Fall lecture series chronicles Freeport history

Staff Report

FREEPORT, Ill. — Everything from an American author to art collections, from toys to silver spoons will be covered in a fall lecture series presented by the Stephneson County Museum and the Freeport Public Library Foundation.

All lectures begin at 7 p.m., will be at Freeport Public Library and are open to the public free of charge.

Highland Community College English and Philosophy instructor Dr. Paul Giaimo will discuss the writings of Don DeLillo Tuesday, Oct. 4. DeLillo is an American author and playwright whose works paint a detailed portrait of American life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. In July 2011, Praeger Press published Giaimo’s book, Appreciating Don DeLillo: The Moral Force of A Writer’s Work.

Structo Toys will be the topic of a presentation by Randy Prasse Wednesday, Oct. 12. Structo Manufacturing produced toys in Freeport from 1911 to the late 1970s, creating an array of metal and plastic toys for boys and girls. Highly collectible today, Structo products will be discussed by one of Freeport’s leading collectors.

In the early decades of the 20th century, a Freeport company, Dirksen Filigree Silver Company, produced intricate and beautiful patterns of forks, spoons, knives and serving utensils. Freeport collector Tom Mordini will discuss the history of the Dirksen company Monday, Oct. 17. He will also display examples of Dirksen silver from his own collection.

An important leader in the early history of the Freeport Art Museum was Philip B. Dedrick. A Freeport native who taught art at Rockford College for many years, he was responsible for making significant contributions to the collection and building a national reputation for the Freeport Art Museum. Thursday, Oct. 27, Jessica J. Caddell, Collections manager at the Freeport Art Museum, will present a lecture about Dedrick, his wide-ranging collection and his role in development of the Freeport Art Museum.

Cookies and coffee will be served at every lecture.

From the Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2011, issue

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