Fiddle Music Comes to Tiskilwa’s Museum Lawn on September 5

With a program entitled “Music, Mussels, and Moonshine: Migrant Workers in the Early 20th Century along the Mississippi,” the Tiskilwa Historical Society will kick off its fall lineup of free programs. Everyone is invited to toss lawn chairs or blankets into the car and come on down to find a shady spot on the Museum on Main’s west lawn. The 3:00 p.m. program will last about an hour, and special “cooling off” treats will put a cap on the afternoon fun.

By incorporating oral history, a photo board, and toe-tapping fiddle music, nationally recognized musician and historian Dennis Stroughmatt will guide his audience on an exciting voyage of discovery. Dennis finds his inspiration in the large communities of river-based folks who worked all across Illinois more than 100 years ago.


In fact, the Midwest and Upper South were once home to thousands of migrant families who lived and worked on and near rivers as sharecroppers, fishermen, mussel shellers, button cutters, traveling minstrels, and even moonshiners! They worked hard, but they played hard too, reveling in the lively music they heard in Memphis and St. Louis.


Dennis holds a master’s degree in history from SIU-Carbondale and a Certificate of French Quebecois Studies in Quebec. He is not only a musician but a passionate educator who entertains as he teaches. As a part ofIllinois Humanities Council’s program of Road Scholars, Dennis’s performance is made possible through the IHC, the organization that underwrites his program.


Photo: Nationally known fiddler Dennis Stroughmatt will present the program "Music, Mussels, and Moonshine" in an outdoor concert on Sunday, September 5, at 3:00 p.m. at Tiskilwa's Museum on Main.

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