Your museum wraps up another successful year

Published 9:42 pm Saturday, December 26, 2009

We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and that you will all have a safe and happy New Year! The museum will be closed to the public this week, but will re-open on Tuesday, Jan. 5, at 10 a.m. We will have new winter hours starting at that time. We will be open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. January through March. In April we plan to go back to our 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule.

We want to say thank you to all our volunteers that have helped in so many ways during this past year. We appreciate all that you do to help us preserve, protect and share the history of Freeborn County and its people. We are proud of our museum.

This past year has been very busy and successful for the museum. We have had more bus tours than ever before and visitors from all over the world, yet there are many of you that live here in Freeborn County that have never been to the museum. Please accept my personal invitation to come and check out what we have to offer. This is the time of our annual membership drive and we would love to have you become a member. Household memberships start at just $25. Any amount over $25 is tax deductible and we would be happy to provide you with a receipt for your donation. If you are one of the 275 members that have already paid your 2010 membership, thank you so very much! If you have not, please consider doing so now as this will help us to plan our budget for 2010. You may send in your membership to FCHS, 1031 Bridge Ave., Albert Lea, or stop by during our regular hours. Thank you in advance for your continued support to our programs and events.

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We are busy making plans for 2010 and the calendar is filling up already. We will be hosting a four-hour refresher AARP defensive driving class on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost is $19 per person and you will receive your certificate that day. You must pre-register for this class.

We will also be holding another library lock-in on Friday, Jan. 29, from 5:30 to 11 p.m. The cost is $25 for members and $30 for non-members. This is an opportunity to start preserving your own family history with the help of volunteers with many years of experience there to guide you and help you. You must register, as this is a limited class size.

In February, the Boy Scouts of America will be celebrating their 100th anniversary and we will be working with them to host a special open house at the museum on Sunday, Feb. 21. Watch for more details in January.

We are looking forward to another busy and successful year ahead and hope that you will plan to participate in our events and programs.

I just received notice a few days ago that the museum has been awarded one of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants (Also known as Legacy Grants). This will allow us to purchase 277 microfilm rolls of newspapers for our collection. This is a huge addition to our collection. Members, businesses, government agencies and others contact us often to look things up in newspapers and many researchers come in to use the microfilms themselves. This will allow us to preserve much in a small space.

This year has been pretty tough on our family in many ways, but today we are celebrating Arnie’s dad’s 90th birthday! We are so fortunate that he is a resident of St. John’s Lutheran Home, where he receives excellent care. A little over three years ago we received a call that he was being rushed to the hospital from his home in Sherburn, where he had fallen and could not get up. His blood sugar was over 800 and his organs had started to shut down. After his stay at the hospital, he was transported to St. John’s. With regular meals, some exercise, and excellent care he has controlled his diabetes and is doing very well. Happy 90th birthday, Dad (Martin Mulso), on Monday, Dec. 28.

I spent a few hours delivering Christmas cards and homemade ornaments to residents at St. John’s Lutheran Home last week. I want to thank the children that helped make some of the ornaments during Autumn in the Village and to other museum volunteers and staff that helped make more than 200 ornaments. Thank you to all the staff and volunteers that make St. John’s Lutheran Home a safe and happy place for the residents and their families.

We also work with and do programs with Good Samaritan Society, Thorne Crest Retirement Community and Oak Park Place. Albert Lea is very blessed to have so many great senior facilities.

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