Sunday, September 17 2023, 2 PM, at Fort Walla Walla Museum, I have the privilege of portraying Ellen Margaret “Nellie” Gilliam Day, a woman ahead of her time. She’s part of the museum’s Living History Program, where her life story debuted last year. Nellie has also made Living History appearances as an interviewer, both live in an interview with the founders of Baker Boyer Bank, and on video with Walla Walla pioneer Lettice Millican Clark Reynolds (available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIuct0sjFvQ ).
Nellie was born in Polk County, Oregon, November 23, 1854. Her family moved to Walla Walla when she was five years old. Her life and experiences were different than those of most women at that time. In 1886 she was elected Walla Walla County School Superintendent, defeating her male opponent! Twenty years later she was hired by the Walla Walla Evening Bulletin as their first female employee. She eventually became Society Editor for the Walla Walla Bulletin and also wrote for the regional monthly publication Up-to-the-Times Magazine.
Nellie visits Fort Walla Walla Museum from September 1918, when the Great War in Europe and the Spanish Flu epidemic were in full swing. We hope you will join us to hear about those “current events” and other insights into Walla Walla history as lived and observed by Mrs. Day.
You can view the rest of the 2023 Fort Walla Walla Museum’s Living History schedule here: https://www.fwwm.org/living-history
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