Ancestry research trip to Salt Lake City went favorably

Published 8:07 am Sunday, October 27, 2013

Column: Preserving the Past, by Pat Mulso

The Freeborn County Historical Museum’s research group has returned from Salt Lake City with tons of information and enthusiasm! We had eight individuals attend with varying levels of research experience. All were amazed with the amount of information at their fingertips from around the world, all searchable in this one location. The library consists of five floors of microfilms, books, maps, computers, microfilm readers, printers, tables and the like, with volunteers standing on each level ready to assist just for the asking. Each level has a help desk with trained staff to assist with more difficult questions or interpretation of languages. Did we find all the answers that we were looking for? No, but we all found some new info, and daily more records are becoming available. So yes, there will be another trip in the future.

Pat Mulso

Pat Mulso

Save the date, tickets are available now for our first Christmas Tour of Homes. It will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 16. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Mary-Go-Round Shoppe, Addie’s Floral & Gifts, the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce and at the museum.

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The Christmas Tour of Homes is a fundraiser for the museum’s building fund. To date we have raised $1.44 million but need to raise approximately an additional $260,000. We would like to thank everyone who has donated and supported our efforts to continue to protect and preserve the history and heritage of Freeborn County.

The museum is hosting a four-hour refresher defensive driving class. The next class is from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 4. The cost is $19 and you must register for the class. This will be our last class until after the Christmas holidays.

We started our annual membership drive in September and want to thank the more than 115 members who have already renewed their memberships for 2014. If you are not a current member of the museum, this is a great time to join because you not only get all of 2014, but October, November and December of 2013 as well. This gives you the opportunity to visit as often as you like throughout the year, use of our research library and free admission to Autumn in the Village and certain other events throughout the year. Household memberships start at just $25 per year. You may go online now at to pay your membership or print a form if you would like to send in your membership. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for touring or use of our research library.

As you can see from Bridge Avenue phase two of our building project is taking shape. The windows are installed in what used to be “our front entrance” and the landscaping is in progress as the steps, railings and ramp are removed. Watch soon for an exhibit facing the street inside those beautiful new windows! We continue to work inside moving exhibits and adding new things to our exhibit areas.

Do you know where the customs of Halloween came from? The ancient Celts celebrated Oct. 31 as New Year’s Eve. They called it All Hallows Eve. They believed that on that night, all those who had died in the previous year gathered to choose the body of a living person or animal to inhabit for the next year before they could pass into the afterlife. The original Halloween festival included human sacrifices and scary costumes, all designed to protect the living from the dead.


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