Lillian Belle Gleason Hormel was a very hospitable woman and loved opening her home to her friends, her family, and George's business associates. In a tribute to Lillian following her death in 1946, Gertrude Skinner writes this, "She made a well-ordered home, to which he (George) could return after business work and worry, to a haven of rest She kept the home in readiness to entertain the many who came on business missions to the plant. For years the annual meetings and banquet of the stock-holders were held in this home where the heavy responsibility of entertaining fell on the hostess. She made it a home where the chums and companions of her son, Jay, found a welcome and she gave to this son an inheritance of her own rare qualities..."
This spirit of hospitality continued in the Home after George and Lillian retired to California in 1927 and generously donated their treasured Home to the YWCA. For over 60 years the facility served the women of Austin by renting rooms at an affordable rate and offering space for many community groups to meet. Within the first year of the Y's operating in the Home over 13,000 people had visited either for social or business reasons, many coming just to tour the beautiful rooms.
In 1939 a space was added to the Carriage House specifically for the use of the Girl Scouts. Many women in Austin today remember meeting in this space during the 50+ years of its existence.
In 2009, a 6,000 sq. ft. commercial kitchen and banquet facility replaced the carriage house on the north side of the Home and is now used for a variety of events including weddings, business meetings and seminars, class reunions, and various community events.
Hormel Historic Home
208 4th Ave. NW
Austin, MN 55912