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March / April 2004

Donald Creswell
Donald Creswell, appraiser on the Antiques Roadshow. Courtesy of PBS

Marilyn Forke Brings Noted Map Expert to Lincoln During Exhibit Opening

Have you ever wondered how colonial mapmakers gathered the information about the areas they were creating maps of without computers, satellites, and geographic information systems?

In March you'll have an opportunity to learn more about the art of cartography as it was done in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Marilyn Forke, a NSHS Foundation trustee from Lincoln, has invited her longtime friend, Donald Cresswell, to Lincoln to explain the history of cartography in conjunction with the opening of the Don Forke Map Collection exhibit. She also provided the financial support to make his trip possible.

You may recognize Mr. Cresswell from his many appearances as an appraiser on the Antiques Roadshow aired by PBS. Mr. Cresswell is the co-owner of the Philadelphia Print Shop, a shop in the old tradition featuring rare prints and maps from the fifteenth through the early twentieth centuries. His book, The American Revolution in Drawing and Prints: A Checklist for 1765-1790 Graphics in the Library of Congress, is a major reference book on prints, maps, and drawings of the American Revolution period. He has published papers and book reviews and has taught at several universities.

Mr. Cresswell was instrumental in helping Don and Marilyn Forke acquire a superb collection of maps featuring the Nebraska territory from 1540 to 1868. A few years ago, Marilyn donated the entire collection to the Nebraska State Historical Society. In March, the Don Forke Map Collection exhibit will open to the public. Mr. Cresswell will be at the Nebraska State Historical Society's Museum of Nebraska History on Friday and Saturday, March 19 and 20, to help us celebrate the exhibit.

On Friday, March 19, Mr. Cresswell will be the featured speaker for the Brown Bag lecture series offered at the museum. The lecture begins at noon. Bring your lunch and join us as Mr. Cresswell presents "Charting the Unknown: How Colonial Cartographers Shaped America."

On Saturday, March 20, Mr. Cresswell will return to the museum to join Tara Kennedy, paper conservator at the Nebraska State Historical Society's Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center, for a discussion on the care and conservation of paper materials. Other activities are planned throughout the day.

Mr. Cresswell's visit would not be possible without Marilyn's generosity and their longtime friendship. Mrs. Forke has provided the financial support to bring Mr. Cresswell to Nebraska to help us celebrate the opening of an exhibit of the maps he and the Forkes lovingly collected and cared for over many years.

We hope you'll join us and spend some time in the map exhibit to discover how the shape of our territory and later our state, changed over the years and to learn more about the process involved in creating the maps of the time.

Spend May Day in Brownville at the Board of Trustees Annual Meeting

Make plans to spend May Day in Brownville to tour the historic town and attend the annual meeting of the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees meeting will be held at the beautiful new Whiskey Run Creek Winery in the late afternoon so you'll have plenty of time to discover the charm and history of this town that once boasted a population of over ten thousand. Here is a schedule of events -- join us for one or all of the many activities offered throughout the day:

11:00 - 12:00 tours available of the winery, theWalnut Grove Cemetery, or local historic homes and places of interest.

12:00 - 1:00 lunch at the winery.

1:00 - 2:00 tours available of the winery, the cemetery, or local historic homes and places of interest

2:00 - 3:00 tours available of the winery, the cemetery, or local historic homes and places of interest.

Gov. Robert W. Furnas       
Governor Robert W. Furnas

3:00 - 4:00 annual meeting at the winery, featuring Dr. Fred Luebke's presentation about Governor Robert W. Furnas, considered the founder of the Nebraska State Historical Society. He established the Nebraska Advertiser newspaper in 1856 and The Nebraska Farmer magazine in 1859, and served in the territorial legislature and was Nebraska's governor from 1873 to 1875.

4:00 - 5:30 Trustee and Brownville supporter Jane Rohman will host a reception for us at her Brownville home, the Thompson House.

5:30 - 7:00 Join us for a riverboat dinner cruise aboard the Spirit of Brownville.

And, if you still want more, a cabaret show will be offered that night at the concert hall at 7:30. More details on the performance will be coming soon!

There is a lot to choose from on May 1! Be sure to mark your calendars to join us and spend the day getting to know the "Oldest Little River Town in Nebraska."

Board of Directors Approve $85,768 in Grants

At their January 8 meeting, the Foundation Board of Directors unanimously approved the recommendations of the grants committee to release $85,768 in grants to the Historical Society.

This quarter's grant includes support for:


Get a Clue logo
Dust Off Your Spyglass and Join Us for Lincoln's History Mystery

On May 14, the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation will challenge twenty-five teams to solve the second History Mystery in Lincoln. The teams, consisting of four or five persons, will use clues to uncover interesting, famous, and even notorious places in downtown Lincoln.

The detective teams will be launched from the Nebraska State Historical Society Museum of Nebraska History, and will have two short hours to discover as many of the clues as possible. They must then return to the museum and ferret out one last clue to an object somewhere on exhibit. The team that answers the most clues correctly wins.

Teams will have to be shrewd tacticians, deductive detectives, and perhaps just a little unscrupulous. The winners will enjoy unlimited bragging rights, and everyone who plays will be promised a good time.

Registration fees and other revenues will support the Nebraska State Historical Society's research relating to its recent rediscovery of Engineer Cantonment near Omaha. Engineer Cantonment is the campsite where scientists of the Stephen Long expedition wintered in 1819-20 before heading west along the Platte River to the Rocky Mountains. The team built upon the discoveries of Lewis and Clark documenting local flora and fauna. So along with having fun, players will be helping the efforts of the Society.

Last year's event hosted over 145 participants, raised over twelve thousand dollars, and provided unlimited fun for everyone throughout the evening.

If you think you are up to the challenge, get your team together and join us! To learn more, contact the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation at 888-515-3535 or go to www.nebraskahistory.org and the What's New button.

2003-04 Foundation Board of Directors

Allison D. Petersen, Walton, President
Steven E. Guenzel, Lincoln, Executive Vice President
Jack D. Campbell, Lincoln, Vice President
C. John Guenzel, Lincoln, Treasurer
Joanne F. Shephard, Valentine, Secretary
Martha Greer, Lincoln
Dr. James W. Hewitt, Lincoln
Dr. William F. Karrer, Omaha
Dr. Frederick C. Luebke, Lincoln
Carol Maddux, Wauneta
Dr. Martin A. Massengale, Lincoln
John D. Massey, Scottsbluff
George H. Moyer, Jr., Madison
James F. Nissen, Lincoln
Robert D. Northrop, Lincoln
Cynthia Olson, Lisco
Amy Scott-Willer, Omaha
John W. Webster, Omaha
S. N. "Bud" Wolbach, Grand Island
Dr. John Wunder, Lincoln

Lawrence J. Sommer, Lincoln, NSHS Director, Ex-officio
Jack Preston, Lyman, NSHS President, Ex-officio
Patricia Phillips, Omaha, NSHS Treasurer, Ex-officio

Contact Information:

Jackie Spahn, Executive Director
Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation
Kinman-Oldfield Suite 1010
128 North 13th Street
Lincoln, NE 68508-1565

Ph: 402-435-3535
Toll Free: 888-515-3535
Fax: 402-435-3986

January / February 2004 Issue

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Last updated 25 February 2004

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