Holiday brunch can set the mood for the holidaysPublished 4:39pm Saturday, December 15, 2012
By Holly Johnson
Hormel Historic Home
The HHH received the news a couple weeks ago that we would be losing an important and long time friend due to a move to California.
I have quickly learned that the people who have come through our doors, whether friends or family of the Hormel’s, girls benefitting from the YWCA, employees, or those on a tour over the past 100-plus years are a big part of what makes this Home special to Austin. And now someone who has been both resident and employee here is moving away. I would like to honor her by relaying some of her memories and stories of her past.
Jean Mueller first came to Austin in 1972 with her parents: her dad, a pastor and her mom, a nurse. She began working for Cedar Valley Services and found a new home for herself at the Y.W.C.A. At first she lived in one of the servant’s rooms but then moved into Jay’s room where she spent more than 20 years in residence. She told me her rent at first was $35 per month and by the time she moved out in 2001 she was paying more than $100. What a bargain for the privilege of living in a home with such a unique purpose and beautiful amenities.
During the time she lived here, Jean was also employed by the Home to do general cleaning. It seems she had a natural talent for keeping things clean and orderly and she shared that gift as well as other abilities with the Home and other employers in town such as Kmart and Burger King. She also worked at the Hormel Plant for a time. Even after Jean moved out of the Home in 2001 she remained on the staff doing regular cleaning.
Her last day at the Home was at the end of November, as she will be relocating to California to live near her brother. After 34 years of connection to the Hormel Historic Home she says she is going to miss this place. Her mother recently passed away so she is now looking forward to calling a new place home and pursuing new opportunities.
I asked Jean what her favorite memories are of the HHH and she said that meeting all the different people that came through the Home was the best. She still keeps in touch with a couple of the other women with whom she shared the home and she is very fond of all the staff members.
She also remembers meeting Geordie Hormel on one of his visits to town. The only negative she had to report was dealing with a few bats that also liked the home (We think we have that problem under control).
Although Jean feels like she was blessed by her time here, in actuality, she blessed the Home doubly. Her care and passion for the facility is admirable and the number of people who were greeted by her friendly nature remembers her fondly.
Jean will be missed but we wish her well in her new adventure. People like her have helped solidify the mission of the HHH, and I am glad to have known her for even a short time.
What’s Happening at the HHH
Santa’s Mailbox is at the HHH sponsored by Trimble’s Cycle Center, KQAQ 970 AM, POWER 96, and the Wow Zone of Mankato. Don’t forget to have your kids write those letters and bring them by real soon!
January Social Concerns — Mower Refreshed
10 a.m. on Jan. 15, Sandy Anderson will offer us the opportunity to learn about the initiative’s history, wellness challenges that are being focused on and updates on how citizens can becoming involved and stay informed on the ever evolving efforts of Mower Refreshed.
Austin Wedding Showcase
The premiere wedding resource for all those busy planning brides will be held at the HHH on from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27. The fashion show presented by Belles & Beaus and VeDeyo Arts will begin at 2 p.m. and will once again feature the Austin Bruins players. Admission is $3