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Neenah 101: The People Behind the Places

Get to know some of Neenah’s most recognizable names in the Neenah 101 series…

Did you know Neenah means “water” in the Ho-Chunk language?

Aspiring history buffs have two more opportunities to learn the history behind Neenah’s most recognizable names through the Neenah 101 series. Co-sponsored by the Neenah Historical Society and Neenah Public Library, the series explores the lives and influence of some of the city’s famous figures including D.W. Bergstrom (pictured), James Duane Doty and Theda Clark.

“These are names that are in the Neenah vocabulary, but we don’t know what they mean and sometimes we don’t even know they are names,” says Jane Lang, director of the Neenah Historical Society. “We want to help people tune into their surroundings and recognize who was here before. These were real people who lived real lives with challenges and struggles.”

The series, which started last September, was conceived by Lang and Program Coordinator Joshua Ranger in hopes to give residents a better idea of the people behind the names of local parks, streets and historical sites. With so many significant names to chose from, Lang hopes to see Neenah 101 continue next fall.

Wally Bergstrom, a Neenah Historical Society board member, will present “The Story Behind D.W. Bergstrom” on Thursday, February 21 at 7pm in the Shattuck Community Room.

The 2012-13 series will conclude with historian and author William Brehm presenting “The Connections Between Many of the Familiar Names in Neenah” on Thursday, March 21 at 7pm. Brehm will discuss how many of Neenah’s most recognizable names are linked by marriage, business partnerships or both.

For more information, contact Mike Thomas of the Neenah Public Library at 886-6315.

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