‘Echoes from the Past’ returns to county museum

Published 8:17 pm Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The voices of those from Albert Lea’s past will be heard once again Thursday evening at the Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library and Village.

The museum will host two presentations of “Echoes from the Past,” one at 5:30 p.m. and another at 6:45 p.m. According to the museum’s executive director, Stephanie Kibler, the hour-long presentations will mostly be the same, except for the location.

She said she felt it was very important to have the event be somewhere that would be accessible to everyone. Therefore, the earlier presentation at 5:30 p.m. will take place inside the large meeting room on the second floor. There is an elevator that will make the space more accessible than some of the buildings in the village.

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At 6:45 p.m., the second presentation will begin in the village, as long as weather permits. In case of inclement weather, the second presentation will take place at different stations set up inside the main museum building.

Each of the presentations will highlight four citizens of the past who had an impact on Albert Lea, including Kathleen O’Brien Jensen, Frederick McCall, Fred Henry Pierce and Martin L. Olson.

Jensen, born around 1898, was a graduate of Bethlehem Academy in Faribault and had what Kibler described as a unique occupation. She is buried in Graceland Cemetery and will be portrayed by Kris Bartley.

McCall will be portrayed by Gary Schindler, who is a historical society board member and has been active in the Echoes of the Past events. McCall was born Nov. 24, 1826, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He married Ann Wallis and the couple had seven children. He was an active member of the community, a postmaster in Twin Lakes and is credited as being an author and a poet. After his wife fell ill, the couple moved to Mora to be closer to their children. He was buried in the local cemetery.

Pierce was born in 1869 in Iowa and came to Gordonsville to open a shop after learning carpentry, wagon-making and blacksmithing trades. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Glenville and will be portrayed by George Favell.

Olson was born near the community of Bricelyn in 1869. He and his wife, Eva, had two children and he operated a grocery store in Albert Lea. He was laid to rest in Lakewood Cemetery in Albert Lea and will be portrayed by Matt Larson.

Kibler noted the event is considered part of the educational opportunities the museum provides and is not a fundraiser. The cost of the event is $5 per person and warm cider and cookies will be available to those in attendance.