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History Sunday puts spotlight on Twin Ports entrepreneur

Ed Cismoski

Kathy Laakso

February’s History Sunday speaker is Douglas County Historical Society Assistant Director JoAnn Jardine. JoAnn will talk about her father, Ed Cismoski’s business in “The History of the M&C Oil Company of Superior.” This program, which is at 2 p.m. Sunday is part of DCHS’ Wisconsin Humanities Council-funded exhibit, “Icons and Entrepreneurs: Downtowns of Yesterday and Tomorrow.”

Joe Mayersak and Ed Cismoski purchased a gas station in 1937, when you could buy eight gallons of gas for $1, and built a gas business that lasted 57 years. At one point, there were nine stations in the Duluth-Superior area. After the business closed in 1995, the station in Superior was used as an information center by the University of Wisconsin-Superior. The original building still stands on a primary corner of the university campus.

It is believed this station, with its unique architecture, may have been designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. There is a possibility the university may want to have the building removed from its property in the near future. Jardine and many area residents would like to see the building moved from its location and repurposed for the community to enjoy.

Tickets are on sale for the upcoming History Theatre production of Little Women, which runs March 21 through March 30.

If you enjoy DCHS’ History Theatre and want to support its future, you may want to attend a special preview VIP fundraising performance on March 20. In keeping with the Civil War era, actors in costume will greet their guests in a receiving line at the wine and hors d’oeuvres reception before the performance. Proceeds from the preview VIP fundraiser will go toward improving the stage and future programs. For more information give us a call or email us.

DCHS’ new hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. each Thursday. These new hours will make it easier for the public to see our exhibits, visit the museum shop and attend special programming.

The Douglas County Historical Society is located at 1101 John Ave. To contact us, email or call 715-392-8449.

Kathy Laakso is the director of the Douglas County Historical Society.