Events

Events

Play That Hot Fiddle: Old Time Radio and the Life of Southern Illinois Swing Fiddler “Pappy” Wade Ray

by Illinois Road Scholar Dennis Stroughmatt
August 7, 2022 — 2 p.m.

Dennis Stroughmatt
Stockton Heritage Museum will host a presentation by Dennis Stroughmatt on the history of fast swing fiddling, old time radio and swing fiddler “Pappy” Wade Ray.

The presentation, “Play That Hot Fiddle: Old Time Radio and the Life of Southern Illinois Swing Fiddler “Pappy” Wade Ray,” will take place on Sunday August 7, 2022 at the Stockton Heritage Museum, 107 West Front Street, Stockton, IL, at 2:00 p.m.

Born in 1916 in southern Indiana from a southeastern Illinois family, the child prodigy fiddler and singer Wade Ray, developed into one of the most endearing entertainers in country and western swing music. Through the medium of radio on shows such as “The Pappy Cheshire Show” on KMOX in St. Louis and the “National Barn Dance” on WLS in Chicago, Wade Ray gained national prestige along side performers such as Patsy Montana and Rex Allen.

Presenting the fast swing fiddling and humorous stories of his mentor Wade Ray, Dennis Stroughmatt will lead audiences through the early years of Old Time Radio and share how music brought America through The Great Depression, WWII, and beyond.

This presentation will also be accompanied by rare video of Wade Ray and personal memorabilia from the Wade Ray collection.

Dennis Stroughmatt is from the Wabash River region of southeastern Illinois. Dennis Stroughmatt was taught to play fiddle by a mixture of tradition bearing stylists including southeast Missouri French Creole fiddlers Roy Boyer and Charlie Pashia in the tradition of their fathers and the southern Illinois Western Swing fiddle legend Wade Ray.

Illinois Humanities is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Illinois General Assembly [through the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA)], as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by speakers, program participants, or audiences do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH, Illinois Humanities, IACA, our partnering organizations, or our funders.

Stockton Heritage Museum is a not-for-profit entity dedicated to the preservation and teaching of Stockton area history. Visit the museum May-October, on Saturdays, from 10am to 2pm, on Sundays, from 11am to 2 pm, or by appointment. Email us at: info@stocktonheritagemuseum.org

The Bonds of War: A Story of Immigrants and Esprit de Corps in Company C, 96th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

by author, curator, and historian Diane L. Dretske
Saturday, July19, 2022 — 2 p.m.

When curator Diana L. Dretske discovered that the five long-gone Union soldiers in a treasured photograph in the Bess Bower Dunn Museum were not fully identified, it compelled her into a project of recovery and reinterpretation.

Diana Dretske will present on her recently published book, The Bonds of War: A Story of Immigrants and Esprit de Corps in Company C, 96th Illinois Volunteer Infantry (Southern Illinois University Press). The book has been awarded a “Best in Illinois” Certificate of Excellence from the Illinois State Historical Society, and a finalist for the 2021 Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Awards.

The book is a collective biography inspired by a portrait in the collections of the Bess Bower Dunn Museum of five immigrants from Britain and Ireland, who served in the American Civil War. The presentation will include the formation of the 96th Illinois Volunteer Infantry as a joint venture of Jo Daviess County and Lake County, her research to identify the men in the portrait, and the significance of immigrants’ voluntary military service and their desire to be recognized as American citizens.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Diana Dretske is the senior curator and Lake County historian for the Lake County Forest Preserves’ Bess Bower Dunn Museum. She has researched the history of northeastern Illinois for over 30 years, and published three books on Lake County, Illinois. Dretske is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society for her outstanding contributions in promoting, preserving and commemorating Illinois history.

The Happy Invention—The History and Significance of Picture Postcards

by Illinois Road Scholar Katherine Hamilton-Smith
May 1, 2022 — 2 p.m.

Stockton Heritage Museum will host a presentation by Katherine Hamilton-Smith on the history and appeal of postcards.

The presentation, “The History and Significance of Picture Postcards,” will take place on Sunday May 1 at the Stockton Heritage Museum, 107 West Front Street, Stockton, IL, at 2:00 p.m.

The first picture postcards were published for the 1889 Paris Exposition, celebrating the completion of the Eiffel Tower. In America, the first picture postcards were printed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago — making Illinois the birthplace of the American picture postcard. Since those flowery Victorian originals, uncountable billions of postcards of every aspect of life have been printed, depicting: train stations and bandstands; street views and cartoons; ads for products and services; beauties and freaks; social history both whimsical and dark; and everything in between. An early mention of postcards is in the 1870 diary of a Welsh curate, who called them ”a happy invention.”

In 2016, the world’s largest public collection of postcards and related materials, the Curt Teich Postcard Archives, was given to the Newberry Library by the Lake County Forest Preserve District. Katherine Hamilton-Smith, the founding curator of the Teich Archives, presents a look at the documentary power and significance of picture postcards. She touches on the Curt Teich Company of Chicago, the role Illinois played in the history and development of postcards, and on the picture postcard as a cultural icon.

This lavishly illustrated program will run for 50 minutes and allows time for questions and answers.

Illinois Humanities is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Illinois General Assembly [through the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA)], as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by speakers, program participants, or audiences do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH, Illinois Humanities, IACA, our partnering organizations, or our funders.

Stockton Heritage Museum is a not-for-profit entity dedicated to the preservation and teaching of Stockton area history. Visit the museum May-October, on Saturdays, from 10am to 2pm, on Sundays, from 11am to 2 pm, or by appointment. Email us at: info@stocktonheritagemuseum.org

Current Happenings

October 2020
Take the Cemetery Challenge

Cemeteries are fascinating sources for history. Walk the front 4 sections of Ladies Union Cemetery while doing our Cemetery Challenge and learn about important historical figures in Stockton’s past and some of the people who helped put Stockton on the map. Download and print out the lists (PDF format) or pick up a copy at the cemetery. Lists are located in a clear box on the mausoleum steps.

Have fun. Do the challenge over several days and make it your own. Report back on our Facebook page to share photos and let us know how you did!

Upcoming Events

Stockton Art Show – A gallery showing of various works in the museum collection created by Stockton Artists kicked off with an opening night ticketed event.

Nomadds – Current members of the Nomadds, a local group, popular in the 60s-70s and today, will discuss the history of the group, the music and the venues.

1970s Movies – We are tentatively planning a discussion on how the culture of the 1970s was represented in and changed movies during that time.

Come see the program and our Decade of the 1970s display.

PAST EVENTS

Casting a Historic Vote: Suffrage for Women in Illinois

by Illinois Road Scholar Jeanne Schultz Angel
October 10, 2021 — 2 p.m.

Stockton Heritage Museum will host a presentation by Jeanne Schultz Angel on the historic suffrage movement in Illinois.

The presentation, “Casting a Historic Vote: Suffrage for Women in Illinois,” will take place on Sunday October 10 at the Stockton Heritage Museum, 107 West Front Street, Stockton, IL, at 2:00 p.m.

Prior to 1920, women were denied the vote in the majority of elections in the United States. The struggle for enfranchisement began with the birth of our nation and was strategized differently in our local, state, and federal elections.

Despite what people today believe to be a straightforward goal, the path to women’s suffrage was infused with sexism and racism and triggered a fear of feminism whose roots are still seen today.

While wealthy women advocates played a vital role in the suffrage movement, they were not the only ones seeking enfranchisement. From attorney Ellen Martin, the first woman to vote in Illinois, to Ida B. Wells, a woman who did not let racism stop her voice, women’s suffrage has been a battle hard fought by a diverse group of activists in Illinois.

This program will run 60-70 minutes and allows time for questions and answers.

“Casting a Historic Vote: Suffrage for Women in Illinois,” will take place on Sunday October 10 at the Stockton Heritage Museum, 107 West Front Street, Stockton, IL, at 2:00 p.m. The event is free and open to all audiences.

Angel was accepted to the Illinois Humanities Council “Road Scholar Speaker Bureau” in 2013 to speak about the anti-slavery movement and suffrage in Illinois. In September 2019, Angel joined the staff at Naper Settlement as the Director of Learning Experiences & Historic Resources. Established in 1969, Naper Settlement is a 13-acre outdoor history museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums that consists of a collection of thirty historical buildings and structures from the Naperville, Illinois area.

Illinois Humanities is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Illinois General Assembly [through the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA)], as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by speakers, program participants, or audiences do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH, Illinois Humanities, IACA, our partnering organizations, or our funders.

Stockton Heritage Museum is a not-for-profit entity dedicated to the preservation and teaching of Stockton area history. Visit the museum May-October, on Saturdays, from 10am to 2pm, on Sundays, from 11am to 2 pm, or by appointment. Email us at: info@stocktonheritagemuseum.org

ON THE AIR: My Life and 41+ Years in Small Market Radio

by Chris Knauer aka Chris O’Brian
September 19, 2021—2 p.m.

See On Air personality Chris Knauer at the Stockton Heritage Museum on September 19th at 2 p.m.

Stockton Heritage Museum will host “ON THE AIR: My Life and 41+ Years in Small Market Radio” presented by Christopher L. Knauer, aka Chris O’Brian.

After a life long career in broadcasting, Chris turned author and spent five years writing a book about his small-town up-bringing, college years, military service, and his lengthy tenure behind the microphone.

Join us for insider insights on Chris’ career at seven radio stations and one TV station in three states. Chris will share the successes and struggles experienced along the way, both in his career and life.

There will be a Q & A session at the end of the presentation. Autographed copies of the book will be for sale at the event.

The presentation, “ON THE AIR: My Life and 41+ Years in Small Market Radio,” takes place on Sunday September 19, 2021
at the Stockton Heritage Museum, 107 West Front Street, Stockton, IL, at 2:00 p.m.

For the safety of all, we are requiring all attendees, even those vaccinated, to wear a mask while in the museum.

This Land is Your Land: The Folksongs of Woody Guthrie

AUGUST 8, 2021
An Illinois Road Scholar presentation by BUCKY HALKER

Bucky Halker
See performer Bucky Halker at the Stockton Heritage Museum on August 8, 2021.

Stockton Heritage Museum will host a presentation by Bucky Halker—a songwriter, performer, and historian with 15 albums to his credit, including Wisconsin 2-13-63, a two-CD project of original songs, Anywhere But Utah: Songs of Joe Hill (2015), a musical tribute to martyred labor songwriter Joe Hill (1879-1915), and The Ghost of Woody Guthrie (2012), an original music tribute to the legendary folksinger.

Halker has been described as “a missionary, spreading the words and redefining folk music in new and vital and exciting ways” by the Chicago Tribune.

The presentation, “This Land is Your Land: The Folksongs of Woody Guthrie,” will take place on Sunday August 8
at the Stockton Heritage Museum, 107 West Front Street, Stockton, IL, at 2:30 p.m.

Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) is America’s most legendary folksong writer. His music continues to uplift and excite musicians and audiences around the world. Inspired by Guthrie’s most famous song, This Land Is Your Land features the performance (guitar and vocal) of several Guthrie songs, as well as commentary on the time period and each song. The program also places Guthrie and his music in a larger historical context while also offering details on his life.

Halker, a Ph.D. in American History, has lectured and published extensively on music in America and has toured Europe regularly since 1990. He is the author of For Democracy, Workers, and God: Labor Song-Poems and Labor Pro-test, 1865-1895 (University of Illinois Press) and the scholar-producer for the five-volume Folksongs of Illinois CD series. Bucky received the prestigious Archie Green Fellowship from the Library of Congress – American Folklife Center in 2012 and served as guest professor at Carl von Ossietzky University in Germany in 2016.

This program will run 60-70 minutes and allows time for questions and answers.

Fully vaccinated attendees do not need to wear a mask. For the safety of all, unvaccinated attendees are required to wear a mask.

Past Events Photo Gallery