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Holmen Area Historical Society Programs:  2014
All Meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Holmen Village Hall unless otherwise noted.

Jan 8: “George Edwin Taylor, First African American Candidate for President” by Bruce Mouser  - An orphaned Taylor came to La Crosse after the Civil War, taken in by a local black family.  He went on to own and edit labor newspaper and become a leader in Wisconsin’s People’s Party. For Labor, Race, and Liberty is Dr. Mouser’s book about Taylor’s “historic run for the white house and the making of independent black politics.” 

Feb 5:  “Felix Spiller and The War Eagle Tragedy” by Richard Frost - In 1870, the steamship War Eagle, burned when docked at Prairie La Crosse.  Storyteller Richard Frost will recreate that night and the heroic efforts of the ship’s barber

 March 5 (Women’s History Month):  “Dr. Lilian B. Tracey, Onalaska Trail Blazer for Women’s Health” - Joan Dolbier will present the life and career of this area’s first female osteopathic physician and surgeon.  She campaigned for birth control, control of alcohol abuse, and care for the elderly and handicapped. Her motto was “I seek no favors and shrink from no responsibility.”

 April 2  “Rights and Responsibilities in History” – Holmen Middle School’s top National History Day projects will be presented.  These never fail to impress us with their polish in depth research.

 May 7:  (Preservation Month) – “Tips for Preserving Family History” - Susan T. Hessel “connects the generations through her personal history business, Lessons from Life.”  She will describe how she uses the interview process to help develop memoirs, autobiographies, or even a video or oral history.

June 4: 7:00 PM “Treasures in the Onalaska Historical Society Museum” –Our own archivist, Hannah Scholze, is also the Onalaska Historical Society’s new museum educator.  She will share her discoveries, many of which overlap Holmen history as well.  We will meet at the museum in the Onalaska Public Library, 741 Oak Avenue South.

July 2:  “Holmen Area Historical Society, Past and Future” - To commemorate the society’s twentieth anniversary, members will share historical society memories as well as their hopes for our future.  Join us for ice cream sundaes and good stories.

August 4:  4:00 -7:00   “Antique Appraisal Fair Revisited” – The 2013 Appraisal Fair led by Mark Moran was so successful, we decided to offer this entertaining and informative program again.  This year the event will be held at the Holmen Village Hall.  Register up to three items, at $10 each, at the Holmen Area Public Library.  Last year we sold out of slots, so register early. 

 Sept 3:  “Long Coulee School” – Pauline Bratberg Van Dunk grew up across the road from this rural Holmen school. In fact, her great uncle, Ed Bratberg, taught there in the late 1800’s.  Pauline will incorporate family stories, photographs, and the newly discovered Treasurer Reports (1876-1947) into her presentation.

 Oct 1:  “The Dulcimer, Then and Now” – Musician and teacher, Judson Steinback, will take us back to the origins of the traditional dulcimer up to its contemporary uses.  We hear its sweet sounds as part of Grand Picnic’s holiday music each year. 

 Nov. 5  (Veterans Day)  “Civil War Citizen Soldiers” by John Dudkiewicz and Pete Seielstad -  Three Civil War veterans are buried in the Norden Cemetery behind Lewis Valley Lutheran Church.  What was military life like for these men who represent many from this area, some new immigrants to this country? Dudiewicz and Seielstad are members of Company B, 2nd Wisconsin Civil War Re-enactors, coordinating the annual reenactment at Norskedalen.

Dec. 3:  6:00 Holiday Potluck –We are 20 years old, a special reason to gather and celebrate.  Grand Picnic, our house band, has played at our annual potluck every year since they first formed in 1998, and this year is no exception.  All are invited to bring a family favorite dish to pass, to visit, and to tap toes to Grand Picnic’s spirited old time string band music.