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Tower takes spooktacular theme

The History Sunday series 2013-2014 resumes with the theme of Tower Avenue and ties in with October's big event, Halloween.

Remember the night in 1991 when trick-or-treaters got tricked by Mother Nature's mega snowstorm? Bartender, Bean Prettie, who was socked in at the Anchor Bar for two days until the streets were plowed, will present, "The History of the Anchor Bar" on Sunday. Prettie shares memories about her 35 years with the Anchor, now owned by Adam Anderson. She brings her photo albums of good times at the bar.

The Anchor opened in the 1940s but not the Anchor Bar we know today and since it changed hands in 1977 and Prettie arrived. She decided the bar walls were too bare and started decorating, using her own interest in antiques and the nautical theme of the bar's name and clientele. One of Superior's most popular historic landmarks, the Anchor Bar and Grill was featured on the Food Network in 2010 in a segment called "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" and has long been a favorite for great hamburgers at a great price

The presentation begins at 2 p.m. Sunday at DCHS, 1101 John Ave. Admission is $3 and free for members. Refreshments and conversation follow.

This presentation sets the stage for our 2013 History Theatre season's fall production, "Devils, Dancing and Dead People." The award-winning original play by Twin Ports playwrights Dale R. Botten and Matthew R. Cetnar takes place in the middle of the night during the 1991 Halloween mega storm. Three ghosts appear for a visit with a despondent bartender in the "Anchor Chain" Bar on Tower Avenue.

Botten describes the play as "gritty drama lightly sprinkled with salty humor that says suicide is never the answer, and each day we have is a gift; just tear off the wrapping and see what's inside."

This Halloween tale has adult language and is not recommended for children. Performances begin at 7 p.m. Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26 and 2 p.m. Oct. 20 and 27 at the DCHS. For information, tickets, or to help backstage, call 715-392-8449 or email

Join Bob Hope, Jerry Colonna, and new and old friends at our sixth annual 1943 USO Canteen Radio Show on Dec. 7 and 8. Call for tickets.

Our exhibit, "Open 'til 9:00: Thursday Nights on Tower Avenue," refers to days when downtown was lively and open for business on Thursday nights, and will soon be expanded to include iconic businessmen of downtown with the help of another grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

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