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Ash Hollow Pageant – 2010 “The Lighter Side of Life on the Oregon Trail”

Sponsored by Volunteers of America – Western Nebraska Ash Hollow State Historical Park

Schedule of Events Lewellen 10:00-4:00 Art Show – Volunteers of America 10:00-4:00 Quilt Show – United Methodist Church 12:00-5:00 17 Ranch Winery 8:00-5:00 The Most Unlikely Place –

art gallery/coffee shop (11:00 – 1:00 Lunch)

12:00 to 5:00 Free swimming pool


elcome to Ash Hollow State Historical Park and the 18th Ash Hollow Pageant. We invite you to

enjoy the chuck wagon supper and this year’s performance, “The Lighter Side of Life on the Oregon Trail.” Even though the trip was full of hardships, amazingly funny things happened as well. The performance is made up of actual quotes, only edited for length. Sit back, listen and enter the world of the real pioneers on the trail. We thought you might enjoy the flavor of reading a single diary. The diary here is from an unknown emigrant who traveled west in 1852 from Illinois and whose wagon was turned back somewhere just west of Devil’s Gate, Wyoming due to Indian attacks. We are glad that you will join us on the Oregon Trail. We hope you enjoy the ride!

Jean Jensen Volunteers of America Western Nebraska

Ash Hollow State Historical Park 10:00 – 5:00 Visitor’s Center 10:00 – 5:00 Self-drive Tours 4:00 – 6:00 (Fri) Steve Ervin, Native American Heritage – Teepee Village 10:00 – 6:00 (Sat) Steve Ervin, Native American Heritage – Teepee Village 2:00 pm (Sat.) April Whitten – Slide Show of 1999 Wagon Train (Visitor’s Center) 4:30 Edd Clemens – cowboy poet – picnic area 5:00 – 6:30 Chuck Wagon Supper picnic area 6:00 Lakota Drumming and Dancing 6:30 Performance

“Lighter Side of Life on the Oregon Trail”

Pictured here - Ash Hollow viewed from Windlass Hill Cover - Looking West to Laramie Peak over the North Platte River

18th Annual Ash Hollow Pageant Volunteers of America® Western Nebraska

“The Lighter Side of Life on the Oregon Trail” Cast


Hans Hoth

Dennis Miller

Helen Carpenter

Amelia Stewart Knight Carleta Anderson Darlene Armstrong Deb Dike Bonnie Flessner Kendra Kozlik Cynthia Miller Cherie Northouse Nancy Paisley Larry Rutt Ron Storer Maci Wilhelm Solos

Rachel Sissel Darrel Armstrong Walker Baird Kate Engel Herb Knudsen Cindy Miller Duane Newman Kelly O’Brien LaDene Rutt Garnet Storer John Wilhelm

Dennis Miller John Wilhelm Walker Baird


to create the Ash Hollow Pageant including cast, cooks, parking, set up, etc. Many more help with sponsorships and free publicity. Thanks to all who make this possible year after year!

Sabrina Miller

Ron Storer Duane Newman Sabrina Miller


Over 100 people volunteer their time

Rita Shimmin

Darrel Armstrong Ron Storer Deb Dike Carleta Anderson


Rex Miller Steve Lawlor Derek Newton


Dennis Miller Dean Dike

Choir Director

Cindy Miller

Chuck Wagon Supper Meat


Laura Stanley Marcie Mueller Jerry Radke

Cathy Wright, PhotoCat Studios

Lakota Dancer Philip Little Thunder and Family 2

Cast of Characters Hans Hoth traveled

Helen Carpenter was a young bride of nineteen traveling with her husband and a large extended family. Her father was a homeopathic physician and the family moved from Ohio to Indiana and Kansas before heading out for California. The Carpenters traveled in 1857 after the Grattan and Blue Water Massacres left hostile relations with the Sioux. There were also hostilities between the US government and the Mormons. Helen Carpenter’s diary is great reading and shows her sense of humor. Helen and her husband, Reel, settled in Potter Valley, California, where Helen was a writer.

with his wife and children along with 300 other Mormons from Schleswig, Denmark and Sweden. They set out to sea by freighter for the United States with the goal of reaching Salt Lake. This elaborate diary gives very detailed descriptions of his travels and cities along the way. They were stopped at Quarantine Island at New Orleans to be examined by doctors for contagious diseases. Hans made it to Salt Lake and eventually left his wife and moved on to California. Diary by Hans Hoth from Schleswig (Germany) 18531854 translated by Peter Guldhandan from German

Ho For California! Women’s Overland Diaries from the Huntington Library – edited by Sandra Myres Amelia Stewart Knight married an Englishborn medical student in Boston. They moved to Iowa and then headed to Washington Territory in 1853 with their children – Plutarch (17), Seneca (15), Frances (14), Jefferson (11), Lucy (8), Almira (5), Chatfiled (2) and Wilson (infant born at end of trip). Covered Wagon Women Vol. VI – edited and compiled by Kenneth Holmes


Come On Home to Garden County 1910 - Centennial - 2010


Ash Hollow State Historical Park Hwy. 26 – 3 miles SE of Lewellen Park open sunrise to sunset Visitor’s Center Open Th-Sun 10:00 am – 4:00 pm


22 Free Fishing and Park Entry Day 22-23 Shut Up and Fish June 3 17 Ranch Winery Beef Cook-off 11-12 Buffalo Canyon Retreat 18-19 Ash Hollow Historical Pageant 1-4 1 2 3 4

Museums - Oshkosh Silver Hill 501 West 1st Rock School 315 West Ave G Memorial Day-Labor Day 9-4 M-Sat, 2-6 Sun 308-772-3848 for appointment Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge 25 Miles North of Oshkosh Hiking trail & Auto Tour Office open: 7am-3:30 pm M-F Winery - 17 Ranch Winery Main Street, Lewellen Open Wed- Sat. 1:00 – 6:00 pm Tours and wine tasting Art Gallery - The Most Unlikely Place Main Street, Lewellen Wednesday – Saturday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Summer Hours Art gallery, espresso coffee, lunch

Centennial Celebration 4th of July Celebration 5:00 pm- Carnival Kick Off 8:00 pm- Concert & Dance 6:30 pm- Centennial Pool Party 8:00 pm- Westwind Concert 6:45-8:30 pm- Alumni Banquet 9: 30 pm- All Alumni Band Dance 9:00 am- All Denominational Prayer 11:00 am- Fourth of July Parade 12:00 Noon- Free BBQ City Park 9:00 pm- Fireworks Display at the Baseball Diamond 10.00 pm- City Wide Fireworks begin at the sound of the fire-whistle. Go to for complete Centennial schedule

10 -17 Ranch Winery Midsummer - Cool Nights Backyard Party

Bakery - Jeanie Bean Bakery and Emporium Main Street, Oshkosh Sat & Sun 5:30am-7pm M-Fri 5:30am-4pm Closed Wed. Bakery , pizzas, meals Coffee Roastery - Mark Ferrari Specialty Coffees 209 W 1st St Oshkosh 7:30am-4pm M-F, 8-noon Sat Espresso Bar, Coffee, Pastries, gifts

August 5-8 Garden County Fair 7 Lost Creek Music Festival September 4 Blue Water Blues Festival 12 Lisco Oldtimer’s Celebration 17 Homecoming and Fall Festival


Unknown diarist. Started at Pleasant Plains, Sangamon Co., Ill. The 18th day of March , 1852, our company made a start westward , bound for California , the land of golden dreams, the land that caused so many sighs and tears to be shed by the separation of dear friends. Our company consisted of four ox wagons, one two-horse spring wagon , fourteen yoke of first class oxen , one yoke of good cows, and two horses, eight men , two women and six children . One of our men , Robert Hewit, was quite sick , but a good dose of “Lobelia” soon brought him around . 26th This evening we camped near a Negro village …

April 3rd: We travelled today through a slush and mud nearly to our boot tops to Salt River, and on arriving there the water was so high and still rising we concluded to camp and hunt a few days.

Here we concluded to form a contract of rules and regulations to travel under and to live under while crossing the plains, so as to be better prepared to protect ourselves against Indians and robbers. Article 5. Members of this company shall not be allowed to quarrel among themselves… Members shall carefully avoid all contentions calculated to cause disturbance .

Article 6. No member or members shall be allowed to labor on the Sabbath Day, or use profane language at any time , or use intoxicating drinks as a beverage .

April 10th Chariton River

The citizens of this part of the state are very indolent and shiftless. Roads are bad and scarcely and accommodations for stranger. The houses throughout here are all low huts with stick and mud chimneys, and generally no floors, and often no door: but they appear to be extremely happy. They are free and friendly, and you scarcely enter a cabin but you are offered a drink of whiskey, wine or brandy. This they regard as being the height of etiquette .


14th …we came to Grand River, and crossed it in a poor shack of a boat that had to be bailed out every trip. However we all landed safe and traveled on , passing through the little town of Utica … 20th We passed through Platsburg and arrived at the Union Mills… Here we bought 2700 pounds of flour and 400 pounds of corn meal .

May 6th …camped on the west side of Wolf River. At this stream the Wolf Indians had built a very good bridge for which they charged fifty cents for each wagon that crossed it… The little Indian boys would ask the men to split a little stick at one end and stick a 5 cent piece in the split end and put the other in the ground and they would shoot at it with bow and arrow. If they hit the 5 cents it was theirs, if they missed they forfeited 10 cents, but they scarcely ever missed . 8th We have been making short drives on account of the grass being tender but now we will increase to a full drive of 39 miles each day and rest every Sabbath .

10th We are traveling now through a fine country. Land is rolling and beautiful , soil black and rich , but no timber is visible . 14th One of our men died with cholera.

21st After a tiresome tramp we came to little Blue Earth River where we found a fine grove of oak timber. Here we began to see plenty of buffalo, but they were very wild .

25th camped for the night, but before bedtime we became aware that we were besieged with Indians. However, we doubled our guards… Eight of the redskins came dashing through our stock at high speed and made many of them break their halters and thus get away. The guards call to arms was obeyed but in less than ten minutes the same returned yelling and hollering like so many demons… Then the fight began but they were badly surprised that we were ready for them…


26th Grand Island is twenty miles long by an average of three-fourths of a mile wide . It is well timbered . The fort (Kearny) is built on the south bank of the Platt River… Buildings at the Fort are built of sod and covered with planks. Some garden spots are enclosed with sod fences. 27th We moved forward up the river today. We saw thousands of prairie lizards and the most beautiful flowers of every variety that our eyes ever rested upon . Today we saw plenty of antelopes…

30th Hundreds of wagons are in sight all the time now, day and night. I have counted five hundred at a single sight, some with broken axletrees and some with broken tongues, some with broken wheels…and once in a while , one had converted his wagon into a two wheeled cart. Here also, we find people of all nationalities and of all dispositions and temperaments – a good place to study human nature .

1st June . Here we found graves of two who had died with cholera and their guns and clothing all thrown out upon the ground and left. …see a large prairie dog village . Their villages occupy from three to ten acres of land . They will run out and bark at you and stand on their hind legs to see anything at a distance . When you get in seventy or eight yards of them they dart down into their dens. 2nd Crossed south fork of the Platt. Here we found hundreds of Sioux Indians. They were civil toward us. 5th … camped for the night but had to guard against wolves.

6th Five miles further we came to great Ash Hollow, which is thickly set in among the ash trees with rose bushes of every hue in full bloom, and a great variety of other flowers. Two miles further we came to a Sioux Indian camp and some white men were with them. Their squaws were engaged in making Moccasins for the emigrants which they sold readily at 50 cents per pair. From here we traveled miles over the most beautiful prairie that we had seen and on bottom land the finest trees we ever saw, and the surrounding hills covered with cedars rendered the sight magnificent.

Fort Kearny, Nebraska


North Platte River

Wagon Ruts on Windlass Hill Ash Hollow, NE

Buffalo on the Nebraska Prairie


9th We started at 5 o’clock toward Chimney Rock and traveled with might and main to reach the Rock today which we did at 5 p.m. with tired teams and hungry men , not having had dinner. The base is about one mile in circumference , and the top about 30 feet across. There were thousands of emigrant ’s names carved in the stone near the top… 10th Bad morning. Much sickness in camp, everybody blue . We moved on 10 miles and came to Scott ’s Bluff. Here we halted at noon to rest our cattle , do some repairing, and take care of the sick . It was evident there was a terrible storm approaching. We worked hard to get our largest tent up for the sick . We dug a ditch all around our tent and collected our sick all in there . We had scarcely finished when the rain began to fall in torrents, and the wind was a perfect tempest. There was peal after peal of deep thunder and vivid flashes of lightning which seem as if it would set the very ground on fire . This storm lasted three long hours… This night there were over five hundred wagons camped on this slope . Next morning there were but few wagons that had not been stripped of their canvas covers. All showed signs of wreck and desolation . It was found that 13 head of our oxen had been killed by the storm and the others all scattered out of sight. We thanked the Lord that our “sick tent ” stood the storm in safety. But the sick …their suffering was awful . Through fear and fever, they nearly lost their reason . 11th Richard Hodges, one of our best men , died , leaving a wife and five children to the tender mercies of the company. Today hail fell as large as hen’s eggs. We had the cholera in camp…and when we left this camp there were 65 new graves… 14th …we came to Fort Laramie . Here was a store , grocery and blacksmith shop. The price of shoeing a mule was five dollars… 16th This was the hardest day’s travel yet, over sharp stone and gravel , and terrible hills and ravines 20 to 30 feet deep. We only made 10 miles and came to a creek called Rock Creek . 25th We traveled today on upland overgrown with artemisia. We saw Wagon We Ruts struck on Windlass Hill three large herds of buffalo and hundreds of antelopes. Sweet Ash Hollow, Nebraska Water two miles below Rock Independence . One side has a steep bluff two to three hundred feet high and of gray granite rock . Around the base are inscribed thousands of names of people who have been there , some for science , some for pleasure , and some for gold and some for curiosity. 26th Today we reached the Devil’s Gate , one of the grandest sights that I ever saw. It is about three hundred yards through and fifty to one hundred feet high .


Grave site at Fort Laramie

Scottsbluff Monument

General Store at Fort Laramie, WY

Chimney Rock Near Scottsbluff, NE


27th …we began to see dead cattle , mules and horses by the hundred , and broken up wagons and every article pertaining to an outfit. We halted to investigate and found it to be the work of Indians, who had totally destroyed a company of emigrants a few days before . 1st. of July. We were preparing to move on but were met by eighty U.S. Soldiers from the outposts, who gave us a history of the Indian and Mormon depredations, and at the same time commanding us to return by order of the Commander-in-chief of the western division . The soldiers took us in charge and guarded and guided us back to Fort Laramie , and turned all others that we met back with us, as it was not safe for any emigrants to go on this year as the Indians were all on the war path . We arrived at the Fort in 15 days by hard traveling, where we rested three days. Then we started to return over nearly the same route we had gone over… Our entire hope centered on getting back in the states before cold weather. The next day we came to the main stream of the Platt River and kept down the north side … That evening 6000 Mormons camped near us. They were going west. They were very civil to us, but were the hardest looking people that we had ever seen . Some of the , men and women , did not have clothes to hide their nakedness, and there was squint eyes, hunchbacks, knocked-kneed , bowlegged , halt, and blind; and in fact, every specie of deformity among them. They were mostly foreigners. Next morning we started on and met 500 more Mormons, who told us there was still 800 more of their company two days behind … (The diarist settled in Iowa for a time , trading one pony for a claim with ten acres of land . They eventually returned home to Pleasant Plains, Illinois, two years later in September, 1854.)

Fort Laramie, WY


From Top Right - Devil’s Gate, WY; Apothecary jar circa 1850’s; Buffalo on the Nebraska Prairie; Wagon Ruts at Guernsey, WY; Inscriptions on Register Cliff, WY What Is an Ox? by Drew Conroy An ox, to early American farmers who used the beast, was a mature castrated male belonging to the domestic cattle family, or genus Bos, most likely trained (like draft horses, some never got trained) to work, and at the end of its life inevitably used for meat. A steer, by contrast, is also a castrated male of the genus Bos, but is a younger animal that may not be trained, or may not be strong and mature enough for hard work. In the United States a steer is not considered an ox until it is four years old, by which time it is considered large enough and mature enough for any work required of it. From 12

Volunteers of America - Western Nebraska:

Volunteers of America – Western Nebraska is a spiritually based, non-profit organization whose mission is to promote wellness – complete physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being – and to support TM children, families and communities.

Serving Children Although Garden County is losing population, the good news is that the Volunteers of America Preschool in Lewellen is growing! Serving three and fouryear-olds in the county, the preschool works closely with the school and Head Start to prepare children for a lifetime of learning.

Volunteers of America offers preschool in Lewellen, Chappell and Potter and childcare in Chappell and Potter.

Drug and alcohol abuse prevention

Volunteers of America – Western Nebraska has been committed to helping people become and stay healthy. When it comes to drug and alcohol abuse, our goal for the last twenty years has been to prevent abuse and addiction. Working with a coalition of school, government, health care and others, we are beginning to see improvements – fewer students drinking and driving and fewer students binge drinking. We know this is a long-term commitment to change, but well worth the effort.

Volunteers of America Western Nebraska

Health Promotion Center Diabetes Healthy Habits Program 9Health Fair Drug and Alcohol Prevention Lewellen Preschool Chappell Childcare Center Potter-Dix Early Learning Facility Good News Club Food Pantry Utility Assistance Literacy

Promoting Reading

Thanks to the gift of hundreds of books from Scholastic Books, Volunteers of America – Western Nebraska is able to promote literacy through our programs and sharing with other agencies in the area.

Hunger in the Heartland

Jesus said, “I was hungry and you gave me food,” calling us to share with our brother. Last year, through the blessings of churches, groups and individual’s gifts, Volunteers of America served over 100 families with over 20,000 pounds of food! Volunteers pick up food from donors and the food bank and stock shelves. Families received Christmas food boxes – each with a ham – thanks to dedicated volunteers and donors!

The Giving Bee

Children going into foster care are at their most vulnerable. To make matters worse, they often leave all of their possessions and used to be delivered to a foster home with a plastic bag with a few basics. This is no longer the case, as women at “The Giving Bee” decided a few years ago that every child entering foster care would receive a cloth bag and a quilt.

There are no limits to caring. ® Volunteers of America - Western Nebraska HOW YOU CAN HELP… Volunteering – makes a difference. Reading to a young child, picking up food for the food pantry, boxing Scholastic books, leading an exercise class… we would love to have your help. Donations – make a difference. Gifts are the basis of funding at Volunteers of America, making it possible to provide matching funds for grants and keeping our doors open. Gift Planning – makes a difference. Long term gifts have even greater impact – it is how we built our center in Lewellen, and added on the preschool

room; it is how we keep the Childcare Center operating in Chappell. Large or small, planned gifts allow donors to help the community and reduce taxes. One donor said, it is the community that helped raise my children and supported our family. It just feels right to pass that gift on to the next generations. ³ Volunteers of America – Western Nebraska PO Box 128 Lewellen NE 69147 308-778-5548

Volunteers of America® Children’s Programs ³ Food Pantry ³ Promoting Wellness ³ Providing Community Support Services

Western Nebraska


• Fraternal Order of Eagles, Garden County • • • • • •


Adams Bank & Trust— Ogallala Big Springs Grocery Bank of Lewellen Garden County Health Services Clint & Joanie Halligan Holechek Funeral Home — Oshkosh • Jordan’s Ag & Auto Repair – Oshkosh


• Beverly Pollock • Blind Goose — Lewellen • Budaroos’ & Garden Co News — Oshkosh • Campbell Drug— Oshkosh • Cram-A Lot Inn— Oshkosh • DP’s Service Station – Lewellen • Doug & JoAnne Teaford • Dwight Wall Honey—Lewellen • Family Medical Center —Ogallala • Farmer’s Coop - Big Springs • Jeanie Beans Bakery & Emporium - Oshkosh


• 17 Ranch Winery— Lewellen • Allen’s Carpet & Furniture — Ogallala • Blake’s Automotive – Oshkosh • The Buckin’ Horse - Oshkosh • Carol Lake Real Estate — Oshkosh • DNR Insurance— Lewellen • E & S Auto Supply, LLC — Oshkosh

• Keith County News – Ogallala • KOGA AM 930/KOGA FM 99.7 The Lake/KMCX FM Hot Country 106.5 • Mark Ferrari Specialty Coffees —Oshkosh • Oshkosh Feed Yard • Oshkosh True Value Toolhouse • Pierce Law Office – Ogallala

• • • •

• Kelley Bean Co.— Ogallala • Lake Excavation and Ready Mix — Oshkosh • Lewellen Lumber and Supply • Moe’s Heating & AC — Oshkosh • Office Service – Ogallala • Oregon Trail Trading Post – Lewellen • Oshkosh Animal Repair • Oshkosh Grain • Oshkosh Superette • Pete & Jonnie Peterson • Peterson Welding

• Pinnacle Bank - Ogallala • Shelter Insurance— Ogallala • Tanner Coatings & Collision - Oshkosh • Tim Jensen, DDS — Oshkosh • U-Save Pharmacy – Ogallala • Valley Bank & Trust - Ogallala • Wallesen Grain Company – Lewellen • Western Insurors - Ogallala

• • • •

• Richard H Jensen, Attorney at Law – Oshkosh • Sandhills Natural Water • Guido Santero - Ogallala • Smokey’s Auction— Oshkosh • Staff of Farmers State Bank — Big Springs • Val & Jim’s Computer Service -Oshkosh

Farm & Ranch Feeds—Oshkosh Foster Lumber— Oshkosh Mane Parlor Gifts - Lewellen Nerud’s Real Estate & Insurance -Oshkosh • Oshkosh Cleaners & Second Hand Attire • Pam’s Honeycomb Cuts — Oshkosh • R & C Sprinklers – Ogallala

S -n- S Café – Oshkosh Butch & Laura Stanley Valley Tire & Service—Oshkosh WESTCO — Panhandle Counties

Ash Hollow Program 2010  
Ash Hollow Program 2010  

Ash Hollow Pageant 2010