Historic Blooming Grove Historical Society Newsletter
April, 2002 (31:1)


The Dean House sales table is expanding to become a "Mini Shoppe" featuring home made items crafted by HBGHS volunteers; and it will be in the spotlight at the Second Sunday Open House on April 14 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

In addition to books and note cards produced by HBGHS, the table is now offering hand made knitted and crocheted or knitted dish rags and hot pads, quilted pot holders, embroidered kitchen towels, home made candles, decorative dried weed arrangements, etc.

Members are encouraged to contribute new hand crafted items that could have existed between 1850 and 1920 to sell for the benefit of the Dean House. Call Ann Waidelich at 249-7920.

The May Open House date falls on Mother's Day, so it will be a day for mothers and daughters to come and reminisce.

The Dean House is also open on Monday mornings for "office" and housekeeping activities. Volunteers who could help with these many chores are welcome. Arrangements for group tours may be made with Robert Bean at that time or at 222-5783.

Further information can be found on the Web at www.wlhn.org/daneco/hbg.

More important events:

  • Second Sunday in May - Mothers' Day Bring Your Mother
  • Memorial Day -Bakery, coffee and sodas sold on the front porch
  • Demonstration Days, Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9
  • Back Porch Concerts Thursday evenings at 7:15 beginning June 27
  • Ice Cream Social

Indian Nations of Wisconsin (and particularly of the Blooming Grove township area) will be discussed by Patty Loew, PhD., at our special spring event to be held at the new Lussier Family Heritage Center, on Sunday, April 28, at 3:00 p.m.

Her talk, which will follow the annual business meeting of the Historic Blooming Grove Historical Society, will be open to the public and followed by a social hour at which she will sign (and sell) copies of her popular new book, Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal. Light refreshments will be served and information about Lake Farm Park, the new Heritage Center, and other area historical societies will be available.

The Heritage Center is located at 3101 Lake Farm Road, southeast of Madison, overlooking the marsh, settling ponds, and marked heritage trail that tells about the natives that lived here before the Europeans. From West Beltline Highway turn south on South Towne Dr., left on Moorland to Lake Farm Road. The Center is on the left on a hill near the old barn. See map on page 4.

No admission will be charged, but a free-will donation to benefit the Center, Historic Blooming Grove Historical Society, and Patty Loew's charity for Native American children will be welcomed.
Read more about Patty Loew and her book on page 2.

Wisconsin Historical Society published an interview with Patty Loew last fall after publication of her book Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal. Following are excerpts from that article, published in the Society's bi-monthly newsletter, Columns.

In the preface, Loew describes Indian Nations as serving "by no means as an exhaustive study of the tribes in the state. It is my earnest attempt, however, to explore Wisconsin's rich native heritage in a collection of compact tribal histories. Therefore I confined my discussion to the twelve Indian nations---the Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Potawaatomi, Oneida, Mohican, Brothertown, and six bands of Ojibwe---whose presence predated Wisconsin statehood and who have maintained a continuous residence here."

Loew, an enrolled member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, is a producer for WHA-TV (PBS), and co-host of the Wisconsin Public Televison weekly news and public affairs program WeekEnd .She serves as an assistant professor of life sciences communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She produces documentaries, many of them award-winning, including No Word for Goodbye, Spring of Discontent, Throwaway Future, and Nation Within a Nation.

In response to the Society's questions Dr. Loew replied as follows.

I hope that teachers will read Indian Nations of Wisconsin. Wisconsin public schools require educators to teach Indian history, culture, and sovereignty. I have had friends who teach tell me that they can't always find the resources they need to fulfill that mandate. 1 think. this book-may help. Additionally, I hope that anyone with a casual interest in Native Americans or Wisconsin history will find it interesting.

12 Tribes Collaborated

I think that what is important is not so much that I am Native American, but that people in each of the twelve tribal communities discussed in this book collaborated in its development. After all, the fact that I'm Ojibwe doesn't make me qualified to write about the Ho-Chunk, or even other Ojibwe bands, for that matter. I think that what is significant is that the elders, historians, and cultural liaisons in each community shared oral history, suggested resources, and helped edit their histories. They helped shape my understanding of historical events and served as compass points. It was gratifying and humbling to think that they trusted me enough to do that.

The most personally satisfying aspect of writing this book was meeting the historians and culture keepers in each Nation and being entrusted with their stories and historical documents. I remember visiting with an 81-year-old former American Indian Movement (AIM) activist at Lac Courte Oreilles, who lifted her fist in salute and shouted, "Red Power!" For me, AIM will always have her facebook?

I recall coming home to a package that an elder from Crandon had sent. It was an obscure manuscript transcribed from interviews with a Potawatomi from Canada at the turn of the last century, which read: "33,109 years ago*" and proceeded to tell the history of the Potawatomi migration. So often Indian history is told through missionary reports, trader journals, and other documents filtered by non-Indians. It was exciting to sift through the minutes of treaty negotiations and read the powerful oratory of the chiefs who attended the sessions or to pick up a tribal newspaper from 1912 and discover Native perspectives about timber barons and logging practices. These experiences helped me to think about how we can think about the past in new ways.

History Is Not Just Chronology

This experience reinforced what I already suspected: that Native people think about history differently than non-Natives. I was asked to write a history book. For most people that means a chronology of names, dates, and events. But many Native people I know don't think about the past in a linear fashion. For them, history is spatially driven. There is a strong sense of place around which people and events are remembered, often with songs and stories. Dates are reduced to "a long time ago" or "when my mother was a little girl." I remember interviewing a Mohican woman about her outreach activities in Chicago during the Relocation Era (1950s to 1970s). She described the terrible housing, the family breakdowns, and the informal networks Native communities created to provide social services. "What year was this," I asked. "I dunno," she replied, "is that important?" She told me that the date was insignificant. What was important was how disconnected people felt living in a place like Chicago and how creatively they came together to create a sense of community on a reservation away from home.

During an interview with the hereditary chief at Mole Lake (Ojibwe), he showed me a ravine in which his grandmother had been hidden as a little girl while the Sioux and Ojibwe battled over the wild rice beds. The mass grave in which warriors from both sides had been buried was a sacred site, as were the stands of rice over which they had fought. For him, these events provided the context for the current struggle to prevent Nicolet Minerals from locating its copper mine adjacent to the rice beds near Crandon. For him, history was driven by a sense of place --and remembered through family stories.

In writing this book, I encountered a certain tension between writing something that looked like a history book and something that felt true to the way many Native people view their past. It ended up with elements of each, I think.

My 10-year-old son brought home his social studies book on Wisconsin, which I thought had a dreadful section on American Indians. It still refers to Columbus "discovering" America. It also credits Rene [acute accent on ending "e"] La Salle [seventeenth century French explorer ] with organizing the Ojibwe, Ottawa, and Potawatomi into a confederacy and "teaching them to fight against the Iroquois." My Ojibwe relatives got a good howl out of that one.

Appreciates Unique Communities

This experience left me with a deep appreciation for the Native people in this state and the uniqueness of their communities. Given the all-out assault on Native culture for the last two hundred years, it seems nothing short of a miracle to me that these communities have survived with any vestige of their languages or cultural expression intact. I'm hoping the book helps promote interest in the heritage of Native Wisconsin. The tribes are becoming more interested in sharing their stories with outsiders. Many of them have opened museums and cultural centers and are beginning to tell their own histories. It makes me feel optimistic about the future of cultural tourism in Wisconsin.

Purchase Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal at the Wisconsin Historical Museum store in Madison, from local bookstores, or from the University of Wisconsin Press at (800) 621-2736 or online at http://www.wisc.edu/wisconsinpress/index.html The 160-page heavily illustrated book became available in fall 2001.

Preceding the public meeting announced on page 1, at 2:00 p.m. on April 28 the Historic Blooming Grove Historical Society will hold its annual business meeting. At this time three board members will be elected for a three-year term. The candidates are Jim Stickels and Judy Taylor, who are incumbents, and a third candidate to be announced. Allan Burling and Dorothy Haines will be retiring from the Board after having served two three-year terms.

Membership renewal is an important part of the annual meeting. Come prepared to pay dues. See the membership form on this page.

Many of the tasks of daily living will be re-enacted using the facilities of the 19th century will be re-enacted and guests will be invited to get their hands into some of them on Saturday, June 8, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 9, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Equipment will be set up on the back porch for volunteers and guests to experience some of the household chores, while some handcrafters will demonstrate such disappearing crafts as candle making, embroidery and tatting fancy edgings for hankies and collars. Hand operated laundry equipment, a treadle sewing machine, a rug beater, a hand water pump, kitchen gadgets and butter churn will be put into use.

Ann Waidelich is organizing a group of volunteers who will meet at the Dean House one half day per week (Monday, Thursday or Friday) to evaluate, catalog, label and store the clothing, quilts, linens and other textiles that HBGHS has collected over the years. Would you like to help out ? Call Ann (249-7920) to offer your services - the day and time will be decided when we know when people can come.

ALSO, Ann will be attending a Local History Workshop on Caring for Historic Textiles on Saturday April 27th at the Moravian Church in Lake Mills. Would you like to come, too, to learn from the experts how to care for our textiles? Call Ann for details.

The only Madison area Memorial Day parade, sponsored by the Monona Chamber of Commerce, proudly brings its flags, bands, marchers, entertainers, and civic and national pride past our front door each year. Long before the first drum beat, folks from a wide area begin gathering early at the curbside with their lawn chairs and blankets to prepare for this traditional event. The HBGHS again will be ready to serve their thirst and hunger with the sale of hot coffee, cold soda, and sweet rolls, with the profits from the sales going back to the Dean House maintenance funds.

On March 22nd the Board of Curators cut $1.1 million from the Wisconsin Historical Society budget as a result of reductions in state funding. To realize this savings the Board agreed with the Society Director's recommendation to eliminate 18.5 positions primarily in the Library/Archives Division and the Office of Local History. Lobbying by local historical society members of their State Senators restored $100,000 to the Historical Society's budget with the requirement that it be used to restore some of the Library/Archives positions and the position that was to be eliminated in the Office of Local History (Debbie Kmetz).

HOWEVER, the state budget now goes to the Joint Finance Committee to work out the differences between and Assembly and Senate versions of the budget. Please contact members of the Joint Finance Committee and insist that the $100,000 for the Historical Society stay in the budget. There are no Madison area legislators on the Joint Finance Committee!! Four of the nearby ones are Assemblymen Ward (R) Fort Atkinson and Duff (R) New Berlin and Senators Wirch (D) Pleasant Prairie and Burke (D) Milwaukee. For a complete list go to www.legis.state.wi.us or use the Wisconsin Blue Book at your local library.

The Library/Archives is a world renown collection of books and materials devoted to the history of North America; the Office of Local History provides valuable consulting services to the more than 300 local historical societies in Wisconsin including our own Historic Blooming Grove Historical Society.

Seven Back Porch Concerts will be offered to all who come to lounge in their lawn chairs and enjoy the evening breezes and sunset along with the music provided a variety of groups who give of their talents beginning at 7:15 p.m. on Thursdays this summer.

The schedule is:
June 27 - Free Range Pickins
July 4 - no concert - enjoy fireworks at the park
July 11 - To Be Announced
July 18 - Ole and-Sven
July 25 - Old Tyme Fiddlers
Aug. I - To be announced
Aug. 8 - KG and the Ranger
Aug 15 Capital Chordsmen and Ice Cream Social

There is no admission charge, but the hat will be passed for free-will donations to benefit the Dean House.

Founded in 1971, the Historic Blooming Grove Historical Society preserves and advances the culture and history of the Blooming Grove, Monona and Southeast Madison, Wisconsin area. To fulfill this purpose the Dean House is used as a center for cultural events and local history study. It is hoped that the Dean House is a living testimony to the pioneer spirit fostering our American heritage and a representation of that spirit in the historic Township of Blooming Grove.

Historic Blooming Grove Historical Society

President: Jim Stickels 221-1324
Vice president: Allan Burling 222-1361
Secretary: Dorothy Haines 221-1948
Treasurer: Don Taylor 222-9507

Board Members
Helen Cattell
Jean Dent
Alice Schuller
Bob Schuster
Gloria Simley
Judy Taylor
Ann Waidelich
Helen Wentland

C. Anne Wellman, past president

Dean House Manager
Robert Bean 222-5783

The Blooming Grove Courier is published periodically by the Historic Blooming Grove Historical Society, PO Box 6704, Monona 53716-0704. Editor Dorothy Haines, 221-4948.



Historic Blooming Grove Historical Society
PO Box 6704
Monona, W1 53716-0704

Check is enclosed for

______ Contribution for Dean House restoration/maintenance
______ Membership at $10/yr individual
______ Membership at $I 5/yr family
______ Sustaining membership at $25 -$500

Name ___________________________________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________________________________

City _________________________________ Zip____________ Phone ______________________

HBGHS is a tax-exempt non-profit organization

Historic Blooming Grove Historical Society