Freeborn County (pop. 31,255) is east of Faribault County. It was named for William Freeborn, a member of the first Minnesota Territorial Legislature.
The county seat is Albert Lea (pop. 18,016), named for Albert Miller Lea, who surveyed southern Minnesota and northern Iowa in 1835.
The Marion Ross Performing Arts Center is named for actress Marion Ross, who lived in Albert Lea as a young girl.
Early rock ‘n’ roller Eddie Cochran (1938-60) was born in Albert Lea.
Myre-Big Island State Park is just east of Albert Lea.
The paved Blazing Star State Trail connects central Albert Lea with the state park.
The town of Hayward (pop. 250) claims the record for the longest game of horseshoes, set in 1930 between the postmaster and the train station agent.
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