Try to make a difference to someone less fortunate

Published 6:09 am Sunday, December 23, 2012

Column: Preserving the Past, by Pat Mulso

Here we are nearing the end of yet another year, and I am in my eighth year as the executive director of the Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library & Village.

Pat Mulso

Time has gone by so quickly since I began this job, yet there are so many things I want to accomplish to protect and preserve the history of Freeborn County History and its people. This past week I completed the grant application for a library legacy grant to complete phase three of “Picture Freeborn County” — a grant to scan and identify 4,000 or so of our photos, negatives and slides. If the grant is awarded, we will be scanning photo categories that will be appropriate for use at the middle school as students are studying about Minnesota history. This will allow them to see local history through our photo collection. I also completed a grant application to purchase special archival boxes to store items from our clothing collection. These boxes are very expensive but are needed to properly store items once they are photographed, described and indexed in our records. We have two volunteers working weekly on this project. We are thankful for their dedication and for those who have worked before them to set up the process. Next, I applied for a grant for this year’s donation from a local business for our building expansion project.

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Speaking of the addition, the heating units are on the roof and duct work is being installed. Window frames are going in, insulation has been placed in the outer walls, rooms are being framed and things are taking shape on the inside of the addition. Work will continue on the inside through the winter as well as the brick work on the outside, once heat is installed in the building. You may have noticed the curb and sidewalk along the north side of our grounds. These are all great strides in our overall project. Thank you to everyone who has made a donation so far to our building fund. We appreciate all donations — large and small! To those who have not made a donation yet, I encourage you to do so now, before the end of the year. We will be closed through the end of the year, but if you send your donation by Dec. 31 you will get the tax deduction for 2012. Send donations to FCHM, 1031 Bridge Ave., Albert Lea, MN 56007. If you would like to send your membership and building expansion donation together, just indicate what amount you want to go to each and we will get them to the correct account. Donations over $2,500 will receive special recognition or if you would like your donation to be anonymous, we will honor that request also. Please consider making a donation now and help us complete this greatly needed expansion for present and future preservation of our local history. Stop by after the first of the year and see what has been accomplished so far.

The museum will be hosting a four-hour refresher defensive driving class on Saturday, Jan. 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost is $19 per participant. You must register for the class. Call or stop by the museum to register. We will need your driver’s license information at the time of registration. A four-hour refresher course is needed every three years after the initial eight-hour class, in order to continue receiving a 10 percent discount on your auto insurance. We are closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s, but will reopen on Wednesday, Jan. 2, at 10 a.m. or you can leave a message on our voice mail and someone will return your call the first week of January.

The staff and I wish each and every one of you a merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year’s. Remember it is more blessed to give than receive, so give from the heart and make a difference to someone less fortunate than yourself. Christmas is a very emotional time for many individuals, for different reasons, but we have all been blessed with the gift God gave us by sending his only son to die for our sins and give us eternal life. May peace be with you during this Christmas season and throughout the new year. If you’re out and about during the holidays after dark, be sure to check out our Christmas lights in the village!


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