Highly respected historian will visit Vermillion on July 8

Highly respected historian will visit Vermillion on July 8
Paula M. Nelson, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin at Platteville, will visit South Dakota in early July to discuss her most recent book, Sunshine Always: The Courtship Letters of Alice Bower and Joseph Gossage of Dakota Territory.

Nelson is scheduled to appear at the W.H. Over Museum in Vermillion on Sunday, July 8, at 2:30 p.m. The South Dakota State Historical Society published Sunshine Always in December 2006.

Nelson will speak about the book and the courtship of the founders of the Rapid City Journal and sign copies at eight different locations across the state between July 7-15.

"It is exciting to have a historian of Professor Nelson's caliber coming into the state," commented Nancy Tystad Koupal, director of the South Dakota State Historical Society Press. Nelson is an acknowledged authority on western homesteading and women's history.

Sunshine Always contains Alice Bower and Joseph Gossage's correspondence over 16 months and across 400 miles from Vermillion to Rapid City. The couple grew to know each other, developed a romantic relationship, got engaged, and finally married in the early 1880s.

Nelson edited their letters and diary entries and her introduction describes the fascinating era of their courtship. The roles of men and women's lives and the newspaper business in Dakota Territory provide an interesting backdrop to this story of romance.

"Nelson's dynamic style makes her presentations highly sought after," noted Koupal. "Her two talks as keynote speaker at the State Historical Society's History Conference in April were both well attended."

Nelson will also appear at:

Dakota Territorial Museum, Yankton � Saturday, July 7, 1:30 p.m.

Zandbroz Variety, Sioux Falls � Monday, July 9, 7 p.m.

George McGovern Library, Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell � Tuesday, July 10, 6 p.m.

Cultural Heritage Center, Pierre � Wednesday, July 11, 12 noon, in conjunction with the South Dakota Heritage Fund

Norbeck House Inn, Pierre � Thursday, July 12, 7 p.m. This event is generously supported by Prairie Pages Booksellers in Pierre.

Wild Burro Bookstore, Hot Springs � Saturday, July 14, 7 p.m.

Journey Museum, Rapid City � Sunday, July 15, 4:30 p.m.

For more information, please contact Martyn Beeny at (605) 773-8161 or martyn.beeny@state.sd.us, or visit www.sdshspress.com and click on "News."

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