Editorial: Historical museum is yours

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 23, 2006

Freeborn County’s museum is probably one of the best-kept secrets in our community. It’s a treasure trove of local history, displayed, in some cases, in buildings that played a role in our development. It’s about people, and happenings. It’s stories of lives of the people who made our community what it is today.

Museum staff and volunteers are often amazed by the number of local people who might attend a special event at the museum and then voice amazement at what they’ve seen, followed by, &8220;I’ve never been here before.&8221;

But there are some misconceptions about the museum, one of them being that it’s a government agency. While the museum gets some support from the city and county, that’s only a small portion of what it takes to keep things running.

The Freeborn County Historical Museum keeps its doors open through memberships, which also help provide educational tours and events for our youths as well as preserving the history of our county. Many events are held throughout the year for the enrichment of young and old, especially during this, our sesquicentennial year. We urge people to become members and support this great cause. We also urge those with time to get involved as volunteers.

The museum also is in the early stages of expansion. The board met with members of the Minnesota Historical Society and has a committee set to move forward. Anyone interested in working with the committee may contact Pat Mulso at the museum. Anyone who would like to support the project through a donation may send it to the museum at 1031 Bridge Ave., Albert Lea and mark it for the building fund.

There are many items, including those from the old high school, which museum staff and volunteers would like to display, but currently, there is no place to put them. The museum could also use a better entrance as well as an elevator to make all floors accessible to visitors.

Businesses can also support the museum through its business membership drive, which also helps to preserve businesses’ history in the community. For more information on a business membership and how to submit information on a business,

call the museum at 373-8003.

It’s our history, and it’s up to us to help preserve it. Please consider supporting your local museum.