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Lady Vestey Days/ Memorial Day Weekend at the Nuckolls County Museum

Many years ago Superior, Nebraska decided to honor one of our most famous personalities, Evelyn Broadstone (also known as Lady Evelyn Vestey) by hosting a day/weekend of festivities over Memorial Day Weekend. Lady Vestey grew up in Superior, graduated from Superior High School and went to business college. She landed a job in the Chicago offices of Lord Vestey's world-wide shipping business. Evelyn went from office stenographer to secretary to executive secretary to an indispensable international troubleshooter for Lord Vestey. Evelyn became the highest paid female executive in the world. After Lord Vestey's wife died he asked Evelyn to marry him and one of Nebraska's own became part of the landed gentry- Lady Vestey. Lady Vestey never forget her beloved Superior and her friends and donated a considerable amount of money to the construction of the Brodstone Memorial Nuckolls County Hospital (now named just Broadstone Health Care). Our Nuckolls County Museum exhibits a fabulous variety of memorabilia that has been placed on display for visitors to see and marvel over. For English Literature aficionados, there have long been stories about Evelyn bicycling over to Red Cloud, Nebraska to visit with Willa Cather. Most of Willa Cather's personal letters were destroyed at her own request following her death so proof of these stories is elusive, but researchers from the Willa Cather Foundation have been over at our Museum trying to find references from Lady Vestey's correspondence and letters.


Evelyn Broadstone, Lady Vestey


To celebrate Lady Vestey Days the Superior Chamber of Commerce hosts a plethora of activities including a parade, street vendors, entertainment, tours and food. Our Museum, since this is a historically based Festival gets in on the act as well. The Museum was opened and staffed by our volunteers both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday live historical demonstrations were held in the afternoon on the Museum grounds and Sunday a Hamburger/Brat feed was held next to the Museum grounds. The hamburger was kindly donated by Marlin and Lorri Meyer (MLM Gehlbieh) and prepared by volunteers from Brodstone Health Care. Around 100 guests were entertained each day.


At this point I have to apologize profusely. I had hoped to have dozens of photos from the Historical Society/Museum's happenings, BUT.... I had to assign my prize photographer Vicki Williams to some other duties. I had volunteered her and myself to play our Dulcimers Saturday afternoon in historic Henrietta Church on the Museum grounds from 2-4 pm. Then some of our dear friends Debbie and Daryl Doolittle from Cortland, Nebraska who also play dulcimers found out and wanted to drive 100 miles over to Superior to play dulcimers with us. We had to wait at our house until they got here and as a result we missed the parade. So there isn't a picture of Fred Meyer pulling the Historical Society/Museum's float with the Ford Model A car. So sad, but if you really are desperate I can go take a picture of the car and for an extra nickel I can photoshop Fred into the picture.


Vicki and I and Debbie and Daryl showed up at the Museum Church a little before 1 pm to get things set up and organized thinking we weren't going to have anybody come by to listen until 2 pm, but we hadn't unfolded the folding chairs when people began filtering into the Church. Hoping to hear music. So we began playing at 1 pm which meant Vicki didn't have a chance to saunder around the Museum grounds getting pictures of visitors enjoying the activities and the day. We were hoping we could knock off at 4 pm and then maybe Vicki could get some photos but the crowd kept up thru the whole afternoon. 4-5 people would leave and another 4-5 people would mosey in to listen. We played until 5 pm and then absolutely had to close down because the rest of the Museum was closing down for the day. Fortunately I had talked dear darling daughter Steph Thayer into taking a few pictures of us doing music and I then talked Bill Blauvelt of the Superior Express into letting me use some of the pictures his wife Rita took for the newspaper. So we have a few photos but not as many as I would have liked.


Dulcimer Music in the Historic Henrietta or Ruskin Presbyterian Church




Daryl Doolittle, Debbie Doolittle, Rob Williams and Vicki Williams playing Mountain Dulcimers at the Henrietta Church May 28, 2022 at the Nuckolls County Historical Society Museum in Superior, Nebraska. Daryl and Debbie are from Cortland, Nebraska and drove 100 miles over to Superior to entertain Museum visitors. Our thanks go out to them.



Rob and Vicki Williams playing dulcimers at the Museum.



Lots of time when we play Dulcimers people don't have a very good notion of what a dulcimer is, how it works, how you read the music sheets and how easy playing one can be. In this case Vicki is showing local resident Arnold Miller, himself no slouch when it comes to music, what is involved.


A few other photos (thanks to the Superior Express and Rita Blauvelt for the permission to use these pictures:


Lane Ward makes rope at the Nuckolls County Museum Saturday afternoon, May 28, 2022. It was part of the living history demonstrations. Dave Frey, Steve and Phyllis Renz, museum board members assisted with the demonstration.



Katriana Kelly stands in a historic jail cell at the Nuckolls County Museum as her mother Tonja stands by. The Kelly family is from the Guide Rock, Nebraska area.



The Post Office/Log Cabin now on the Museum Grounds


Cheryl Jensen of Oak, Nebraska weaves on the barn loom in the old log cabin at the Nuckolls County Museum as part of the living history demonstrations. The loom is located in the Post Office/Log Cabin on the Museum grounds. Weaving is something Jensen loves to do and regularly does at home. Ms. Jensen will be assisting with the historical re-enactments later this summer in Oak.



Again I am sorry that there aren't many, many more pictures of Museum activities for Saturday but my wife/ chief photographer couldn't be two places at once and we needed her playing dulcimers pretty badly.


I am also sorry there are not any pictures of the Hamburger/Brat feed on Sunday but Vicki's and my son was back in Nebraska for his what is almost yearly day of visit so we were out of town all day Sunday. And before anyone can suggest it, I know, I know, I should delegate some responsibility to other people to do photography. But the way things are we can't even get volunteers to serve on the Nuckolls County Historical Society Board of Directors. We are still desperately looking for potential Board Members, especially from the North, East or West part of the County. However- We will have a booth set up at the Nuckolls County Fair in the evenings of July 10th, 11th and 12th. Please stop by for a visit if you're there. If not there we'll be taking our act to Oak, Nebraska on August 6th during the historical Re-enactments being put on that day. Maybe people can stop by up there for a visit.




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