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Albany Historical Society marks anniversary
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ALBANY - The Albany Historical Society will be celebrating its 25th year with an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the historical museum, 117-119 N. Water St., Albany.

The society board members will act as hosts and tour guides.

The historical society was started in January 1992 by 11 village residents. Gerald Earlywine of Brodhead and Tom McKay, the state historical society local coordinator, helped the group get started. The charter members were Bob Ames, who was elected the first president of the society, Robert Atkinson, Ruth Beckman, William Blumer, Sally Braem, Art Broughton, Wilbur Dehmer, Jim Haddinger, Steve Harsy, David Piper and Barbara Warthen. Of those, only Beckman and Braem are still members.

The preparatory meeting for organizing the society was Dec. 19, 1991. Meetings were held in the village hall.

The first social event sponsored by the society was an "Old-Fashioned Hymn Sing" Sept. 19, 1993, at the old Norwegian Lutheran Church on County EE. Four church congregations were invited to send one of their members to solo. Rev. Bob Krell led the singing, with Sally Braem on keyboard.

After that, the society planned to use the oldest Albany churches for their annual Hymn Sing. Because the Hymn Sing became a fundraiser, the society sponsored the Gap Church, which needed the most repair. The last Hymn Sing was in 2013.

The first fundraiser was "Sunday in the Park" June 14, 1992, in the village park. Events were a cake walk, silent auctions, homemade foods and cakes, pies and ice cream and the crowning of the Albany Dairy Queen. The last Picnic in the Park was June 2005.

As a nonprofit organization, the society depends solely on donations. The museum currently needs a new roof on part of the building at the 117 N. Water St. location. Membership, meetings and events are open to the public.