Historical society to present on ghost towns and a forgotten war

Published 6:32 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2012

History will be crawling out of the woodwork next week in Austin.

The Mower County Historical Society is teaming up with two area organizations for two presentations, one on Tuesday and another on Thursday.

MCHS is moving along on its Ghost Towns of Mower County exhibit at the fairgrounds, and it’s going to give the public a glimpse of what is to come 10 a.m. this Tuesday at the Hormel Historic Home.

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Dustin Heckman, MCHS executive director, said he has been hearing a lot of public anticipation for the ghost towns exhibit.

“I think people remember hearing about some of those towns or just how they got started,” he said.

Heckman will dig deeper and explain how the county’s abundance of post offices disappeared over the last 150 years, along with several towns.

“I just think it’s going to be a very interesting presentation,” he said.

The presentation — about 45 minutes — is free, but guests need to RSVP by Monday by calling the Hormel Home at 507-433-4243.

A forgotten war remembered

Heckman will pack up his materials and head to the community college for a Riverland Generations presentation: “America’s First Forgotten War: A History of the War of 1812.”

Heckman, with the help of Riverland’s Peggy Young, will detail events about the War of 1812 and how Mower and Fillmore counties have their own ties to the forgotten battle when the presentation opens at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday.

And Heckman is the man to tell the story.

“My interest is that it’s kind of the area of history that I went to college for and studied,” he said.

Heckman said the hour-and-a-half presentation will explain how some soldiers’ graves were discovered many years later in Mower County cemeteries.

Guests must pre-register by Monday, April 16 by calling Young at 507-433-0602. The event costs $5.