Local News

Vintage photos just one activity at 150th

This weekend’s 150th birthday celebration for Hebron centers on historical activities and for those who weren’t around back in the day and want to have a little fun, the Old Time Photos event will place them at the 1953 tornado aftermath, on Lincoln Avenue before it was paved, at former schools or another location. 

“We’re using historic Hebron,” Cyndi Shinn, a Thayer County native and third grade teacher at Jefferson Intermediate in Fairbury. 

Shinn is using an app to super-impose dressed up subjects into vintage photos. She even has a green screen. 

“I’ve done the green screen for three or four years with my students,” she said. “We can do individual or groups.” 

The sessions are free and lots of props, like aprons, hats and other items, will help families go back in time, or they can bring their own vintage clothing and props. Old Time Photos will be by the gazebo in Roosevelt Park Sunday from 1 p.m., to 3 p.m.

Also on Sunday afternoon historical tours of Hebron will be provided with two trailers to escort buffs around town. Dave Cording will head up one of the trailers. 

Cording said the tour will cover the early days of Hebron before the tornado because that was the breaking point for many of Hebron’s buildings and homes. 

“We will talk about where things were located,” Cording said, mentioning the 1911 tornado that damaged a former school. “We’re going to talk about the grade school buildings.”

As a kindergartner, Cording attended school at the site of the current Southeast Community College Learning Center. The front door faced west and Cording’s class was relatively small until enrollment started booming. 

“They ran out of room, so we went to fourth and fifth grades in Sacred Heart’s annexed building. My graduation class had 47 students,” Cording recalled.   

The Hebron Journal Register’s history page told Cording there was a grade school between Jefferson and Holdrege Streets on 3rd Street used between 1889 and 1890. 

“Hardly anyone knows a grade school was there,” he said.

The tour will cruise Olive Avenue and focus on old houses. 

“We’ll do quite a bit at 5th and Olive. Several events happened there, including Women’s Suffrage,” Cording said. 

Moving on, Cording said the Sew Bee It Quilt Shop building on Lincoln Avenue was one of several structures created by C.C. Fletcher.

There could be up to 24 points of interest on the tours, which are being held from 1 p.m., to 3 p.m. 

A full schedule for Saturday and Sunday is on the Hebron 150 Facebook page. 

History fans may also enjoy the Tornado and Landmark videos being shown at the Majestic Theatre. Although the tornado video with John Kripal’s voice narrative was shown at the July 4 celebration, director Dakota Cherney has added interviews of Jackie Williamson, Eldon Kassebaum and Idonna Kripal, all of whom lived through the 1953 tornado. 

Cherney has also edited in more footage. The 20-minute video is now 60 minutes. 

In the Landmark video, narrators describe historic points, such as the Oregon Trail Marker off Highway 81, the Hebron canal and Lincoln Avenue’s brick street. 

The videos will be shown back-to-back Saturday and Sunday. Majestic Theatre will offer two free movies both days with “Cars” sponsored by Thayer Central Elementary Saturday, and on Sunday, The Three Stooges movie will be shown on the big screen, featuring Hebron-born actress, Maxine Gates. 

She was a tall, buxom actress, who once was the lucky draw for a dance partner at a street party in Hebron. 

Kassebaum thinks it was about 55 years ago when Maxine and her winning partner lost their balance at the dance.

“She was still in Hollywood. She fell on a guy named George Sittler,” Kassebaum said.

More history will be displayed as Linda Simonsen is coordinating a spot, like she did with the historical tent at the Cattlemen’s Ball last year.

Commerative merchandise was also decided on by the Hebron 150th Committee, and instructions on how to purchase the items will be available at the event.