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Friday, October 7, 2016

Bennington 3rd Graders Learn about Bennington's History

For the past 2 years, the Bennington Historical Society has been working with local sponsors in the development of historical information signs throughout town.  Currently there are 27 signs showing old images and describing their significance.  Today, I was working the the yard and I saw a large group of children and their teachers looking at one of the signs that is on Everyday Fitness.  Mrs. Clause was explaining to the 3rd graders that Bill's Highway Service was once their 65 years ago.  They then proceeded down town on their historical tour.

Here is the class down on the Molley, Warehouse and South Second Street corner looking at an image taken 120 years ago of the Arp Implement Dealership that use to be across the street.

Here the kids are looking at an image 103 years old showing the old business district lined with horses and buggies instead of cars.  Can you imagine?   We want to thank these Bennington Elementary teachers for working this into their student's curriculum.  

Have you taken time to learn about the history of your Community?   If not take a walk and enjoy yourself.  Down below is a map where they can be found.  If you are interested in sponsoring a new sign or donating photographs contact Gordon Mueller at 402-614-7509.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Heritage Days at Fort Atkinson State Historical Park. Oct. 1-2

Fort Atkinson has reenactments the first weekend of each summer and the next and last is October 1-2.  We had the pleasure to attend during the September reenactment.   It was a beautiful day and what a treasure in our own back yard.  You have to go and take the kids and grandkids.

 Volunteers are dressed in period dress and uniforms.  Here is the drummer and he was really good.  We caught him 'tuning' this drum.  
We even caught the officers eating lunch.  One interesting fact is that during one bad winter, nearly have the garrison died of scurvy and starvation because provisions couldn't get in; remember this was the 1820's.  After that they began growing and raising their own food.  They were quite successful.
This is Judy and she was starting to actually prepare a dinner.  They were having a pork loin stuffed with apples and a yam pudding.  Cooking from a fireplace took skill!
They demonstrated weaving, spinning yarn, making lace and other important crafts and skills.
Making lace

Quilt making
School was even in session.
The blacksmiths were busy showing how red hot metal could be shaped into nails, hinges, and other tools and implements.  It was really interesting.  

Remember "Heritage Days"  October 1-2.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Thinning Down the Sass Irises

Flower Posse planting irises. (l-r) Ginger McGurk, Ellen Dahlstet, Dee Krejci, Gordon Mueller, Bob Zuruba.

The Flower Posse was busy again, this time thinning and replanting irises from the display and propagation garden on Main Street.  The garden was originally planted two years ago and the plants loved their new home, growing and spreading.  Last spring was a beautiful bloom.  The plastic rings are being replaced with brick and the plants thinned out and replanted.  The surplus plants are being transferred to a new garden in front of the Police Station.  There the Posse is developing a garden of all the award winning Sass Irises.   
The Posse will be thinning other flower beds this fall.  Surplus plants go to volunteers and are given to residents during Bennington Daze and the Iris Festival which is held in the spring.  Those interested in joining please contact the Bennington Historical Society.   

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Bennington Daze 2016 Flowers and History

Bennington celebrated Bennington Daze during June 17th through the 19th.  The Bennington Historical Society was quite busy.  Our Heritage Farm Equipment flower feature welcomed visitors to town.  The old farm wagon was full of blooming flag petunias and other flowers.   

It certainly added a lot of color to town and the festivities.  

Another of the Flower Posse's projects is the Sass Iris Project where they are reintroducing Sass Irises to Bennington where they originated decades ago.  In the process, they are getting the Community more involved by sharing these beautiful flowers. This year they gave out more than 130 Sass Irises to residents. Their goal is to make more Irisologists.  

The ladies set up two tables for their give-away.  Here is Karen, Ellen (President) and Jan on duty.  Up town, next to the Museum Ruth and Dee gave irises away.  

 Last but not least, Linda welcomed visitors to our museum.  She has set up new displays and we are showing new photographs that we've collected.  Those interested in joining the Flower Posse or the Historical Society, please contact us.  

Gordon Mueller led a group through the old downtown area on a historical tour talking about this area's history from 1800 to 1900.  It is pretty fascinating.  

Lastly, anyone interested in joining call 402-614-7509 or simply come to a meeting.  We meet on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 at the library Community Room.   The museum is open on the first and third Sunday from 12:00 to 2:00.   The museum and walking tours can be arranged by request.  Thanks,  Gordon Mueller

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Flower Posse Has Loaded the Wagon!

The Bennington Historical Society and Flower Posse have launched a new project honoring Bennington's agricultural heritage with an old farm wagon and flowers.   The wagon was donated by Gordon and Linda Mueller and placed in front of the  Bennington Police Station.  The Flower Posse designed and planted the wagon with flowers.  
Ginger looking over their work

The group hopes this project catches the interest and imagination of our small community and results in other groups willing to help sponsor the development of other "farm equipment" flower features.  

Ellen, Ginger, Ruth, Dee, Jan and Linda.

This is really a fun group.  Ellen Dahlstet is their leader and she does a wonderful job of organizing field trips, guest speakers and going to LUNCH!   Monthly meetings are on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 at the City  Office.   Come join the fun.  For more information, contact Ellen at:
Dirty elbows and finger nails!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Flower Power"

There are four new raised flower beds in Bennington.  They are located on the Northeast corner of 156th and Warehouse streets.  The project is a combination effort of the Mayor's Flower Committee and the Sass Iris Project of the Bennington Historical Society.  Getting a group of plant lovers together is like having a group of cooks plan a soup recipe.  The process was interesting and the product creative.  

The project started out as a bare corner, four large steel window frames and a bunch of great volunteers that pooled their resources to help beautify their Community.   

Here (l-r) is Bob Zaruba, Linda Mueller, Ruth Zaruba, Zinger McGurk, and Ellen Dahlsted.  Not shown Gordon Mueller, Lyle Sass and Diane Warrick.  (not responsible for spelling)

The beds include today's traditional flowers, prairie flowers, herbs and of course Sass irises.   Additional flowers will be planted with fall. 

Stop by and enjoy the flowers or better yet, give us a call and join the fun. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Historic Signs for Bennington

Bennington is “wearing its history on its sleeve” these day through the efforts of the Bennington Historic Society.  The Society designed and installed 16 street signs that show and describe old historic photographs; some going back to the 1890’s and the signs are located where those photographs were originally taken.  

The project also created brass plaques for those historic buildings over a century old.  Both types of signs describe the photo and events at that time.  The project was funded through donations from individuals, families and businesses that sponsored individual signs.   Others have expressed interest in sponsoring additional signs.  We anticipate having additional signs made.

Key members of the design committee included: Louis Musel, Jan and Bob McKelvie, Diane Warrick and Gordon Mueller.

l-r: Bob McKalvie, Lois Musel, Gordon Mueller, Diane Warrick, Jan McKalvie

The images are located in the Historic Business District and positioned on street light poles to show visitors and residents “then & now”.  Gordon Mueller, Society President offered; “This is a great project honoring the founders of our great town.   It’s important to remember their contribution. Support has been outstanding and we thank everyone for their support and interest.” 

Sign Locations