Programs and
Special Events

Upcoming Events

Museum Downtown Carriage

Holiday Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

Dates: December 3, 10, and 17
Time: 4-9 p.m.
Cost: $120 per 10-person ride

Delight in the holiday spirit with horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown Platteville! Enjoy the scenery and holiday lights around town while learning about local history and key architectural landmarks with the sights and sounds of a beautiful team of draft horses. Rides will depart from The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums regularly between 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Shop in the Museum Store before or after your ride.

Friday, December 3, 10, 17, 4-8:30 p.m. | Cost is $120 per Carriage (Up to 10 People per Carriage) | Early Bird special rate of $100 for first two tours | Registration Required

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Winter Lyceum Season Pass

Zoom Webinar
Dates: Every Sunday from February 20 - April 3
Time: 5-6:30 p.m.
Cost: $20 for all Seven (7) Talks

Get access to all seven of the presentations in the 2022 Winter Lyceum series! While each lecture individually costs $4 to attend, with the Season Pass you get access to all seven (7) for the price of five (5). Check out the exciting and informative programs you'll be able to enjoy:

  • February 20: Dr. James Wright Presents “From Zinc Miner to Dartmouth College President”
  • February 27: Dr. Gene Tesdahl and Dr. Joshua Wachuta Present “Ho-Chunk Sovereignty, Black Voices, and the Driftless Lead Boom, 1825-1848”
  • March 6: Brad Gottschalk Presents “An Overview of Wisconsin Mining History”
  • March 13: Dr. Jack Williams Presents “Changes in Wisconsin Ecosystems and Environments Since the Last Ice Age”
  • March 20: A Panel of Archeologists Presents “14,000 Years of Driftless Ingenuity”
  • March 27: Dr. Nancy Von Meyer Presents “GIS in the Mining District”
  • April 3: Luke Sprague Presents “Oral History Interviewing Theory, Processes, and Techniques”

Once again our Winter Lyceum lecture series will be held online via Zoom.

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Winter Lyceum (1 of 7): Dr. James Wright Presents "From Zinc Miner to Dartmouth College President"

Zoom Webinar
Date: February 20

Time: 5-6:30 p.m.
Cost: $4 or $20 for the entire lecture series
Presented by James Wright

In this engaging conversation with Dr. James Wright, the son of a World War II veteran and grandson of a miner, we will hear a fascinating story with roots in the Upper Mississippi Valley mining district. This dialogue will explore how Wright enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from Galena High School and returned home to experience a fascinating career trajectory from working as a powderman in the Birkett and Graham mines to becoming an accomplished historian, educator, and president of Dartmouth College. He graduated from what was then the Wisconsin State College and Institute of Technology in 1964 and remains grateful to his Platteville undergraduate faculty mentors for their support and encouragement.

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Winter Lyceum (2 of 7): "Ho-Chunk Sovereignty, Black Voices, and the Driftless Lead Boom, 1825-1848"

Zoom Webinar
Date: February 27

Time: 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $4 or $20 for the entire lecture series
Presented by Dr. Gene Tesdahl and Dr. Joshua Wachuta 

Native American history and African American history have deep roots in the Driftless Region. Come appreciate the complexities that Ho-Chunk leaders, African American lead miners, and U.S. officials negotiated during the Driftless lead boom, 1825-1848. The region witnessed illegal slavery even as it transitioned from free Michigan Territory to free Wisconsin Territory ending in Wisconsin statehood as a free state. Ho-Chunk leaders including Caaxšépsgaaga, Wakąjawįxka, and Wanįg-sučka sought to maintain their ancestral rights to the lead region, but faced an overwhelming U.S. military occupation after 1827. Enslaved black lead workers Paul Jones and Toby Dodge navigated their way through this period gaining freedom as Wisconsinites along the way.

 

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Winter Lyceum (3 of 7): "An Overview of Wisconsin Mining History"

Zoom Webinar
Date: March 6

Time: 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Cost: $4 or $20 for the entire lecture series
Presented by Brad Gottschalk

Platteville-raised Archivist for the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, Brad Gottschalk, presents an overview of the history of mining in the state of Wisconsin. Not limited only to the Upper Mississippi Valley Lead-Zinc District, mining in the state has included development of Banded Iron Formations, Volcanogenic Massive Sulfides, silica sand deposits and more.

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Winter Lyceum (4 of 7): "Changes in Wisconsin Ecosystems and Environments Since the Last Ice Age"

Zoom Webinar
Date: March 13

Time: 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $4 or $20 for the entire lecture series
Presented by Dr. Jack Williams

UW-Madison geography professor Dr. Jack Williams paints a picture of the ecological upheaval of the North American landscape just after the retreat of the ice sheets 15,000 years ago. Recent research using fossil pollen, charcoal and dung fungus spores help us visualize a post-ice age terrain different from anything in the world today. The disappearance of mammoths, giant beavers, ground sloths and other large animals preceded a massive change in plant communities, providing new insight into the dynamics of extinction and its pervasive influence on a given landscape.

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Winter Lyceum (5 of 7): "14,000 Years of Driftless Ingenuity"

Zoom Webinar
Date: March 20

Time: 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $4 or $20 for the entire lecture series
Presented by a panel of archeologists

In conjunction with unveiling a new analysis of nearly 1,200 Native American stone tools in the collection of The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums, a panel of archeologists will reveal how stone tools were made in this nook of the Driftless Region, and how the museum collection demonstrates the ingenuity of native peoples who inhabited this area through time. From the end of the Ice Age though the period of European contact, Native Americans crafted tools in response to changing natural and cultural environments. The materiality and design of implements were adapted to different flora and fauna over time and for each season. A flintknapping demonstration and sneak peek of a new museum exhibit (supported in part by a major grant from Wisconsin Humanities) will be included.

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Winter Lyceum (6 of 7): "GIS in the Mining District"

Zoom Webinar
Date: March 27

Time: 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $4 or $20 for the entire lecture series
Presented by Dr. Nancy Von Meyer

Dr. Nancy Von Meyer, who began her career in Platteville as a mining engineer and went on to become a pioneer in the field of digital mapping, presents her insights into the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the Tri-state area’s Upper Mississippi Valley Mining District. She will also explore public mapping, and will help identify GIS data and maps that would be useful for museum enthusiasts. Nancy von Meyer is an expert in GIS and land records and is the president of Fairview Industries, where she has solved many problems related to land records.

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Winter Lyceum (7 of 7): "Oral History Interviewing Theory, Processes, and Techniques"

Zoom Webinar
Date: April 3

Time: 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $4 or $20 for the entire lecture series
Presented by Luke Sprague

This talk by Luke Sprague, Oral Historian for the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison, is a quick beginner’s-level training for people who want to conduct oral history interviews. There are three parts to the talk, and we will cover all three in brief. Part one covers the theory, ethics, and principles of conducting oral history interviews. Part two explains the pre-interview processes and the interview guide development. Part three reveals some good interview techniques.

Past Events

Ben Strand

Friends Annual Meeting and Program 

Dates: November 13
Time: 4-6 p.m.
Cost: Free for members

This year the Friends of the The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums welcomed Ben Strand to speak at their Annual Meeting on his new book "A Black Hawk War Guide: Landmarks, Battlefields, Museums and Firsthand Accounts." The Annual Meeting and Program is offered as a free benefit for 2021 members of the Friends of the Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums and donors over $35. The event serves as a museum fundraiser encouraging visitors to join, renew, or make their annual gift, as well as to thank volunteers, donors and board members. Attendees enjoyed heavy hors d'oeuvres, time to mingle, and the Annual Meeting reviewing the year’s accomplishments at Museums followed Strand's talk. 

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Fall Community Free Day

Date: October 31
Time: All Day, Reservation Required
Cost: FREE for Platteville residents

This year the Museums are commemorating three milestone anniversaries - the 50th of the completion of the Mining Museum, the 45th of the opening of the Bevans Mine, and the 40th of the Rollo Jamison Museums! To thank the citizens of Platteville for their continued support, The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums offered two community free days: season opening day, May 1; and season closing day, October 31. Museum admission, including a Guided Mine Tour and Train Ride (weather Permitting) was free to Platteville residents. 

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Haunted Mine Tours

Date: October 30
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Cost: $14

Experience Platteville’s spookiest Halloween tradition! Visitors descended deep into the 1845 Bevans Mine for a lantern lit tour to discover historical truths that are stranger than fiction.

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Sweet Treats

Date: October 30
Time: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Cost: Free!

As part of the Sweets Treats on Main event held by the Platteville Main Street Program, the museum offered one free train ride per child as a “treat.” While the children and their families wait for their turn on the train, they created a fun Halloween craft for children ages 3 and up. This year’s craft was a paper lantern.

UW-P Family Day

UW-Platteville Family Day

Date: October 2, 2021
Time: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums and the University of Wisconsin Platteville are partnered for Family Day on October 2nd. UW-Platteville students and family recieved a special rate with additional tour times available.

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2021 Miners Ball

Date: September 17th, 2021
Time: 5 p.m.
Cost: $50

The Friends of the Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums are pleased to carry on the tradition of this classic Platteville dance celebration started by engineering students in the 1930s. This formal event for couples of all ages invites everyone passionate about the history of Platteville to dress up, to enjoy a great dinner, and to swing to the music of a Big Band orchestra— just like generations of young engineers in training did starting back in 1926.

Prairie du Chien Militia postponed

Historic Re-enactment

Dates: September 10-12  Postponed

After much soul-searching and discussion, the 24th annual Platteville Historic Re-enactment, scheduled for September 10-12 at Platteville’s Mound View Park, has been postponed because of the steadily rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the area. We hope to see you next year. 

See the  VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING and CURRICULM MATERIALS available on our website. Video content, resources, and activities provide tools and inspiration for educators to use with their students. Teachers can use this material in place of attending the annual Historic Re-enactment or for assignments and projects related to our regional history. We hope the resources will spark memories of past visits to the Historic Re-enactment, and build anticipation for future visits. 

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Pick & Gad Picnic — A Volunteer Thank-You Event

Date: August 21, 2021
Time: 4-5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free for Volunteers

The museum celebrated our volunteers in honor of the Museums’ trifecta of anniversaries: the 50th of the completion of the Mining Museum, the 45th of the opening of the Bevans Mine, and the 40th of the Rollo Jamison Museum. Attendees enjoyed a picnic in the Museums’ backyard, special small group tours of the 1863 Rock School (the original Mining Museum), and sneak peek at plans for the future!
Interested in volunteering?
Visit www.mining.jamison.museum/volunteer to complete a volunteer interest form. 

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Mine Day

Date: August 21, 2021
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free

Mine Day commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the Grand Opening of the Mining Museum on August 21, 1971 and the 45th Anniversary of the re-opening of the Bevans Mine in 1976. Visitors enjoyed a day of earth science and industrial crafts fun and festivities. Steve Bussan, author of "Mining the Driftless," gave a book talk and signing. Visitors sew a pneumatic drill in action, a carbide lamp being lit, model rockets streaking through the sky, and a blacksmith at work, as well as half-price admission all day.

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Loren Farrey Memorial Open House

Date: August 14, 2021
Time: 1-4 p.m.

The Farrey family held a memorial open house for Loren Farrey, who passed away in December of 2020. Loren was a man of many talents; an educator, mining historian, author, genealogist, and storyteller. Everyone was invited to stop by the Museums, share stories with Loren’s family and friends, and see his contributions to The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums, no admission fee required.

Young Pioneers

Young Pioneers Camp

Date: July 19-22, 2021
Time: 1-3 p.m.
Cost: $35 | Registration Required (Scholarships available)

Young Pioneers was a fun four-day camp for students entering 2nd through 5th grades. Participants traveled into the past and experienced what life was like in the 1800s.

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College for Kids

Date: July 12-16, 2021 | Virtual
Time: 1-3 p.m.
Cost: $149 per household per program, +$99 for families with children registered for both programs 

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Youth Programs have gone virtual in 2021, and The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums  collaborated with the Sauk County Historical Society in the creation of "How To Power-UP STEAM with History: College for Kids and Middle University."

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Heritage Day

Date: July 4
Time: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Cost: FREE

Heritage Day is a July 4th community celebration of Platteville’s rich history and bright future that draws more than 700 visitors annually. This year Heritage Day was held in person at the Museums again. Visitors enjoyed a day of games, historical demonstrations, special exhibits, live music, period costumes, and food.

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Make Music Platteville at the Museums

Date: June 21
Time: 12:00-2:00

Make Music Day is a world-wide celebration of music held annually on the summer solstice, June 21. This year marks Platteville’s sixth year in the Make Music Celebration. The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums hosted two back-to-back events on the front lawn. 
12:00-1:00 This Moment In Time was a special gathering to honor and remember those that have been affected by COVID 19. Plan to play the gong at this participatory event. We will feel the vibrations over the hour in this solemn moment.
1:00-2:00 TriState Homeschool Choir gave a wonderful performance of music from a variety of styles, from Scottish folk songs to covers of 90s pop music.

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2021 Walk Down Main

Date: May 4, 2021 | Virtual /Live Hybrid Event
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Virtual Presentation/Walk Only, $10  Presentation/Walk/Dinner, $45/Single or $80/Couple

Discover the influences of architect Henry Kleinhammer around downtown Platteville during the hybrid virtual/live 2021 Walk Down Main. View a virtual presentation by James Hibbard via Zoom with live Q&A and take a self-guided walking tour of 14 featured buildings. Co-hosted by the Platteville Main Street Program and The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums.  Image courtesy of UW-Platteville's Southwest Wisconsin Room and The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums.

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Spring Community Free Day

Date: May 1
Time: All Day, Reservation Required
Cost: FREE for Platteville residents

Celebrate with us! This year the Museums are commemorating three milestone anniversaries - the 50th of the completion of the Mining Museum, the 45th of the opening of the Bevans Mine, and the 40th of the Rollo Jamison Museums! To thank the citizens of Platteville for their continued support, The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums is excited to offer TWO community free days: season opening day, May 1; and season closing day, October 31. Museum admission, including a Guided Mine Tour and Train Ride (weather Permitting) is FREE to Platteville residents. Reservations are required.

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Winter Lyceum (7 of 7): “The Mining Museum’s Bevans Mine Adventure 45 Years Later”

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. On March 28, 2021, the Museums celebrated 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. 

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Winter Lyceum (6 of 7): “Kaiten: Japan’s WWII Human Torpedo That Stunned the U.S. Navy”

Mike Mair Presented “Kaiten: Japan’s WWII Human Torpedo That Stunned the U.S. Navy.” 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.”

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Winter Lyceum (5 of 7): “The Archeology of the Southern Driftless Area”

Driftless Pathways archaeologists Robert “Ernie” Boszhardt and Danielle Benden presented a virtual tour of the Native American cultural landscape in Wisconsin’s southern Driftless Area. Boszhardt and Benden summarized the 13,000 year human history of this region, from the end of the last Ice Age until Euro-American contact. This program illustrated 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.

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Winter Lyceum (4 of 7): “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.

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Winter Lyceum (3 of 7): “From Beetown to Atlanta: The Tale of a Civil War Drum”

Jeff Schave Presented “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 gave voice to this rare and unique artifact, and thus shared with pride “A Drums Tale.” 

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Winter Lyceum (2 of 7): “Black History: The Legacy of Slavery and Freedom in Wisconsin”

Dr. Eugene Tesdahl, Clayborn Benson, and Wilbur Arms, presented “Black History: The Legacy of Slavery and Freedom in Wisconsin.” They explored the rich African American history of southwest Wisconsin. The panel was a collaboration between the Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum of Milwaukee and the Mining and Rollo Jamison Museums of Platteville. Panelists explained 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. 

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Winter Lyceum (1 of 7): “Rollo Jamison: 40 years in Platteville”

Patrick Daniels Presented “Rollo Jamison: 40 years in Platteville” on February 7, 2021. 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 talked 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 Day which was a grand opening celebration culminating in a dedication of the museum on June 14, 1981. A recording of this event will be available on our Virtual Programs page soon. 

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Winter Pioneer Camp

Winter Break Virtual Pioneer Camp included three great video workshops and a take-home craft kit with everything needed to complete three seasonal workshops. Winter Pioneers created an Aquifer in a Bottle, a traditional Pomander Ball, and a Whirligig Spinner toy. Each project included an accompanying instructional video led by a Museum educator and the materials needed to complete the project.
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Friends Annual Meeting & Program: Slavery in Platteville, Part 3

The final lecture in a three-part series by Historian James B. Hibbard: "Black Lead Miners in Platteville: The Story of William Maxwell."  This presentation highlights William Maxwell's career as a Black lead miner. Maxwell holds the distinction of establishing his own lead diggings in Platteville, where he employed four other miners. He was also the first Black man in Grant County to successfully use the court system to collect a debt. A link to the recorded program will be added soon. 

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Friends Annual Meeting & Program: Highlights of 2020 & Plans for 2021

The Friends of The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums  Annual Meeting. Friends Board and Museum staff presented highlights of the Museums’ 2020 accomplishments; revealed exciting plans and milestones for 2021; introduced museum staff members, including the new collections care team; and recognized and thanked the Museums many volunteers. A link to the recorded program will be added soon. 

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Holiday Horse Drawn Carriage Rides

Date: December 4th, 11th, 18th

The Museums celebrated the holiday spirit with horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown Platteville. Participates enjoyed the scenery and holiday lights around town while learning about local history and key architectural landmarks with the sights and sounds of a beautiful team of draft horses. If you missed the opportunity in 2020 or want to enjoy the experience again watch for information next November. 

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Slavery in Platteville, Part 2: The Rountree Family

Date: Thursday, October 22nd
Time: 7:00 p.m
Cost: FREE, Registration required

The second in a series of three presentations by historian James B. Hibbard. This presentation chronicles Platteville founder John H. Rountree’s ownership of slaves. It will look in depth at the circumstances surrounding Rountree’s slave ownership, his treatment of them, especially “Sister Rachel,” and how he eventually became an antislavery Republican. A Q&A with the speaker will follow each talk. For the health of our visitors, the presentation will be held via Zoom.

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Slavery in Platteville, Part 1: The Mitchell Family

Date: Thursday, September 17th
Time: 7:00 p.m
Cost: FREE, Registration required 

The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums will be holding a series of three presentations by historian James B. Hibbard regarding slavery in Platteville. The first presentation explores the Mitchell family, especially James Mitchell’s ownership of two young slave girls. A Q&A with the speaker will follow the talk. For the health of our visitors, the presentation will be held via Zoom.
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HOURS

In Season: May - October | Open Daily | 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

 

Off Season: November - April | Closed Except for Seasonal Programs

 

Store Hours: December 3, 10, & 17
4-9 p.m. for Holiday Carriage Rides

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