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NSHS Volunteer News

September/October 1998

Fall Tour for Volunteers and Members

The NSHS is pleased to announce a 1998 fall tour. Plan now to join other Society members, volunteers, and friends on this one-day motorcoach tour on October 28. Tour highlights include visits to the following sites:

Western Trails Center, Council Bluffs, Iowa: This new facility features interpretive exhibits about the history of the overland trails and western migration.

Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters, Florence, Nebraska: The Mormon Trail Center is located at the site of the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery. The Center's exhibits interpret the winter quarters and camp where over 3,000 Mormon pioneers spent the winter of 1846 during their planned migration to what is now Utah.

Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center, Omaha: Participants will visit the Ford Birthsite gardens, the President Gerald R. Ford exhibit, and the state-of-the-art laboratories for the conservation and preservation of artifacts, books, manuscripts, and photographs.

Strategic Air Command Museum, I-80 (west of Omaha): this exciting new facility houses over thirty historic aircraft animated with the history of the Strategic Air Command along with related interpretive displays and an aircraft restoration center where visitors can see the on-going restoration of the museum's historic aircraft.

Participants will depart from, and return to, the Garden Cafe, 5100 N. 27th Street, Lincoln. Further information and registration materials will be mailed to all Society members and volunteers. Space is limited, and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have questions contact Deb McWilliams at 402-471-4955.

Windmill Authority Featured at Society History Conference

Dr. T. Lindsay Baker, a nationally-known expert on the history of windmills, will present "Windmills on the Western Range" at the October 2-3 history conference in Valentine. Baker, director of the Texas Heritage Museum, is author of A Field Guide to American Windmills, and edits the Windmiller's Gazette.

A full schedule of tours and programs address the theme of "Cowboy Country" during the two-day conference. All Society members will have received registration materials, but non-members are welcome and encouraged to register for the History Conference. The deadline is September 18. For more information contact Deb McWilliams, 402-471-4955.

Join in the Fun!

All NSHS volunteers are invited to attend the upcoming volunteer program on Wednesday, September 9, 1998. The September program will focus on the Nebraska History Project -- a project that will explore interesting issues in Nebraska history for a planned six hour television documentary. The program will be presented by Society staff members Lynne Ireland and John Carter. Join us for coffee at 9:30 a.m., the program at 10:00, at the Museum of Nebraska History, 15th and P Streets, Lincoln. Please RSVP to Deb McWilliams at 471-4955 regarding your attendance.

Thank You Very Much!!!

Thanks to everyone who assisted with the

Nebraska State Fair to make it

another successful year. The Fair is a

great way to reach others, and to let them

know what great things the NSHS has to

offer. Thanks, we couldn't have done it

without you!

Volunteer Accomplishments

NSHS owes a great deal of thanks and appreciation to our faithful volunteers. During the fiscal year 1997-98 volunteers provided many hours of service to help the Society carry out its mission of safeguarding and interpreting Nebraska's past. During the past fiscal year volunteers contributed the following:

The above listing is only a small portion of the commitment that was given by NSHS volunteers. Thanks to one and all for the important service you provide and the accomplishments that you have made to the Society.

Buffalo Bill Day

On Sunday, November 1 from 1:30-5:00 p.m., Museum of Nebraska History, 15th and P Streets, Lincoln, the Society will host several events featuring Buffalo Bill. Come join in the fun:

For further information about the November 1st events contact Jessica Stoner at 402-471-4757.

Willa Cather Celebration:
A Storytelling Day

On Saturday, September 19, from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m., the Nebraska State Historical Society will provide an opportunity to develop your storytelling skills and enjoy Nebraska storytellers of today. The "Willa Cather Celebration: A Storytelling Day" will bring the traditions, present, and future of storytelling together as we mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of Cather's Pulitzer Prize in literature, learn about the art of storytelling, listen to Nebraska storytellers of today, and tell your own stories. All events are scheduled at the Museum of Nebraska History, 15th and P Streets, Lincoln.

Don't miss this great opportunity to celebrate and participate in Nebraska storytelling. For more information contact Jessica Stoner at 402-471-4757. Speakers for this program are just a few of the one hundred thirty-four programs made available to Nebraskans at little or not cost through the Nebraska Humanities Council.

Eighteenth-Century Oto Village Investigated

Society archeologists were notified this spring when artifacts were discovered in a housing development near Bellevue. Upon further investigation it was determined the site was that of an Indian village dating to the early decades of the 1700s. Society staff and volunteers have been conducting excavations at the site intermittently throughout the summer. Over fifty storage or refuse pits have been excavated to date. Materials recovered are of both Native and European manufacture and include stone tools, clay vessel fragments, animal bone, charred botanical material (corn, acorns, walnuts, bark, and woven grass), Catlinite (pipestone), iron knives and axes, glass trade beads, copper ornaments, and stoneware.

While archeological investigations have been conducted at several Oto sites in the past, this is the first opportunity to work at such a site using modern archeological recovery and analysis techniques. Consequently, the study of materials from this site may reveal a great deal about Oto history and ecology, as well as yielding information on early contact between Native Americans and colonial Europeans in Nebraska.

NSHS Website Continues to Grow

The Nebraska State Historical Society website, continues to grow with updates and newly added pages to our site. Recently added pages include the fascinating history of Fort Robinson. Of special interest to our volunteers might be the Volunteer Activities page with listings of over thirty volunteer opportunities across the state.

Visitors to the website are also on the increase. Visits in the month of July nearly doubled the visits we had in June. As we continue to make more information available we expect to serve an even greater number of people. If you have any comments or questions regarding the website please feel free to contact Teresa Jacobs at 402 471 4766 or email

New Faces at NSHS!

Mary Cruse, museum collections, library/archives

Annie Erlandson, museum

John Husmann, library/archives

Dennis Haack, library/archives

Kathie Harrison, library/archives

Angela Hayter, state fair

Sabrina Kotschwar, museum store

Kathee Larson, museum

Elizabeth McCue, library/archives

Brendan Plageman, administration

Danielle Schroeder, library/archives

Kenneth Wilcox, library/archives


Plan to attend the September 10 and October 8 meetings of the Lincoln Corral of Westerners at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, 9th and P Streets, Lincoln. Parking is available at no charge by informing the attendant that you are attending the Westerners meeting. The Westerners organization is dedicated to promoting a general knowledge of, and appreciation for, Western history.

The evening will begin with a social period at 6:30 p.m., dinner at 7:00, followed by the program at 8:00. On September 10 the program will be provided by David Wells, president of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition of 1898 ­ and the one hundred year celebration of the Exposition. The October 8 program will be presented by Branton Rudd, an Art Historian from the Joslyn Museum, Omaha. He will discuss artists of the early nineteenth century and their interpretation of the West ­ focusing on Remington, Catlin and others.

To make reservations and to find out more about Westerners contact Margaret Allington at 488-5698.


September 5-7: Labor Day Weekend
Offices closed, Museum of Nebraska History open

September 9: Volunteer Program
"Nebraska History Project," Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

September 10: Westerners meeting
Ramada Plaza Hotel, Lincoln, Nebraska

September 17: Brown Bag Lecture Series
"Crimes in the West: Lincoln County, Nebraska," Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

September 19: Willa Cather Celebration: A Storytelling Day
Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

September 26: Collectors Saturday Lecture Series
"Native American Materials" at Ford Center, Omaha, Nebraska

October 2-3: History Conference & Annual Meeting
Valentine, Nebraska

October 8: Westerners meeting
Ramada Plaza Hotel, Lincoln, Nebraska

October 15: Brown Bag Lecture Series
"George and Sarah Joslyn," Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

October 28: Fall bus tour
One-day motorcoach tour to historic sites around Omaha

through October 31: exhibit
Nebraska Quilts: A Patchwork History, Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

Volunteer News is published bi-monthly for the world-class volunteers at the Nebraska State Historical Society. For information about volunteering with any of our divisions, or at any location across the state, contact:

Deb McWilliams, Volunteer Services
402-471-4955 or 1-800-833-6747

Apply for Volunteer Service today!

Volunteer News backissues


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Last updated 10 November 1998

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