Celebrating a special anniversary

Published 7:09 am Saturday, March 2, 2019

Ten years ago this March was a turning point in the history of the modern day Hormel Historic Home. It was on March 7, 2009, that the vision of many people concerned with the future of the HHH came to life. However, it was also the day a historic structure was removed to make way for progress.

On that chilly day in March, 10 years ago, a demolition crew reduced what was the Carriage House to a pile of rubble. A slightly smaller carriage house had been used by the property’s original builders, the Cook family, as storage for horse and buggy. George and Lillian Hormel expanded it to house their first car in 1906 and they expanded it again when they added a second story apartment.

The apartment had a small foyer, living room, kitchen and dining area, bedroom and bath. Reference is made in insurance documents to a garage expansion in 1919 so we believe that is when the second story was added. Photos show it with lovely flower filled window boxes. When George and Lillian relocated to California and donated their home to the YWCA, the Carriage House apartment was rented out to generate funds to support operations of that organization.

Email newsletter signup

In 1939, a gift from George and Lillian facilitated another expansion to the Carriage House. The new space was built specifically for use by the local Girl Scouts organization. The Scouts had been meeting in various parts of the YWCA, but with the expansion they would have a dedicated space of their own.

Although the physical environment of the area once occupied by the Carriage House and Girl Scout House was changed in 2009, the use of that space has remained similar. Local groups still use the rooms for business and club meetings. Special events such as showers, weddings, graduations and holiday parties fill the calendar, and by the end of 2019, we will have been the site for over 4,300 events in the last 10 years. This space that supported the Cook and Hormel residences and the YWCA for many years continues to serve the Hormel Historic Home and the community today.

A special 10 Year Anniversary Party for the 2009 expansion is being planned for Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. All past donors and supporters as well as the entire community will be invited to help us celebrate at an event featuring music, food and progress.

Hormel Historic Home Carriage House. Photo provided

What’s happening at the HHH

History Happy Hour: Bizarre History of Minnesota presented by author and researcher Chad Lewis

5:30 p.m. social, 6 p.m. presentation Monday, March 11

Free for members of the HHH, Mower County Historical Society and Friends of the Library. $5 for non-members Light Snacks and Cash Bar included.