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Historical Newsletter

March/April 2004

New Exhibit Puts Nebraska on the Map

Putting Nebraska on the Map, 1540-1920: Highlights from the Don Forke Collection will open to the public on Tuesday, March 9, at the Nebraska State Historical Society's Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P streets, Lincoln. The exhibit will feature more than two dozen maps chronicling the ways in which the place we now call Nebraska was depicted over four centuries. From the Typus Orbi Universalis, created by Swiss scholar Sebastian Münster in 1540, to a 1916 Nebraska highway map, these intriguing documents show how perceptions changed and understanding grew over time. Many of the maps reflect larger national and international events, as indigenous peoples are depicted under European controls and the United States eventually extends from sea to shining sea.

The maps are from a larger collection compiled by the late Don Forke, a Lincoln auctioneer and collector, and generously donated to the NSHS by his wife Marilyn. (See related story in the NSHS Foundation Newsletter.)

Visitors will be able to compare the historic maps to the latest digital mapping technology as they walk across a giant floor map of the state. The twenty-five by twelve-foot topographical map was developed from geographic information system (GIS) data compiled by the NSHS archeology division.

Special exhibit events include:

Support for the exhibit and programming is provided in part by Marilyn Forke. For more information, contact the museum at 402-471-4754 or visit our website, www.nebraskahistory.org.

Johnson's Map
On March 2, 1861, Congress created the Dakota Territory, which encompassed what would become North and South Dakota, and large portions of Wyoming and Montana. Here we see the Nebraska Territory with its Panhandle extending all the way to Utah.

Documentary on Solomon Butcher Premieres March 21

The Chrisman sisters, 40fs
One of the more famous Butcher photographs is that of the Chrisman sisters, 1886. Lizzie Chrisman filed the first of the sisters' homestead claims in 1887. Lutie Chrisman filed the following year. the other two sisters, Jennie Ruth and Hattie, had to wait until they came of age to file, They both filed in 1892. NSHS-RG2068.PH-1053

"Solomon Butcher: Frontier Photographer," a documentary exploring the life and remarkable sod house images of one of America's most fascinating photographers, will be broadcast at 7:30 p.m. CT (6:30 MT), Sunday, March 21, statewide on the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications network. A coproduction of NET and the Nebraska State Historical Society, the program features dozens of Butcher's evocative views of Plains settlement, insightful expert commentary, and interviews with descendants of homesteaders still living in Custer County today. The Society's digital imaging lab and what new technology is revealing in these old photographs will also be highlighted. NSHS staffers John Carter and David Murphy, as well as former photo curator Jill Koelling, add on-screen commentary to this compelling visual history. One hundred and fifty years after Butcher's birth, these photographs continue to be one of the most frequently used and highly regarded depictions of life on the American frontier. Tune in to find out why.

DVD and VHS copies of the program will be available after the premiere through the NSHS museum store. Contact the store at 402-471-3447 for more information.

Symposium to Offer Natural History Perspective of Lewis and Clark

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Center for Great Plains Studies presents its twenty-eighth annual interdisciplinary symposium June 3-5 at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City. The conference title, "The Nature of Lewis and Clark on the Great Plains," will recognize the naturalist work of the expedition. Conference chair is Gary E. Moulton of UN-L. Keynote speakers are two nationally acclaimed Lewis and Clark scholars, John Logan Allen and James L. Reveal.

Preregistration and conference fee required. Contact the Center for Great Plains Studies at 402-472-3082 or website http://www.unl.edu/plains/events/2004/overview.html

A second upcoming Lewis and Clark event sponsored by the Center for Great Plains Studies is the Great Plains Art Collection's exhibition, Lewis and Clark on the Great Plains: The Natural History, color photographs of 140 plants and animals encountered and documented by the expedition on the Great Plains. The exhibition can be seen May 7 through August 29 at the Great Plains Art Collection in the Christlieb Gallery, 1155 Q Street, Lincoln, Nebraska. Call for gallery hours: 402-472-6220; or visit the Great Plains Art Collection website, http://www.unl.edu/plains/gallery/gallery.html

Nebraska State Historical Society is one of the first to receive NEH "Landmarks of American History" grants;
National Teacher Workshops Offered at Seventeen U.S. Historic Sites

The Nebraska State Historical Society is one of seventeen institutions nationwide to receive funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for its new "Landmarks of American History" teacher workshops that will be held this summer at historic and cultural sites across the United States. NEH established the grant program to encourage and strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. Sites from Plymouth Rock to Pearl Harbor will be featured in the workshops.

"Shifting Power on the Great Plains: Fort Robinson and the American West" will be held July 6-12 and August 2-8, 2004, at Fort Robinson National Historic Landmark, just outside of Crawford. The two, week-long workshops will bring schoolteachers from across the nation together with scholars for a week of intensive study on history and literature associated with the site. Staff from the Nebraska State Historical Society, Nebraska Wesleyan University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the National Park Service, tribal elders, and master teachers from Nebraska districts will help teachers discover new ways to transform the learning that takes place in their classrooms.

Teachers from across the United States will participate in these academically rigorous workshops; teachers selected to participate will receive a stipend of five hundred dollars each to help defray their transportation, books, and living expenses.

Public, private, and home school elementary and secondary educators may apply by March 15, 2004. For more information or to request application materials, contact Lynne Ireland at lireland@nshs.state.ne.us or call 1-402-471-4758 or 1-800-833-6747. For information about other workshops, visit www.neh.gov.

NSHS Board of Trustees Nominating Committee Seeks Candidates

Jack Preston, chair of the Nebraska State Historical Society nominating committee, is seeking candidates for election to the Nebraska State Historical Society Board of Trustees. Individuals may run for the board of trustees by becoming members of the Historical Society, and obtaining signatures of twenty-five Society members. Meetings of the board of trustees are held quarterly at various locations across the state. The board of trustees consists of twelve individuals elected by the Society membership, and three appointed by the governor of Nebraska. The board of trustees assists in setting policies, provides guidance in strategic planning, and offers overall support to the director, staff, Society members, and volunteers.

Individuals interested in running for the board must contact Jack Preston by June 1, 2004, at 192726 Preston Road, Lyman, Nebraska 69352-1764, or jpreston@actcom.net or by phone at 308-247-2888. For further information about membership contact the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation at 1-888-515-3535 or 402-435-3535.

Membership Only Bus Trip Planned for this Spring

Join us for a one-day bus trip to historic Nebraska City and Brownville with other NSHS members on Thursday, April 15. We will leave Lincoln at approximately 9:00 a.m. and return to Lincoln at 6:00 p.m.

Our first stop will take members on a tour of the famous Arbor Lodge in Nebraska City, followed by a buffet lunch at the Lied Lodge restaurant located on the Arbor Day Farm grounds. The next stop will be Brownville, where we will tour the historic Governor Furnas house and arboretum. Next we will visit the Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard and Winery, also located in Brownville. There we will tour the winery, which includes a renovated 100-year-old barn and brick wine caves built in 1866. We will also enjoy samples of their delicious wines served with hors d'oeuvres.

Further details of the trip will be mailed to all members living in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. If you are a member who does not live in one of these states and would like to go on this trip with us, or if you have any questions regarding this trip or NSHS membership, please contact Karen Heath, membership coordinator, toll free, at 1-888-515-3535 or e-mail me at nshsfmember@alltel.net so that I can get the information to you. We hope to see many of you on this historic trip!


Patchwork Lives Opening Reception April 2

NSHS members and their families are invited to the opening of Patchwork Lives, an exhibit of quilts at the Museum of Nebraska History from the collections of the Society and the International Quilt Study Center. On Friday, April 2, 5:00-7:00 p.m., members can view the first in a series of four rotating exhibits that will be displayed over the next two years. Fifteen quilts will be exhibited for six months, then replaced with others from both institutions'collections. Nineteenth-century quilts predominate, but quilts dating to 1920 are included.

A brown bag lecture on the quilts will be presented by Carolyn Ducey, curator, International Quilt Study Center, on Thursday, April 15. For more information, contact the museum at 402-471-4754.

Fort Robinson History Conference Registration Open

Registration forms are available for the April 22-24 Fort Robinson History Conference, "A New Army for a New Century: Military Culture in Transition, 1890-1917." Eight scholars will present papers, and Dr. Edward M. Coffman will give the banquet address based on his latest book, The Regulars: The American Army, 1898-1941, just out from Harvard University Press.

The conference will also feature tours and interpretive programs. Members of Loomis's Battery, Michigan Light Artillery, will demonstrate artillery from the period of the conference theme, including 1.65-inch Hotchkiss guns, a 3.2-inch breechloading rifle, and a Gatling gun.

To request a registration form, contact Lana Hatcher at 402-471-3272 or e-mail lhatcher@mail.state.ne.us

Sowing Seeds for Statehood Now on View

Nebraska's brief but colorful territorial history is interpreted in Sowing Seeds for Statehood: Nebraska Territory, 1854-1867, now on display in the rotunda of the NSHS headquarters building at 1500 R Street. Commemorate the 150th anniversary of Nebraska's establishment as a territory with a visit, now through December 31.

Save Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit Moves to Ford Center March 5 - April 23

Preserving Memory: America's Monumental Legacy,
a touring exhibit developed by Save Outdoor Sculpture!, will be on exhibit in March and April at the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha. SOS is a project sponsored by Heritage Preservation and the Smithsonian Art Museum and is devoted to caring for and learning from America's collection of outdoor sculpture. The exhibit is a series of twenty full-color panels featuring nearly two hundred artworks-including Nebraska's own State Capitol Sower. Visitors will be encouraged to consider the impulses behind the creation of public sculpture and to reflect on their own community's origins memorialized through its monuments. Special panels for children present information about dogs, horses, secrets, and diseases as portrayed in sculpture.

Exhibit hours will be 1:00-4:00 p.m., Thursday-Saturday. A number of special public programs are planned. For more information contact the Ford Center at 402-595-1180.


By Cindy S. Drake, Library Curator

The Allan Family: O Scotia! My Dear, My Native Soil! [compiled by William P. Allan]. (Family in Douglas County.)

James Milford Fowler and Sarah Officer Deputy: Their Lives, Descendants, Ancestors, and Other Items of Interest, by Albert S. Magdanz [et al.]. (Families in Nemaha, Richardson, Douglas and Sarpy counties.)

Galusha of Nebraska, by [R. L. Galusha]. "Charles and Electa (Johnson) Galusha left Shaftsbury, Vermont, 1850s to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin to Exeter, Nebraska, 1870s." (Families in Fillmore and Merrick counties.)

Parks Family History: Ancestors and Descendants of George Washington Parks, A Civil War Veteran and Adams County, Nebraska Homesteader, researched and compiled by Eula M. Holtze Brown.

The Pumphrey Pedigree, by L. N. Pumphrey. (Families in Scottsbluff, Douglas, and Fillmore counties.)

Silver Creek, Nebraska: Centennial Book, July, 1967, by Carol Atkinson [et al.] (Silver Creek Centennial Committee.)

History of a Pioneer Community, Redington, 1980. (Summary: The information contained in this booklet was obtained from early records of the Sidney Telegraph, courthouse records, and visiting with people around the valley.)


Kristine Gerber and Jeffrey Spencer, Building for the Ages, Omaha's Architectural Landmarks (Omaha: Omaha Books, 2003). Clothbound, 208 pp., visual and historic look at 155 of Omaha's significant residential, commercial, and governmental buildings constructed from the late 1850s through the 1940s. It includes a pullout map, glossary of architectural terms, and biographies of Omaha's leading architects. Proceeds benefit Landmarks, Inc., a nonprofit organization that advocates the preservation of Omaha's historic environment.

Books are $39.95 each and are available at the Nebraska State Historical Society Museum Store, online at www.bn.com, or by contacting Kristine Gerber at 1-866-332-3866 or Kristine.gerber@cox.net


March 11-14: National Association for Interpretation, Heartland Chapter (Region V) Conference, Lied Lodge, Nebraska City. Topics to be covered include Interpretive Program Design; Interpretive Research and Technology; Funding, Grant Writing; Teamwork, Partnerships, and Volunteers; and Living History and Character Development. For more information see the NAI Heartland Chapter website at www.nairegions.org/5/ or contact Merrith Baughman, program chair, at 605-673-3806 or merrdean@gwtc.net

March 14: Sunday at the Museum Series, opening presentation by Francis Kingsbury for Twentieth Century Petroglyphs exhibit. 2 p.m., John G. Neihardt State Historic Site, Bancroft. Free and open to the public; reception following. For information contact the Neihardt Site at 1-888-777-4667 or neihardt@gpcom.net

March 16: Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Mouth of the Platte chapter. Presentation on past, present and future for Lewis and Clark aficionados, by Ron Laycock, Heritage Foundation president. Meet at 6 p.m. at Caniglia's Restaurant, Seventh and Pacific streets, Omaha. For information and reservations (required): mouthoftheplatte@aol.com or 402-571-2502.

March 18: Brown Bag Lecture, "Mapping Out Conservation Treatment: The Don Forke Map Collection," by Tara Kennedy, paper conservator, Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center, Omaha. 12 noon, Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

March 19: Special Brown Bag Lecture, "Charting the Unknown: How Colonial Cartographers Shaped America," by Donald Cresswell, renowned map expert and appraiser for Antiques Roadshow. 12 noon, Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

April 15: Brown Bag Lecture, presentation on quilt exhibit Patchwork Lives, by Carolyn Ducey, curator, International Quilt Study Center. 12 noon, Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

April 24: Annual Neihardt Spring Conference, "'The Upstream Men': Exploring the Great American West." By registration only ($20). For information call the Neihardt Site at 1-888-777-4667.

Indian on horseback logo
From the

Celebrate Nebraska's territorial birthday.
Consider one of these titles from the museum store:

Ham, Eggs, & Corn Cake, A Nebraska Territory Diary,
by Erastus F. Beadle, introduction by Ronald C. Naugle.

History of Nebraska, third edition, by James C. Olson and Ronald C. Naugle.

Mollie, The Journal of Mollie Dorsey Sanford in Nebraska and Colorado Territories, 1857-1866, with an introduction and notes by Donald F. Danker.

Nebraska, An Illustrated History, by Frederick C. Luebke.

Lincoln, The Prairie Capital, An Illustrated History, by James L. McKee.

Dandelions, by Eve Bunting, for ages five through eight.

Western Emigrant Trails, 1820-1870, Historic Trails, Cutoffs, and Alternates, map, 1999 edition, folded.

MUSEUM of NEBRASKA HISTORY, 15th & "P" Streets, 402-471-3447
10:00 - 4:30, Monday - Friday
1:00 - 4:00, Saturday and Sunday
Museum Store Catalog online


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