Last few weeks have been busy for historical museum

Published 8:16 am Saturday, June 21, 2008

How did you spend your Father’s Day? A perfect “Father’s Day” for my dad would have been spent watching his favorite baseball team on television, listening to another game on the radio, probably reading a book or working a crossword puzzle from the newspaper and probably cooking a meal for his family on the stone fireplace in the backyard. He enjoyed all of these things. Do your children know what you enjoy? Almost everyday at the museum we have people stop in or call to see if we want an item they have for our collection at the museum. A lot of the time the story that goes with it is what helps us to determine if it is something that will enhance our collection. History is brought to life through the stories that have touched the lives of individuals in our community.

We observed Eddie Cochran Weekend last Friday and Saturday. The weekend celebrates the life of Eddie Cochran, a talented young man that was born in Albert Lea in October of 1938. (He died in a tragic auto accident in April of 1960.) During his short life he touched the lives of many people throughout the world with his music, and his music still lives today. His family has shared many of his personal items with the museum to preserve the history of a life that began here in Albert Lea. The Low Bucks Car Club gives a scholarship to a graduating senior each year in memory of this hometown star.

On June 7, Albert Lea celebrated the dedication of The Marion Ross Performing Arts Center. Marion Ross was raised in Albert Lea and attributes her strong determination to “make it big” to her Albert Lea and Minnesota upbringing. What an honor this is to our community. We are a community that believes in its youth and feels that the education and upbringing of the younger generation are important to the future of our town. Marion has supported the museum through donations of many kinds through the years. We were invited to attend a luncheon earlier this year where she was being honored in San Diego, Calif. We were delighted to hear in her introduction and from her personally how this Albert Lea, Minnesota girl is proud of her hometown and her Albert Lea upbringing. She shared stories of her growing up here and how near and dear Albert Lea is to her and what a wonderful town we have. We can’t buy that kind of advertising, it comes from the heart.

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We have had visitors from all over our state, as well as many other states come to see the Marion Ross Exhibit and the Eddie Cochran Exhibit. When they visit, they pay admission to come to the museum, they eat in our restaurants, and some visitors stay in our motels, buy gas and shop in our stores. The other important part of this scenario is that they tell others what a nice place this is to visit. As our community works to achieve a comprehensive plan to promote the growth of our town, what better pieces of the pie could we already have in place than these that can be the cornerstone for additional things to come in the future?

The museum will be hosting another AARP Defensive Driving Class on Thursday, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. The cost is $15 per person and you must register.

On Thursday, July 10, we will be hosting a SE Minnesota Historical Bus Tour. We have a few seats available yet. Contact the museum for details soon if you are interested in participating in this day that is sure to bring you insight into some of the history of southern Minnesota and be a day to sit back and let the driving to someone else as you enjoy the sights along the way. The cost is $45 for members and $50 for nonmembers.

The Freeborn County Museum, Library and Historical Village will close at 1 p.m. on July 3 and will be closed on July Fourth to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. We wish you a safe and happy holiday!

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