reopen at 10 a.m. July 9.

The museum will host a four-hour refresher defensive driving class from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 29. The cost is $19 per participant and you must register for the class. The four-hour class is required every three years after the initial eight-hour class is taken to continue to qualify for a discount on your auto insurance. Call the museum at 373-8003 or stop by during our regular hours to register or if you have questions.

Mark your calendars now for the Marion Ross Exhibit ribbon cutting ceremony and open house on July 14. The event will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. in the new museum addition. The ribbon cutting will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Marion’s new exhibit hall located just to the south and west of the new reception area on the main level, and refreshments will be served in our new meeting rooms on the upper level of the addition. The event is free to all museum members and $3 for the general public. The funds raised will go to the museum’s building fund.  Please join us and have the opportunity to visit with Marion and tour our new facility.

We also would like to say a special thank you to Mary Umstead, the museum’s program committee, First Lutheran Church, the Albert Lea Tribune, Conger Catering, Gail Thurnau, the models and everyone else who helped in any way to make our second annual style show a huge success. The money raised from this event is for the museum’s building fund. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who helped and everyone who attended!

The Eddie Cochran Weekend was a huge success also, even if it did rain on our award presentations. A special thank you to Jerry Monson, the Eddie Cochran Committee, Old Car Club members, Riverland Automotive Department, Low Bucks Car Club, the Freeborn County Fairgrounds, event and award sponsors, food vendors, volunteers, Sentence-to-Serve and everyone involved in the weekend’s events. The proceeds for this event are also for the museum’s building fund.

I had an interesting call the Saturday after the Eddie Cochran Weekend. A gentleman had flown in from Michigan to Minneapolis to meet his daughter who had come from Ohio and they had planned to attend the Eddie Cochran Weekend events. Disappointed to find they had missed it by a week, they called to see if they could at least visit the museum on Saturday. I explained most of the Eddie Cochran exhibit had been taken down in preparation for the move to a new exhibit area, but that I would be working on Saturday afternoon and they could come and see the exhibits that were still up and look at the two notebooks we have covering Eddie’s life. Just a few minutes before, I had checked the messages to find that a family had returned to Albert Lea for a memorial service for their mother and wanted to visit the museum while here. They came from California, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. They too came to visit the museum on Saturday afternoon. They wanted to find where the family farm had been, but didn’t know where to begin. So as they were touring the village I did a little detective work and through the federal census records was able to find a clue to the location and then checked our records and was able to find the farm in one of our 100-year-old plat books. They were delighted and were headed for that location when they left the museum. So with visitors from five states on a Saturday afternoon I was able to share our resources and bring smiles to the faces of our visitors — one of the reasons I love my job! Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!


Pat Mulso is the executive director of the Freeborn County Historical Museum in Albert Lea.