The newest installment of “History Alive” plays by Jane Peck brings alive the stories of Civilian Conservation Corps boys and their dreams of vintage radio and music. Shown, from left, are Randy Wilson as Groucho Marx, Evan Thiss as a CCC worker and Val Tindall as the torch singer Connie Boswell.
The newest installment of “History Alive” plays by Jane Peck brings alive the stories of Civilian Conservation Corps boys and their dreams of vintage radio and music. Shown, from left, are Randy Wilson as Groucho Marx, Evan Thiss as a CCC worker and Val Tindall as the torch singer Connie Boswell.

Historic stories and characters will once again fill the streets of Lanesboro. Creator and director Jane Peck has written a brand-new version of the popular “Pop-up Plays” for the weekend of May 28 and 29.

“History Alive! 1930s Lanesboro with Pop-up Plays” will be presented through free, one-hour walking tours leaving from the Lanesboro History Museum at 1 and 3 p.m. each day. The walking tour is four blocks long with no hills to climb. Last year’s tour plays brought over 250 people to this lovely historic town.

This brand new set of plays, with music and dance, will feature Civilian Conservation Corps stories, 1930s radio enactments and a dance marathon by 27 area actors and musicians.

Peck has gathered the stories through interviews with area residents who remember 1930s Lanesboro and the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp (CCC). Several of the interviews were recorded by John Gaddo and will be in the Lanesboro Museum collection.

Lanesboro History Museum has a collection of CCC objects and writings dating back to the camp that was located on Highway 16, just south of town. The Lanesboro CCC camp dated 1934 to 1942.

There were eight other camps in southeast Minnesota formed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to reverse extreme erosion of area farmland and provide jobs to a nation of jobless and impoverished youth.

This year’s History Alive! Pop-up Plays will bring to life relatives and stories of the Olson, Taylor, Monlux, Langlie, Thompson, Devilliers, Mindrum/Hungerholt, Thoen, Bue, Dybing and Bergey families. Many of the businesses of 1930s Lanesboro are included as well.

Peck, now a Lanesboro resident, has researched and written music and dance-filled plays about Minnesota history for much of her career; primarily in the Twin Cities.

Funding for this project was made possible by the taxpayers of Minnesota and the State Legislature Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, through Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council.