HHH a place to gather, socialize

Published 10:24 am Saturday, February 3, 2018

78 years ago today the Austin Daily Herald, on Feb. 3, 1940, headline read “Spacious New Girl Scout Headquarter Formally Dedicated at Luncheon Event.”

That dedication served to acknowledge another generous donation from George and Lillian Hormel who funded the project. The column reported that:

The Hormel Historic Home once served as headquarters for the Girl Scouts. Photo provided

“The completion of the meeting rooms was indeed a dream come true to Mrs. West, who has ‘talked it and thought it’ ever since the first council was organized in 1928. It was Mrs. West who contacted George A. Hormel after the YWCA board and Girl Scout council decided the organization was able to care for and maintain larger quarters.”

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“Mr. Hormel had made the offer several years ago to erect a recreational center for Austin’s girls so when he and Mrs. Hormel visited Austin last summer, he met with a Y.W.C.A. committee and offered and wanted to erect a much larger and more pretentious building than the present structure, but the committee felt the simpler structure was more in keeping with their means of maintaining it.”

The paper described the new space as consisting of “one extremely large room, well lighted with large windows, which can be divided by sliding doors into a number of small meeting rooms and a second meeting room about two-thirds the size of the main room. Those two rooms are done in knotty pine.”

Some of you may remember these rooms and have special memories about the time you spent here. The Girl Scout organization was organized in Austin in 1927 and formed the first council in 1928. At first they met in leaders’ homes and were then incorporated into the meeting space of the YWCA’s updated garage space which they soon outgrew.

Their success and growth ultimately led to the construction of the Girl Scout House in 1939 which was replaced in 2009 by the Carriage Hall Event Center. The physical space may have changed in the current chapter of the Hormel Historic Home, but the purpose remains the same. It is a place for people to gather and socialize and learn, much like the Girl Scouts did for many years.

The vision that Mr. Hormel had for the more elaborate and pretentious space mentioned above was captured in architectural drawings that are on display at the Hormel Historic Home. Ironically, they resemble very closely the event space that was added in 2009. Seems his idea was just meant to be.

Pink Swing with the Austin Big Band

Supporting Paint the Town Pink

6:30-9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 3

$15 per person includes music, food, and fun

History Happy Hour: Freeways & Floods

5:30 social,  6 presentation, Monday, Feb. 12

Tim Ruzek, Outreach Coordinator for the Cedar River Watershed District will present the history of the Austin Mill Pond area with focus on the area being developed in the 1950s-1960s to connect downtown with the new Interstate 90 freeway. Free for HHH members, $5 for non-members. Includes light snacks.