2021 Winter Lyceum

2021 Winter Lyceum

For this year's Winter Lyceum, we delve into six fascinating subjects via Zoom: Discover a Japanese WWII submarine, a Civil War drum, African American history in southwestern Wisconsin, and Native American archeology going back 13,000 years. We also celebrate two major museum milestones: the opening of the Bevans Mine to the public (1976) and the opening of the Rollo Jamison Museum (1981).

The Platteville Mining Museum had only been in existence for a short time when staff and leadership began making plans to re-discover the 1845 Bevans Mine in the museum's backyard and to open it safely to the public using the latest in mine safety technology and Platteville-trained talent.

Celebrate the legacy of our region's unique history through the words of actual local folks who not only had the know-how and commitment to make the Bevans Mine opening a reality, but who made this community mining project the City of Platteville's celebratory project in honor of the American Bicentennial and Platteville Sesquicentennial in 1976.

WWII ended 50 years earlier when a stunning discovery in 1995 led to a 25-year journey for Mike Mair of Platteville. John Mair, a U.S. Navy veteran, had never revealed to Mike and his siblings the horrific sinking of his ship USS Mississinewa (AO-59) on November 20, 1944. Mike interviewed nearly 300 U.S. and Japanese veterans, reviewed naval records, made scuba dives on Mississinewa while writing the book “Kaiten.” Mike gave a historic speech in Japan in 2019. Learn how the story will continue with global connections and a worldwide film in the making.

Join Driftless Pathways archaeologists Robert “Ernie” Boszhardt and Danielle Benden for a virtual tour of the Native American cultural landscape in Wisconsin’s southern Driftless Area. Boszhardt and Benden will summarize the 13,000 year human history of this region, from the end of the last Ice Age until Euro-American contact. This program will illustrate the story of how Native Americans successfully adapted to an ever-changing landscape for millennia, as demonstrated in the camps, villages, effigy mounds, cave art and artifacts that people left behind.

Curiosity Paving the Way for Perseverance

Becky Williams Presented “Curiosity Paving the Way for Perseverance.” Understanding the past habitable conditions on Mars is a primary scientific driver for NASA’s Curiosity rover. During the last eight years, Curiosity has traversed across diverse terrain within Gale crater and drilled the Martian surface over two dozen times. Dr. Williams provided an update on the latest scientific findings and shared spectacular snapshots from the rover’s journey. She presented an overview of Perseverance, NASA’s robotic mission to Mars, which landed at Jezero crater on February 18, 2021.

Dr. Williams requested that this talk not be recorded.

Jeff Schave Presents “From Beetown to Atlanta: The Tale of a Civil War Drum.” In August of 1862, Burt Sumner and James Hayden traveled from Beetown to the county seat of Lancaster to enlist and answer President Lincoln’s “Call to Arms.” Serving in Company “C” of the Wisconsin 25th Regiment as musicians, they would march through Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia. As a silent witness to these events, Burt Sumner’s snare drum has not had the opportunity to share its stories and experiences. This presentation will attempt to give voice to this rare and unique artifact, and thus share with pride “A Drums Tale.”

Come explore the rich African American history of southwest Wisconsin. This panel is a collaboration between the Black Wisconsin Historical Society and Museum of Milwaukee and The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums of Platteville. Panelists will explain ways bold Americans like America Jenkins, Paul Jones, and Rachel endured illegal enslavement in Wisconsin and reinvented themselves as free Wisconsinites. Learn how the Shepard, Greene, and Grimes families built Pleasant Ridge in 1850, a free black community west of Lancaster. Consider why their legacy reverberates across Wisconsin and beyond still today.

Forty years ago, Rollo Jamison, who had spent his lifetime “saving history,” donated his one-man museum to the City of Platteville. In this presentation, Patrick Daniels will talk about Rollo’s life in Beetown, Wisconsin; finding a new home for the collection, moving the collection to Platteville, and the early days of the Rollo Jamison Museum, including the first Heritage Days which was a grand opening celebration culminating in a dedication of the museum on June 14, 1981.

Patrick Daniels grew up in Platteville and has been a volunteer with the Rollo Jamison Museum since it was in Beetown. His primary focus has been the mechanical music part of the collection, demonstrating phonographs, music boxes and organettes on Heritage Days since 1981 initially under the watchful eye of his father, Jerry Daniels, who was the first president of the Jamison Museum Association and was instrumental in moving the collection to Platteville. Mr. Daniels first operated a 78 rpm phonograph when he was in kindergarten, listening to tap dance lesson records. He also was amazed by an Edison Amberola 50 that his great grandfather’s which he still has. He also has a modest collection of shellac records as well as cylinder recordings. In addition to yearly maintenance of the Rollo Jamison Museum’s phonograph and music box collection, he has also helped with the maintenance and care of phonographs and organettes in private collections. Most recently he also assisted in the restoration of a roller organ for the Green County Historical Society.

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