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Spruce Hill Church to host summerfest picnic

Author Mildred Dahl will be honored at the Spruce Hill Church Summerfest.

The Spruce Hill Church Summerfest and Picnic will be held Sunday, June 21 at 1:30 p.m. The event will honor Mildred Anderson Dahl as a historian of Spruce Hill Township and many of its early settlers.

As guest speaker, Dahl will tell the story of a Douglas County Fair project that developed into the 1996 publication of Spruce Hill Remembered.

Her story began one afternoon in the 1930s when she told her father of the assignment. He assembled a pencil, ruler and the back page of a grocery ad. Together, they platted out a six-square-mile map of Spruce Hill, complete with every village, every road, creek bed and landowner entrance.

With map in hand, they drove slowly past each place while her father related the history of the early settlers. Through this, she became obsessed with history, and made a promise to herself to someday see it all in print.

It took a lot of years and a lot of stumbling blocks before she realized that dream.

The public is invited to hear her story as she followed a childhood dream into the literary world.

Spruce Hill Remembered, recognized by the Library of Congress as one of the best township history books in the nation, is now in its second printing. The public will have an opportunity to meet Dahl and have refreshments during a book signing at Cherry Street Books on Saturday, June 20 beginning at 2 p.m.

The book will be available for $50 on the day of the signing, at Spruce Hill Church on the day of the picnic, and at the Douglas County Historical Society in Alexandria.