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Kelli Keyes


We tend to forget how easy we have it these days. My daughters and I went to the Durham Museum in Omaha last week and we were reminded of what it was like back in the “Good ole Days”.

Yes, meals at the restaurant were $1 apiece but the labor involved to earn the money for that $1 was so much more than today. We were looking at a journal of a “lady of the house”, where she kept a record, written in quill and ink, of money spent for services. We were amazed at the duties that had to be paid for that today, we just accept as something automatically done by machine.

The lady of the house had to keep track of all these employees, duties, and expenditures much like a business. It was a different world, a different time. We are bringing presenters to Columbus Public Library for you to experience the “Good ole days” for yourselves, or to relive those pioneer days.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, Cherrie Beam-Callaway from Nebraska Humanities will come to the library in character as "Mariah Monahan," an emigrant to Nebraska from Ireland in the mid-19th century. Based on historical fact, Mariah will captivate the audience with her dramatic rendition in “Promise in a New Land: Migrating and Settling in NE”. The audience will be transported in time, sailing the ocean, riding the wagon trail, feeling the loneliness and fighting prairie fires. Laugh and cry with stories of successful crops, dancing, hard work, losing loved ones and, most importantly, becoming American.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, April 7, step back in time with Sue McLain to discover the history of fashion from 1870 through 1970 and see authentic clothing from the past during her presentation of “A Century of Fashion”. Sue McLain, owner of Yesterday’s Lady, a vintage fashion museum/store in Beatrice, has been traveling the Midwest since 1991 sharing her extensive collection of clothing from 1840 through 1980 and teaching groups about the history of fashion. Sue has been collecting fashions since 1985 and they are currently housed in an 1887 historic building in downtown Beatrice. Her collection is so large, she can do multiple presentations, and each focused on a particular type of clothing, such as beachwear, evening wear or lingerie. Visit her website at

At 2 p.m. Sunday, April 15, the Friends of the Library will bring in Dan Holtz for “Nebraska through Song and Story”. Nebraska has not only a rich tradition in literature but also a rich, less-publicized tradition in music. This program interweaves songs, accompanied on guitar and harmonica, with excerpts from works by Willa Cather, John Neihardt, Mari Sandoz and Bess Streeter Aldrich. In a narrative from about 1850 to 1904, it tells the stories of the people who came to Nebraska, the pioneers who crossed the overland trails, the settlers and the Native Americans.

No need to travel somewhere to experience and learn about the history of Nebraska. We bring it right to you at Columbus Public Library. All programs are free to attend, no registration is required, and all are welcome. Bring your friends, family, and students and enjoy learning at CPL.

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