October, November big months for HHH

Published 8:18 am Sunday, November 2, 2014

October and November have been significant months in the history of the Hormel Historic Home on a few occasions. George A. Hormel purchased the home in October of 1901, and in November of 1927 the Hormels turned possession of their home over to the YWCA. In November 2009, the event center was opened. Now, in November 2014, we are celebrating the fifth anniversary of that expansion.

Hormel Historic Home

Hormel Historic Home

The property has certainly evolved over its 143 year history. From a red brick Italianate structure in 1871, to Neo-Classic revival style grey stucco in 1902, then blue stucco, and now gold, the facility has changed many times. The addition five years ago was a sign of its ongoing evolution that will one day be considered another historic November event.

On Dec. 2, 2009, The Austin Daily Herald wrote a special feature announcing the opening of the expansion. They wrote of the history behind the project: “The HHH needed to host more events to generate income to support the home turned community center/museum.”

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They wrote of the fundraising efforts: “The Hormel Foundation gave $1 million and the other $800,000 came from the community-$100,000 of which was from James C. and Thomas D. Hormel, sons of Jay Catherwood Hormel and grandsons of George and Belle.”

The design of the expansion was led by retired Austin Interior Designer, Belita Schindler, who had been instrumental in the restoration of the original structure in the early 1990s. Schindler was happy to be working on the expansion and said, “I wanted it to be inspired by the home, but not exactly like it. I want it to give you the sense that it might really be old.” She also gave credit to the many others who added their expertise to the interior of the expansion. She said, “there was a virtual army of people who made this happen.”

Removing the historic Carriage House to add the event center was a challenging decision for the HHH leadership in 2008, but it was one that paved the way for a successful future. To honor the history within the walls of Carriage House we now refer to the expansion as the Carriage Hall Event Center. We will not forget the history of that space, and we will continue building the history developing right now.

Thank you to all who were involved with and supported the expansion of the Hormel Historic Home Event Center. Thanks to you we remain the community resource the Hormels hoped their home would become.

 History Happy Hour: Why History?

Nov. 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Join us for happy hour-museum style. Enjoy light snacks and cocktails in a historic setting and learn about your community’s past. Social at 5:30 p.m.; Presentation at 6 p.m. Panel of local history enthusiasts will discuss the importance of preserving history and sharing it with others. Free to members of the Austin Public Library, the Mower County Historical Society, and the Hormel Historic Home. $5 for non-members. RSVP recommended at HHH. 507-433-4243

 Social Concerns: The Wartime Kitchen-Rationing during the World Wars

November 18 10 a.m.- 11 a.m.

Presented by Jaimie Timm of the Mower County Historical Society

Free. Coffee and snack included.

Please call to reserve a spot. 507-433-4243