Albert Lea, the county seat of Freeborn County, is located about 100 miles south of Minneapolis. The city got its name from Albert M. Lea, the United States topographer for the region in 1835. The city was chartered in 1878.
Albert Lea is a summer resort. It also serves the surrounding agricultural area and has several manufacturing facilities.
The history of Albert Lea and Freeborn County is kept alive at the Freeborn County Historical Museum. An interesting private museum is the Story Lady Doll and Toy Museum. The Albert Lea Art Center and Museum has a permanent collection of Midwest artists.
Albert Lea is served by one of the three campuses of Riverland Community College. Its hospital needs are met by the Albert Lea Good Samaritan Center, affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Albert Lea Medical Center, a successor to Naeve Hospital and now affiliated with the Mayo Health System.