Faribault has a rich history that will soon be displayed through a series of beautiful benches to be placed in downtown Faribault combining function and art. The benches are lovely with cast iron bench ends, locally crafted seats, and panels comprised of rarely seen archived photos and riveting facts about Faribault throughout the years.
Twenty five benches will tell the stories of Faribault’s history, allowing visitors and locals alike to stroll downtown Faribault and learn about days gone by. From Elizabeth Strohfus a W.A.S.P. pilot to Marlon Brando, talented artisans, Farmer Seed and Nursery, the fur trade in Faribault, and so much more. Faribault’s history includes milling, a quarry industry, schools, the tilt-a-whirl, plus the development of the downtown. It is an expansive history touching on so many areas of interest, and that will bestow a sense of pride into the residents of Faribault and impress visitors.
Benches help build a sense of community, offering a resting spot between visiting shops, a place to sit and take in the stunning architecture in the historic district, or step back into time by reading the historical markers on each bench. An article by the University of Sheffield says, “Researchers in the University's Department of Landscape and the London-based think tank, found that sitting on benches allows people to spend longer outside, which is both beneficial for mental health and allows people to connect with others in their community.” The article goes on to say that “The researchers found that access to free public benches was also beneficial for physical health, as they can provide resting places for those with limited mobility to walk around.”
The work on the benches has been done by the Faribault Main Street organization, under the umbrella of the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. Sponsorships will be available to help support the bench project. Businesses and individuals may sponsor a bench at a cost of $1200 for a five year term, or $3000 for a 25 year term. This fee helps to cover design work, fabrication, instillation, and maintenance of the benches. Sponsors will be noted with a 4x6 plaque in the upper right hand corner of the bench and will be seen by each person who rests at the bench or takes a walk stopping at each bench to learn more of Faribault’s rich history.
To reserve a bench sponsorship, email Kelly@faribaultmn.org or call 507-334-4381.