Hopes for a good 2014 came true

Published 7:01 am Sunday, January 4, 2015

It stuns me that this is the third time I am writing a New Year’s column as director of the Hormel Historic Home.

I looked back at what I wrote this time last year and realized that all of my hopes for 2014 have come true: “I hope for a year of low maintenance, much traffic, happy guests, and history that continues to inspire and educate. I hope to continue fulfilling our mission of preserving the Hormel family legacy of hospitality, education, music appreciation and community service.”

We had to replace an air conditioning unit in 2014. We have also just had the trees trimmed out front to prevent damage from low hanging and wayward branches. And now we are putting sparkly streamers in those trees to attempt to deter the crows from roosting. Other than that our maintenance needs have proved small and simple. I hope the same for 2015 but am already preparing for some electrical work and some painting.

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Our bus tours brought in much traffic, our wedding and event guests have been happy, and our history and educational programs have resulted in many enlightened attendees.

My hope for 2015 is that you will continue to see the Hormel Historic Home as a vital part of our area. There are a variety of projects occurring in the community designed to enhance our future, but don’t forget that our history is our foundation. Organizations such as the HHH and the Mower County Historical Society offer a window into our past. From these entities you can see that progress happens over time and often requires change, welcome or unwelcome. It is wise to reflect on how these changes have brought about progress and shaped our present.

We cannot change the past but we can study it, learn from it enjoy it, and make plans based on it.

You won’t see major changes around the HHH in 2015, but you will see some enhanced exhibits. We plan to highlight the Hormel family before it emigrated from Germany. A special exhibit dedicated to George Hormel’s young life will be on display and attention will be given to the architecture of the Historic Home.

During our History Happy Hour series, you will learn about changes in our community’s medical history, our library system and our media.

The future looks exciting for Austin. The Hormel Historic Home plans to be a part of that exciting future while remembering the importance of the past.

 History Happy Hour

5:30-7:30, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015

John Haymond, Mower County Historical Society, will present on the various architectural structures in Austin. Free for members of the MCHS, Friends of the Library, or the HHH. $5 for non-members. Light snacks and cash bar offered.

 Social Concerns

10 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015

Austin Aspires is a spin-off of Vision 2020, formed to meet the goals of Educational Leaders’ vision. Jennifer Lawhead, executive director, will discuss the full cradle-to-career education system in our community.

This is a free event. Free childcare will be provided for this event but we must know in advance.

Please call 507-433-4243 to register.

Austin Wedding Showcase

Noon to 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

$4 per person