Hand carved sign
Meeting House 1980
RE 1982
Kazoo marching band 1983

 Prairie 50th Anniversary Page

Prairie's Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration is for EVERYONE!
(September 16 and 17, 2017)

You don't have to be a history buff or a long-time member to attend and ENJOY one or both of Prairie's 50th Anniversary celebrations. They are scheduled for Saturday night, September 16, and Sunday, September 17.

September 16
The highlight of the wine and cheese get-together on Saturday will be the opening of the "time capsule" from 1985. Don't you wonder what Prairie people wrote back then in those 56 different sealed letters? Some 32 were written to Prairie people in general, and another 24 were written to specific individuals. This mostly informal event will also be a chance to peruse the history items on display. Each will be accompanied at least by small card of information or possibly the entire article slated for the history book. Non-alcoholic beverages will be available.

The Wine and Cheese evening starts at 7:00 pm. Although it's not required, if you want to bring a bottle of wine or other beverage to share or a plate of cheese, those items will be welcome.

September 17
Sunday will be the big day - the 10:00 am service, a potluck, more time to view history displays both in the meeting house and at the Annex (including video footage from LONG ago), and actual guided tours of the buildings and grounds.

At the Sunday service, we will be honoring everyone who attends, starting with those in R.E., who are the hope of the church, and then continuing decade by decade with some history highlights from each ten years. A different spokesperson from each decade will give us a 4-minute talk about that time period. We'll also see who joined in each decade - since we will ask those who joined in each particular decade to stand at various times in the service. Long-time member or newbie, every one of us is important. Don't worry if you can't remember when you joined. Special nametags just for the anniversary events will "tell you" (and everyone else) which decade you signed the membership book.

For the noon meal, bring a potluck item if you can. While the potluck is being set up, again there will be time to look at the history displays in the meeting room and lobby. Then, after eating, peruse history displays you didn't have a chance to take in, join a guided tour of the meeting house, the grounds, or the Annex. Guides will be stationed on each floor of the buildings. The Annex will have additional history displays. Even if you've been here "forever," we are guessing you will learn something new if you take a tour.

The Book
Finally, the book. While the History Committee is sad to say that we won't have printed copies available just yet, we can guarantee that Prairie UU Society: Fifty Years in the Life of a Congregation, 1967-2017 will get done, AND we will schedule still another celebration when we have the book in hand. Meanwhile, return your RSVP with the "want a copy" box checked, or sign on the clipboard that will be at the September 16 and 17 events. For the curious ones, one of the history displays will be our binders that contain the articles and photos that will be in the book. People at our retreat in May were pretty impressed, and we've added more articles since then.

So... are you convinced? Hope to see you in mid-September at our Fiftieth Anniversary celebration.

Photos before 2000

Meeting House Remodeling
Prairie Dedications 1983
RE program
RE Teacher Retreats
1972-89 slide show*
1990s slide show*

Recent photos of

Rented locations 1 & 2
Rented locations 3 & 4

*Place cursor over photo to pause a slide show. In many cases this will also cause the names of those shown to pop up. Use the row of blue buttons to jump forward or backward in time.

Intro and Ukulele Orchestra Sept. 16, 2017
Video 1 (7 min.)
Video 2 (2½ min.)

Prairie History
1971-1973 film
The sequence of events in this 15 min. silent film is as follows:

Film leader (33 sec)
1971 at YWCA Seder service with Dave Meyer, minister
1971 at YWCA Celebratory service with folk dancing
1971 July 4th Prairie picnic at Charley and Hermine Davidson's on Lake Monona
1972 Prairie Chicken Pluckers practice session...site unknown
1972 Prairie land (Raymond Rd. and Gammon) hillside picnic
1973 Portal Foster Center (West Lawn Ave. ) George Calden's service on Marriage...couples dancing
1973 outside Portal Foster
1973 Portal Foster Service on Theodorakis
        George and Ginny Calden, Syrtaki Dance
        Congregation dances

View film

Key Events in Prairie History - Audio Recordings
5/31/1987A Plan for Prairie - Architect's PlansEd Sullivan (special meeting on Meeting House remodeling)
10/25/1992Gee, It Doesn't Seem that Long.... Prairie's 25th Anniversary CelebrationPat Cautley, George Calden, Warren Hagstrom, Bob Koehl
11/30/2008Prairie ReflectionsRuth Calden, Warren Hagstrom, Doleta Chapru, Al Nettleton
9/17/2017Fifty Years at Prairie -
A Celebration of Every Decade
Marty Drapkin, Rachel Long, Robin Proud, Johanna Hatch
3/25/2018Meeting House RemodelingRachel Long, John Wunderlin, Al Nettleton, Tom Robinson, Penny Eiler, Martin Arnold, Gary Gates, Jessie, Karen Deaton
4/27/2019Prairie History Book Launch PartyMary Mullen, Barb Park, Rosemary Dorney, Al Nettleton, Ruth Calden, Peter Anderson, Johanna Hatch, Anne Pryor
History book info
Archives Portal
Updated April 27, 2023, by Archives Committee