Christmas Past

archive1Mary Alice Moore, the Archives Curator at the Mineral Point Public Library, thoughtfully creates a new presentation each month in the library’s three display cases, one on each floor. Recent showcases have included the subjects of vintage football, Japan, and Ava and Max Fernekes. This month you’ll find old Christmas cards from Pointers you may recognize, Little Golden Books from Christmases past, and artwork from Mary Alice’s childhood friend, Barbara Fernekes.

Here is Mary Alice on her process of curating the cases each month:

How long have you been creating the displays?

Ever since I took over the curatorship in 2003, I’ve been doing the case outside of the Archives. Then, after the remodel, (library director) Barb Polizzi asked me if I would be interested in putting something in the other two also. Bulletin boards and displays have always been something that I am used to and enjoy since my teaching days.



What do you think your most popular displays have been?

Oh, I don’t know. I have received positive comments on practically every display. I have taken photos of each and kept them on file in case I ever want to use that idea again. I have dozens of photos. The material in the Archives provide innumerable ideas for interesting displays along with the many collectibles that I have at home that I include in some of the cases.

The case upstairs outside the archives room displays the work of the daughter of Max and Ava Fernekes. Can you tell me a little about the work?

Barbara Fernekes and I grew up together. We were high school friends, attended each other’s weddings, and have kept up a correspondence through the years. I knew her parents, Max and Ava, and her younger sister, Julie, well. Each Christmas, Barbara would send her colorful whimsical woodblock Christmas cards, which I have saved through the years. Barbara’ s artistic style is similar to her mother’s. Her sister, Julie, was also an artist in her own right, thus the entire family were extremely talented artists.

The display case downstairs contain some classic Little Golden Books, along with Christmas cards of some familiar names in Mineral Point. Do they belong to you?

case1The Golden Books have been part of my Christmas book collection since my own children were young. They were used also during the years of my preschool and by my grandchildren. They’ve had a lot of use and still in pretty good shape. I have always saved the picture Christmas cards – too precious to toss. They bring back a lot of memories of the children and families pictured.

Thank you, Mary Alice, for saving and sharing Mineral Point’s history!

– Contributed by Susan Webb

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Christmas All Year Long

There’s a place in town where it always feels like Christmas, and that’s Berget Jewelers.

10846455_821647627894688_115624507087127271_nThe Berget’s building at 257 High Street was built in the 1840’s, and is one of the oldest buildings on High Street.  Over the years it has been the town’s first library, the town’s post office, headquarters for a stagecoach company, a saloon, a harness and wagon shop, a doctor’s office, a needlecraft shop, a dress shop, a shoe repair shop and now – a jewelry store, and year-round Christmas destination. If you love Christmas you can’t help but love Berget’s.

This year marks the 25th Christmas that owner Chris Phillipson has been running Berget’s.

Why is it called Berget’s you might ask? Chris’ husband Dave bought Berget Jewelers in Argyle from Caspar Berget, and runs that store to this day. The Argyle Berget’s first opened in 1904.  The Phillipson’s opened the Mineral Point store in 1990.

Chris started the year-round Christmas room in 1993.

Not surprisingly, Chris says “Christmas is the best time of year.” She loves having kids come in the store and watching them grow up over the years. She is now seeing a second generation of customers. “It makes me feel old, but I love it.”

Chris not only works for Berget’s, but she spends countless volunteer hours helping the town as a whole. She organizes the massive city-wide garage sales twice a year, serves on the Chamber Board and the Tourism Commission, and is known far and wide as a one-woman ticket-master, selling tickets for most events in town.


Chris relies on good old-fashioned word of mouth for marketing. She has no Facebook page, no website, no e-mail, and certainly no online shopping. If you want to shop at Berget’s you have to go to Berget’s.

To thank Chris for all the time she spends volunteering for Mineral Point, let’s all do a little last-minute Christmas shopping at Berget’s.  You’re sure to find something for everyone on your list. She will be open every day between now and Christmas.






photo-241 If you can’t find what you’re looking for, just ask Chris and she’ll be happy to help.


Even the Christmas lights outside Berget’s seem to say WOW.









Merry Christmas Chris!

Contributed by the Hays




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Filmzmp Is A Go

photo-205filmzmp exceeded its financial goal and is good to go.

The group has over seventy members, and will continue to welcome newcomers.

filmzmp will kick off the 2015 season, on Sunday, January 11th, with a screening of “The Auction.” Click here to watch the trailer. Subsequent films will be shown on the second Sunday of every month except for July and December. Social hour with beverages and a snack will begin at 5pm followed by the film at 6pm.

Anyone who enjoys films is encouraged to join. Send your membership fee of $75 to filmzmp, P. O. Box 24, Mineral Point, WI 53565.

- Contributed by the Hays

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Soup’s On!

10151952_10152360978042346_2925148652273073883_nToday’s Wisconsin State Journal recognized what many here already know – that the Gray Dog Deli has great soup.

Click here to read the article, which features Soup Chef Tasha Goral’s “Gray Dog Chicken Barley Chowder.”

This is just one of many wonderful soups at Gray Dog, located in the heart of Mineral Point, at 215 High Street.

- Contributed by the Hays

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Sometimes You Feel Like A Nutcracker

Attending the Nutcracker Ballet is one of the best ways to get in the holiday spirit. Tchaikovsky’s magical Christmas fairy tale ballet is sure to leave visions of sugar plums dancing in your head.

This weekend, the Nutcracker returns to the Mineral Point Opera House for four magical performances – fun for the whole family.

Here is the schedule:

Friday, December 12th, 7:30 pm

Saturday, December 13th, 2:30

Saturday, December 13th,  7:30 pm

Sunday, December 14th, 2:30 pm

Tickets ($10 for balcony, $12 for main floor) can be purchased at Berget Jewelry, online (click here) or at the door.

Notably, Roland Sardeson reprises his role as Drosselmeyer and will be in all performances.  Other cast members from Mineral Point (pictured below) include: Emily Graber, Libby Dunn, Laurianna Dannenberg, Josie Dunn, Emma Federman, Ellie Webb, Cecelia Stanton. Back: Summer Hammille, Nettie Potter, Mika Freeman, Stephanie Wilson, Angela Hendrick, Roland Sardeson, Evelynn Hendrick, Andrea Dannenberg, Alex Hendrick, Monica Dunn.


Mineral Point is very fortunate to have the Theatre of Ballet Arts, Inc. (TOBA), and its Artistic Director Summer Hammille, located here in town. TOBA is a non-profit, charitable, volunteer organization dedicated to bringing the dance arts to the citizens of Southwest Wisconsin.

The Nutcracker has been an every other year production for TOBA, so be sure to come this weekend, or you may have to wait until 2016.

- Contributed by the Hays





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