Museum has lots to see from dolls to a railroad exhibit

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, February 9, 2013

Column: Preserving the Past, by Pat Mulso

A few years ago, with grant funding from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, KSMQ produced a feature for the Off 90 show on our historical village. Now with additional Legacy grant funding, KSMQ is producing a feature on the Freeborn County Historical museum and library.

This photo shows a statue of Col. Albert Lea that had been removed from the old Albert Lea High School building on Clark Street. The statue will now be located on the upper level of the addition on the county museum. --Submitted

The feature will air this evening at 7 p.m. on KSMQ and again at 7 p.m. Thursday and at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 16. Since there are many of you in the community that have never visited the museum personally, I encourage you to watch this segment on the museum to give you a preview of some of the exhibits we have and a peek into the museum and our history.

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Our museum has something for everyone, whether you are a grandmother bringing your granddaughter to view our doll collection and the turn of the century kitchen and parlor; or grandpa bringing your grandson to see our antique toys, farm equipment and railroad exhibit. Or maybe you are visiting the museum with an old classmate and want to see the Col. Albert Lea statue, the ticket booth from the old Albert Lea High School or maybe you want to look through our old high school yearbooks. We have many visitors who enjoy looking at the Minnesota rock and country hall of fame exhibit, the Eddie Cochran display and of course everyone enjoys browsing through the Marion Ross exhibit and checking out her 1955 Ford pickup. The military, immigration and business exhibits tell about the people of Freeborn County from the past and the impact they had on our community.

Hopefully by the time you are reading this, most of the windows and brick will be completed on the museum addition. The elevator is paid for, the steps are in and the sheet rocking has begun. We will have another construction meeting this week to see how much further we can go with the money we have raised. We have raised just over $1.3 million. We need to raise roughly $400,000 to complete all of the new addition, but if we can raise $175,000, we can get enough completed to occupy the common areas and get our entrance changed and be able to use the new elevator.

Pat Mulso

We want to extend a very sincere thank you to all individuals and businesses who donated to date and encourage those of you who have not, to do so. Help us to achieve this goal of $175,000 in the next few months so that we will be able to complete the addition and take a step into the future and be able to continue to collect and preserve the history or Freeborn County and its people for you and for generations to come! We need your help now — if you have questions please call or stop by the museum during our regular hours, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or call if you would like to schedule a special visit. If you would like to donate by credit card you may do so by visiting the Freeborn County Historical Museum page at or by monthly Bank EFT withdrawal by signing a release for withdrawal, by sending a check to us at 1031 Bridge Ave., Albert Lea, MN 56007 or stopping by with a check or cash at the museum. Checks should be made out to the museum’s building fund and are completely tax deductible.

The museum is hosting a four-hour defensive driving refresher class from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday and another on March 9. Both classes are from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and the cost is $19 per participant. You must pre-register for the class and you will receive you certificate at the end of the class.

The Freeborn County Genealogical Society will be meeting at 1 p.m. Monday in the lower level of the museum. The next library lock-in is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 18. There are only a few spots available, so don’t delay; register soon if you would like to attend this lock-in.

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