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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Bennington Daze 2017

The Bennington Daze celebration was a huge success and the Historical Society offered several old and new activities to our Community.  Here is a rundown on some:

Museum.    Linda Klabunde and Lois Musel set up a marvelous display in our museum.   During the two days, we have nearly 200 visitors who stopped by to examine some of Bennington's history.  This year we offered old historic photographs, walking tours, koozies and some memorabilia left over from the 1992 celebration.  Below are members of the Schneider family posing in front of their grandmother's wedding dress.  



This young man was amazed by the World War 1 uniform from Walt Mangold.  He had to try on a helmet.  

Diorama.   Diane, Mac, Cory and Linda created a diorama representing what Bennington might have looked like in 1892.  It was a huge undertaking, measuring 8 x 8 foot.  It contained models of the businesses and homes that were here at that time; like the railroad, train and depot.  The old grist mill and ice house.  The saloons and businesses.  Folks really enjoyed seeing how much we've changed.


Main Street, Bennington, Nebraska 1892
Historical (Ghost) Tour.   Some of our old noteable residents came back for the celebration.   Eggert Oft, one of the towns founders led a group of interested folks through old downtown before he faded away.  

Eggert walked the folks uptown, pointing out things that had changed in the past 125 years.   Along the way he ran into some other old "spirits" like Bud Holms who was the Depot Manager. 
Gordon Mueller playing Eggert Oft / Corey Olsberg playing Burt Holms

Here they are talking about driving cattle up warehouse street to the livestock pens next to the depot for shipment to Omaha.  No trucks in those days.  Mr. Holms lived upstairs in the depot and told he had to chain his bed to the wall because it would 'wonder' when trains sped through town. 
Diane Warrick playing Mrs Wilcox

Mrs. Wilcox, the editor of the Bennington Herald had some printed posters for Mr. Oft and told the group how the newspaper operated. Annual subscription cost to the paper was $1, whether you could read or not.  

On the way up the street they ran into Edna Mohr who taught school in the Bennington area for over 50 years.  If you think that is something, she taught Sunday School for over 60!  She told that in those days, teachers had to be single.  
Lois Musel playing Edna Mohr


We ran into Bertha Sass at the museum.  Bertha told about her life and WORK raising a family in those early years. 

Linda Klabunde playing Bertha Sass
On the last leg of the walk, the group ran into John Petersen who had the early horseless carriage  and garage business her in town. John showed the group the new Ford Model T.     

Bob Mckelvie playing John Petersen

The tour then ended as Eggert, Burt, Edna, Bertha and John faded back into the past.  We appreciated their stories about Bennington. We also extend our thanks to Ignition Church for the use of their building. 

Scavenger Hunt.   This was a new activity with the 'hunt' made up of questions and goals related to Bennington History.  The questions were developed by Ruth and Bob Zaruba and Linda and Gordon Mueller.  Ruth and Ginger gave out and received the questionnaires.  
Ruth and Ginger
Some businesses gave out articles.  A Civil War reenactment soldier gave out American Flags to Scavenger hunters where they had to read something off the Veteran's Memorial.   The flags were donated by Woodmenlife.  


Nearly 50 folks participated and we'll surely do this again.  We all have a great time.  


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