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Monday, November 28, 2016

Happy Holidays

The Flower Posse has been hard at work making holiday decoration for town.  The two main features are snowmen and Christmas trees.  

The farm wagon in front of the Police Station has a 'crowd' of snowmen made out of tires and cutout wooden patterns.  The Christmas Trees were made out of garland and tomato rings.

Members donated other items and came up with some really creative ideas.  

The Flower pots in front of  the City  Office and Library got a touch of 'Holiday Spirit'.  

The park benches even got a little holiday cheer. 

This fall the Flower Posse created a Sass Memorial Iris Garden made up of nearly 75 varieties of award winning Sass Irises.   Its located in front of the Police Station.  Part of the garden includes 30 some individual stepping stones.  Members got together for a "concrete pouring party".   Members acquired a concrete mixer, 10 sacks of 'ready mix', and the Zaruba's back yard.  We used the 'bucket rings' that we used for the iris propagation beds for forms. The ladies came prepared with all sorts of ideas and materials to decorate them.  Many of us came away with 'dirty hands'.  

So,  next year when these irises start to bloom, come visit the new garden and use these stepping stones to get really close to enjoy the beauty and fragrance of these beautiful flowers.  Remember, they are the official flowers of Bennington.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Spears and Fire

The Bennington Historical Society convened their November meeting by marching over to a member's home and starting a fire in their yard.  What followed was a ceremonial fire ritual.  Marshmallows were subjected to the fire until they burst into flames which were quickly smothered between graham crackers and sheets of chocolate.   Some folks call this making s'mores; however, it is much more.

Bennington Historical Society S'more Party

Making s'mores is a very personal thing.  There are those who only want a 'light toasted' marshmallow while others want a blazing infurnal until only a black charred skeleton remains.  This process undergoes a critical eye, from the creator rather than from others.  Not one criticism or self righteous remark was uttered which is remarkable from what we witness on TV now adays.  Friendship and tranquility reigned supreme as the hot chocolate and schnapps was passed around.  All was good with the world. 

Society's Vice President hard at work

There is something special about sitting around a fire on a cool night with friends.  A fire is hypnotic, it relaxing and somehow reassures us that everything is OK.  In survival classes, its taught one of the first things you need is fire; it's a necessary psychological "friend".  Possibly we need more fires today?
Sometimes it's easy to forget our Country is full of wonderful people and we are so blessed.  
Serious relaxing and bonding going on.  

The night was a success.  No serious burns were reported and it appeared everyone left a little more relaxed and happy.  

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!