Museum gears up for Autumn in the Village

Published 9:54 am Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lois Lunn cleans a display case in the general store Friday. Museum staff were busy cleaning and preparing for today’s event. -- Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

Family fun, historical demonstrations and fundraising all come together for the annual Autumn in the Village event at the Freeborn County Historical Museum and Village.

The woodworking shop at the Freeborn County Historical Museum shown is just one of the areas where demonstrations will be held today during the Autumn in the Village event.

The event starts at noon today and goes until 4 p.m. It features all different kinds of demonstrations and food available for purchase. Of course, people can always look through the displays inside the museum and in the buildings in the village.

“It’s the largest fundraiser of the year,” Executive Director Pat Mulso said.

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Funds are raised through the admission and from food sales. This year the historical society is grateful that all the food was donated by Hy-Vee and Trail’s Travel Center.

“We want to thank them for their community support,” Mulso said.

Freeborn County’s chapter of Thrivent Financial will provide some matching funds, and Mulso said she just hopes the weather is nice so that families want to come to the event. Even if it’s not a perfect autumn day, there are indoor activities available.

Museum staff were busy preparing for today's event on Friday. Lois Lunn sweeps the floor of the general store and had a list of other chores to do as well.

Mulso said in the past few years the number of children coming to the event has grown, and she said she likes to see families coming to the event together to experience all the different demonstrations available.

“More families are coming together as generations,” Mulso said.

Some of the demonstrations include embroidery, hardanger, spinning, soap making, corn shelling, rope making and more. There will also be an apple press making fresh apple juice, wagon rides and children’s crafts. More demonstrations take place in the school house, general store, woodworking shop and photography shop. Mulso said the archaeological dig is popular with children.

“Kids just love it,” Mulso said.

There will also be music and games for older children. New this year is a scavenger hunt, and there will also be wagon rides.

“We have different activities for different ages,” Mulso said.

Food for sale includes crumble burgers, hot dogs, chips, pop, bottled sarsaparilla, coffee and apple pie and ice cream. Mulso said they order in the sarsaparilla special for the event each year, and they always sell out.

Hats stand at the ready in the photographer's shop at the Freeborn County Historical Village. Getting old-fashioned photos taken is just one of the activities available today at the Autumn in the Village event.

The event started out smaller as an apple pressing event, and this will be the 16th year it has been Autumn in the Village. Muslo said her favorite thing to see is when children and adults dress up in old-fashioned clothing and take photos in the photography shop. A 4 by 6 in. photo will be taken for $3 and printed while you wait.

The village was also undergoing some different preparations Friday, with the general store roof being fixed. Mulso said the general store, red barn and post office all had roof damage during some wind storms in June of 2010. She said she was glad that with the three new roof updates, most of the buildings in the village will have a recent roof.

If you go

What: Autumn in the Village family event
Where: Freeborn County Historical Museum and Village on Bridge Avenue in Albert Lea
When: today from noon to 4 p.m.
Cost: free for members and children under age 11, $5 for adults and $1 for students age 12 to 18