Dowagiac Area History Museum announces spring lecture series

Published 8:28 am Friday, March 1, 2019

DOWAGIAC — The Dowagiac Area History Museum recently announced its 2019 Spring Lecture Series, kicking off at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6 with Sandy Sager, a genealogist from Niles and volunteer at the Niles History Center, presenting “Service and Sacrifice: Contributions of World War I Nurses.” The lecture series runs through June.

Sandy Sager’s program will examine the role of World War I nurses from the U.S., primarily told through the stories of two local nurses. Julia Stahl, of Dowagiac and a great-aunt of Sager, was 42 years old and a respected nurse when she volunteered to enter the Red Cross in 1917. After training, Stahl was sent to France, where she worked in primary and field hospitals near the front lines.

Gladys Lyon, of Galien and Buchanan in Berrien County, also enlisted in the Red Cross in 1917. After an assignment at Fort Custer in Battle Creek, Lyon was sent overseas to work in the hospitals at the front. “The stories of Julia Stahl and Gladys Lyon are inspiring. They volunteered to serve their country and saw the horrors of war firsthand,” Sager said.

The lecture series continues April 3 with “The Birch Bark Booklets of Simon Pokago”  by Blair Topash-Caldwell of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi. The May 1 program will feature Don Lyons of the Heddon Museum presenting The Heddons and Their Bait. The museum is still finalizing the June 5 program.   

The program is free to museum members and $5 for non-members. Children under 18 are admitted free. Membership will be available at the museum. The museum is at the corner of Division and West Railroad streets. For more information, call the museum at (269) 783-2560 or visit