Freeborn County Historical Museum to celebrate 75 years in operation

Published 9:29 am Thursday, January 5, 2023

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In 2023 the Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library and Village celebrates 75 years of caring for and exhibiting the community’s history.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 13, museum staff and volunteers will serve cake and punch in honor of the milestone.  The celebration is open to the community.

The Freeborn County Historical Society was established in January of 1948 at an organizational meeting  in the law offices of J. F. D. Meighen. Lester W. Spicer was elected president.  Other officers were Dr. Andrew Gullixson, first vice president; Carl Lunde, second vice president; William H. Sykes, secretary and treasurer. Directors were Anna Frydenlund, J. F. D. Meighen and Bernard Johnsrud. These founding members organized the society with the intention of collecting and preserving the history of Freeborn County.

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In November 1955, the Historical Society purchased 42 steel lockers from the Jordahl plant in Manchester to be installed in the engineer’s office in the old courthouse for storing documents. The society had use of three rooms (meeting room and a two-room fireproof vault) in the basement of the old courthouse. They had not requested “relics” due to lack of storage space.

On Feb. 20, 1960, the Historical Society officially open its museum in the basement of the courthouse building.

In 1966 the Historical Society constructed a museum building on land leased through the county next to the Freeborn County Fairgrounds. There have been two expansions to the museum building, one in 1980 and the latest in 2013.  In 2018, the Freeborn County Historical Society began doing business as the Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library and Village.

According to a press release, the Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library and Village is committed to building the future by preserving the past history of the county.

“From our staff and board of directors to our volunteers and members, we are eager to create long-lasting connections for everyone who interacts with our organization,” the release stated.