Douglas County Historical Society’s (DCHS) monthly book club, Reader’s Circle, announces its February meeting which will be on Wednesday, February 22 at Noon at the General Crook House Museum.
February’s book will be Hector’s Bliss: Black Homesteaders at Goose Lake, NE by Dennis Vossberg. This book is an official selection of the Nebraska 150 Celebrations.
Prior to initial research of the book, Vossberg for years he had heard vague rumors about a seemingly out-of-place settlement of 12 to 15 black families with postal address of Bliss, for the name of the first area family that had the post office in their home.
Hector’s Bliss tells the surprising and improbable story of former slaves who claimed homesteads during the 1880s in the sandhills of Wheeler County south of O’Neill, Nebraska. Hector Dixon and his companions were lured to the area by promises of fertile soil and ample rain. However, upon arrival they found they had staked their futures on 160 acres of dry, sandy land. Against nearly insurmountable odds Hector Dixon and a few of the most determined of these homesteaders scratched out a meager living until the end of World War I, and then disappeared.
Reader’s Circle meets on the last Wednesday of each month except for December and selects books that are either from a Douglas County author or relate to Douglas County history. However, in honor of the state’s sesquicentennial celebrations the scope is being expanded to include selections on the Nebraska 150 official reading list.
Attendees to each meeting will be offered coffee along with an assorted tray of treats provided by local favorite, Dugger’s Café.
If you are interested in participating in the Reader’s Circle, please call 402-455-9990 ext. 101 or email Members@DouglasCoHistory.org. Cost to participate is $5 for members and $10 for non members.