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Railroads, ‘Little Women’ under the spotlight at DCHS

Kathy Laakso

The 2013-2014 History Sunday season wraps up this weekend.

History Sunday coordinator, Nancy Minahan, has presented a series of speakers that told the story of businesses and people who built Superior’s economy, which is part of DCHS’ Wisconsin humanities-funded exhibit, Icons and Entrepreneurs: Downtowns of Yesterday and Tomorrow.

Minahan says this Sunday’s program presents the history of one of the community’s largest businesses, the railroad.

Railroads were the essence of Superior’s founding, connecting western farms and the mining industry with the Great Lakes waterway to the east. Local railroad historian Patrick C. Dorin talks about the freight train business in Superior and Douglas County. Early in his career, Dorin worked for the Great Northern Railway, the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway, the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway, and the Milwaukee Road. Later, Dorin became an educator in the Superior school system and an a author of some 20 railroad books published between 1969 and 2013, including the recent “An Illustrated Guide to American Freight Train Equipment , Great Lakes Ore Docks and Ore Cars,” and “Minnesota-Ontario Iron Ore Railroads.”

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

Our first “Winter Classic” History Theatre production of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” opens this month, Women’s History Month. Directed by Jen Dobbins, this is our most elaborate show to date. Board member Ed Johnson’s set will transport the audience from the March family home, including Jo March’s attic room, to New York and Europe. Talented volunteers in our community are designing and creating Civil War era costumes and actors of many ages are participating in this beloved American classic.

On March 20, we will host a VIP wine and hors d’oeuvres reception and preview production as a fundraiser to support our History Theatre. Costumed actors will receive guests to the reception before going backstage to get ready to perform. The production continues with its opening the following night and runs from March 21-March 30. The event is sponsored in part by the generosity of Superior Choice Credit Union.

The cast includes Ashley Kelleher, Jen Grau, Hannah Ness, Gabby Ford, Sannah Arvidson-Hicks, Naomi Lear, Jessica Johnson, Jane Wester, Cheri Tesarek, James Walsh, Matt Davey Jason Wall, Jess, Lily and Adelaide Poskozim, Rubie Dobbins, Roger Reinert, Lauryn Schulz, Ailee Miller and Rockyn Kavajecz.

Call for information about tickets, or helping backstage.

We thank Laurie Wermter for her Adopt-A-Day donation in honor of her mother’s birthday. Eva Arlene (Banks) Wermter, born Aug. 12, 1932.

The DCHC “Adopt-A-Day” program is an opportunity for donors’ dollars to go directly toward supporting operational expenses. For $100, you can “adopt a day” in your name, as tribute to or memorial for a loved one, or in honor of an event. This helps DCHS continue its mission and ensure that we are here to serve citizens of Douglas County for generations to come.

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.