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DCHS hosts a variety of events in coming months

Author, Dennis McCann speaks at the Douglas County Historical Society's annual meeting 2 p.m. Sunday. McCann, a Wisconsin native, has worked in newspapers for more than 30 years, including the last 23 for the former Milwaukee Journal and the Milw...

Author, Dennis McCann speaks at the Douglas County Historical Society's annual meeting 2 p.m. Sunday.

McCann, a Wisconsin native, has worked in newspapers for more than 30 years, including the last 23 for the former Milwaukee Journal and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel after the morning and evening newspapers merged. Author of "Dennis McCann Takes You For a Ride: Stories from the Byways of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois," McCann talks about some of his travels around Wisconsin and his visits to historical societies and museums.

This program is sponsored by the Wisconsin Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. It is made possible through the cooperation of the Academy and the generosity of donors.

The historical society is collaborating with Old Brule Heritage Society and the Gordon-Wascott Historical Society on a photo exhibit of interesting sites in Douglas County. With photos from each society's archives, this exhibit is planned to complement McCann's talk of traveling to places that are off the beaten path.

J.W. Beecroft will have McCann's books available for autographs by the author, a portion of the proceeds of which will be donated to DCHS. This event is open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

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The Douglas County Historical Society hosts a roundtable discussion on Superior's labor movement to usher in its new exhibit at 5:30 p.m. May 1 at the society's headquarters. This event opens the society's summer season, as well as recognize the international working class holiday, May Day.

The exhibit, titled "All We Ask is $2 a Day," features the 1889-1890 street and utility strikes and the 1894 railroad strike. Dr. Richard Hudelson, Dr. Joel Sipress and Superior Federation of Labor President, Janice Terry, head the discussions. The event is open to the public.

This small exhibit is the first phase of a larger, interpretive exhibit planned for the first week of September. The second phase begins with the 1913 Copper Strike in Calumet, Mich. that ended in tragedy and brought typesetter, Edwin Rasi and the Ty'mies (The Worker) newspaper to Superior.

Rasi's son, Carl Ross, continued his father's work and went on to play a leading role in the local Communist Party. Rasi and Ross were part of the large population of Finns who lived in north Superior. The exhibit centers on what is known as Superior's North End, which borders the shipyards, docks and rail stations and has always been a working class district.

The North End was home to Ty'mies, the Finnish Workers Hall and the Central Cooperative Wholesale Exchange with its branches of cooperative stores out in the county that served the needs of Finnish-Americans. By the 1920s Finns in north Superior had begun to work together in the Communist Party, and young Finns like Ross would go on to play leadership roles in the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) unions of the 1930s and in the reform politics of the New Deal era. We thank Dana LaGesse for donating her aunt Helen Woimala's photos of the Ty'mies' Board of Directors from 1943.

During the week of Labor Day, from Tuesday through Thursday, hours will be extended from 2 to 7 p.m., when staff and board members welcome the public to the new exhibit with refreshments. Brochures of the North End walking tour will be available. Performances of short, Finnish-American socialist plays run Friday and Saturday evenings with a Sunday matinee beginning on Sept. 7.

On Sept. 17, David Newby, president of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO will be guest speaker, with a panel of scholars from area universities. Newby talks about the current issues facing labor supporters, such as his campaigns for family and medical leave, improved health and safety in the workplace and increases in the minimum wage.

Other acquisitions include a 1906 Superior souvenir booklet of postcards from Cynthia Richards, Superior Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code books from Carol Reasbeck and donated from Channel 8, a large scrapbook of Evening Telegram articles with the title, "Labor News and Views" that reported activities of Superior's labor movement from late 1930s through the 1950s.

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Our annual Historic Home and Building Tour will not be in September as it has been for the last 13 years. Instead, we will host a garden tour and luncheon at 11 a.m. July 14.

The Douglas County Historical Society is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday-Friday or by appointment at 1101 John Ave. Visit our Web page, www.douglashistory.org , e-mail us at dchs@douglashistory.org , or call us at 392-8449.

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