Grand opening celebration set for county museum’s addition

Published 8:38 am Sunday, September 22, 2013

Column: Preserving the Past, by Pat Mulso

This month has been jammed packed with activities at the museum. We hosted tours/events for Albert Lea High School class reunions of 1946, 1953, 1955 and 1958, and an 80th birthday party was held in our new meeting room. We hosted a defensive driving class, the museum’s program committee and education committee meetings, a joint Kiwanis committee meeting for a book project, a prep meeting for a Salt Lake City trip, the Freeborn County Genealogical Society meeting, a C.L.O.V.E. committee meeting, a Senior Servers meeting, our thank you coffee for volunteers of our Annual Style Show, our Annual Autumn in the Village and the Golden K II Kiwanis meet here weekly.

Pat Mulso

Pat Mulso

With all that being said, we also had visitors from many states and countries this month and many individuals visiting our new library to do research and a wedding in our village church. Yesterday we hosted a free photo presentation for the public to view some of the photos we have been scanning for a grant project in partnership with the Albert Lea Public Library. This project was funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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The time has arrived, the museum addition is complete! The museum announces a grand opening celebration for the museum addition. A week from today, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29. Please join us for a tour of the new facility featuring the new main entrance with handicap access, new reception area/lobby, Betha & Oscar Larson children’s learning lab, gift shop, meeting rooms, high school exhibits, Marion Ross exhibit, Eddie Cochran/music hall, the new research library with computer lab, microfilm reader/printer area and the Kevin Savick Business History Research Area.

The public is invited to this open house to view the labor of love that volunteers and workers have achieved over the past year to make this addition possible. The museum volunteer hours have exceeded our wildest dreams as people have come forward to help with fundraising, cleaning, painting, flooring, cabinets, touch-ups, landscaping, exhibits and miscellaneous jobs along the way. The project construction started in June of 2012, but the work started long before that with planning and fundraising. In 2012 the museum logged an average of 185 volunteer hours per week. On behalf of the museum’s board of directors and myself, we would like to say thank you for all of the support that the community has shown for our project, which made it possible for us to achieve our goal so we can continue to preserve and protect the history of Freeborn County and its people! Hope to see you next Sunday!

The museum will host two more defensive driving refresher classes this year. The cost is $19 per participant and you must register for the classes. The dates and times are as follows: from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 14 and from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 4. You may stop by the museum or call us at 507-373-8003 for details or with any questions.

The museum’s board of directors will be serving food at the Albert Lea Farmers Market from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct 2. The cost will be $5 for a sandwich, beans, chips and beverage. Please consider joining us for supper!

The museum’s annual membership drive began Sept. 1. Annual household memberships begin at just $25 for friend level. Patron level is $50, sustaining level is $100, Col. Albert Lea level is $250, leader level is $500 and Heritage Club level is $1,000. Our annual membership runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. However, if you are not currently a member and you buy a membership now, you get the rest of 2013 and all of 2014. All sustaining members and above are recognized on our member board located next to the elevator on the upper level of the museum. All amounts over the $25 are tax deductible as permitted by law. We will send a receipt for all donations of $250 or more.

We appreciate the continued support of our members and hope you will consider becoming a member! Have a great week and remember what happens today is history tomorrow!


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