Historical Re-enactor at Creek Days


ODEBOLT, IOWA -  Nationally acclaimed Historical Re-enactor Darrel Draper will bring J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day, back to life in his costumed “edu-taining” (educational + entertaining) presentation, “J. Sterling Morton: Author of Arbor Day” in Odebolt during Creek Days.  His presentation will be at 10:30 on Saturday, June 20th, at the Heritage Square Park in the Outdoor Classroom of the Iowa Rural Schools Museum, 2nd Street in downtown Odebolt.

April, 2015 marked the 143rd anniversary of Arbor Day, a unique holiday that began as a speech by Morton to Nebraska legislators in 1872.  An ardent and early proponent of forestation, Morton had for many years urged Nebraska to set aside a day, Arbor Day, to encourage the planting of trees.

The holiday was first observed in April 1872 and proved an enormous success; more than a million trees were planted on that first Arbor Day. Since 1885, Arbor Day has been a public holiday in Nebraska, as well as all over the US, and is celebrated along with Earth Day on April 22, in honor of Morton's birth.

Draper wrote and debuted the Morton presentation ten years ago.  Since then, he has toured all over the Midwest, and is one of the most requested speakers in the Nebraska Humanities Council Speaker’s Bureau program.

Darrel Draper, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Morton, has been described by audience members as “an awesome and absolutely wonderful performer” who is able to transport listeners back in time to the era of his characters.  His humorous delivery, sound research, knowledge of history, and the use of interactive audience participation have delighted audiences aged 8 to 80.

Draper’s performance is sponsored by the Rural Legacy Project and is made possible with help from a grant from the Nebraska Humanities Council, Humanities Iowa, and donors to the Iowa Rural Schools Museum of Odebolt.

Visit Darrel Draper's website

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