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Our View: Historic Stoppel project starts with this step

Restoring the farm will result in an attraction that does even more to aid our understanding of this area’s early history.

Our View editorial graphic
Our View

A nearly quarter-million-dollar grant will help an extensive, years-long restoration of Rochester’s historic Stoppel farm get off on the right foot.

The mid-19th century farmstead, on the grounds of the History Center of Olmsted County, gives visitors a glimpse into the lives of some of the earliest white settlers in our area. The grounds include a barn, a shed, a silo, a stone house and two manmade caves.

Stoppel Farmstead.jpg
The Stoppel Farmstead, just outside Rochester.
Contributed / History Center of Olmsted County

Restoring the farm will take years and an estimated $2.3 million, resulting in an attraction that does even more to aid our understanding of this area’s early history.

It starts with a $237,000 grant from the Minnesota Historical Society – money that will fund about two-thirds of the cost to rehabilitate the farm’s smokehouse this year. Local dollars will cover the balance.

We support these long-overdue efforts to make full use of the Stoppel farm, and we’re eager to see this step, and the next ones, undertaken and completed. Thumbs up.

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Y, must we say goodbye?

While one iconic structure is being restored, another is teetering into obscurity.

The YMCA is more than the inspiration for a universally popular song (good luck getting that one out of your head now), it is a pillar of an organization woven into the social fabric and well-being of many an American community, including ours here in Rochester.

Thus, the news that the Y will close at the end of the month hits hard, even as we understand that the competitive nature of the fitness industry and the way we choose to live our lives has brought us to this point. The pandemic sure didn’t help, either.

We’ll cherish the memories of swimming lessons and day camps for our kids, sweaty workouts, shooting hoops and maybe even a couple of racquetball games for ourselves. It was fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A, and we’re saddened to see it go. Thumbs down.

Young change agent

Rochester and the surrounding region sure don’t lack for young people who will grow up to be difference-makers in the world, and it’s a pleasure for us to be able to tell their stories.

One of them is Salma Abdi, a senior at Century High School, whose activist impulses have led her to a leadership role at the national level of UNICEF , the United Nations Children’s Fund, an organization that works globally to bring aid and awareness to children who need it.

“We all need to do our part,” Salma says, and her words and efforts serve as a good reminder to us all, no matter how young or old, that we can and should make a positive difference in the world. Thumbs up to her.

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