County museum making plans for a great year in 2014

Published 8:45 am Sunday, November 10, 2013

Column: Preserving the Past, by Pat Mulso

October flew by at your county museum and November is not slowing down either. We have already hosted a defensive driving class, had school and adult tours, committee meetings and numerous volunteers helping inside and out with the decorating as we prepare for our Christmas Tour of Homes (and the museum). Please plan on joining us on the tour on Nov. 16. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the museum, Addie’s Floral & Gifts, the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mary-Go-Round Shoppe and the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce office. You may also purchase your ticket the day of the event at any of the homes or museum. You may start the tour at any of the locations. The tour is from 1 to 4 p.m. and is a fundraiser for the museum building fund. Thank you to all our volunteer decorators and to each of the homeowners for opening their homes for this event to help us raise money to complete our building project. See the Tribune feature story today for locations on our tour.

Pat Mulso

Pat Mulso

Where were you on Nov. 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m.? Most of us that are old enough to remember that date can tell you exactly where they were when they heard the news of President Kennedy’s assassination. Join us on Nov. 23 as we hear about the memories of a couple individuals that were in the military and involved in the funeral and a historian’s view of the happening as well as time for discussion.

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We will start at 9:30 a.m. and conclude the program and discussion by 11:30 a.m. We will provide coffee and snacks, admission free for FCHM members and $5 for nonmembers. Enter the museum through the new entrance near the fairground arches.

Our membership campaign is in full swing, and we encourage you to renew your membership now as this helps us to plan our budget for the next year and saves us postage as well. If you are not currently a member, this is a great time to buy a membership, as you will get the rest of 2013 as well as all of 2014. Household memberships start at just $25. Call or stop by the museum if you have any questions regarding membership benefits.

2014 is going to be full of surprises as we get settled into our new building, start on phase three of our building expansion and launch some new programs and activities. We are always looking for new ways to engage our community and support our members by offering new programs and partnerships. We are working on some new grant applications that will help us to protect and preserve our collections and make them more accessible to our members.

Do you know why men’s buttons are on the right and women’s are on the left? Decorative buttons first appeared around 2000 B.C. but weren’t commonly used as fasteners until the 16th century. While most men are right-handed and generally dressed themselves, they found it easier to fasten their buttons from right to left. However, wealthy women were dressed by servants, who found it easier to fasten their mistresses’ clothes if the buttons were on her left. Therefore it became convention and has never been changed.

The museum and library are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and by appointment for tours and special occasions. Gift memberships are available at the museum if you are looking for a unique gift. Remember, what happens today is history tomorrow!


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