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Opal Whiteley’s Fairyland Diaries
November 17 • 10:00 am - 12:00 pm• Free
Opal Whiteley’s Fairyland Diaries, over 180 unexplored diary entries. Talk by Steve Williamson, Sat. Nov. 17th, 10 am, Cottage Grove Community Center, 7th and Gibbs info: www.opalnet.org FREE
Did Opal Whiteley leave any diaries besides those in her best-selling childhood book? Historian Steve Williamson will present over 180 mostly overlooked diary entries of Opal Whiteley’s buried within her first book, The Fairyland Around Us, a science textbook for teaching young people both nature and spirituality. These “Fairyland Diaries” describe her life growing up in the Oregon woods and the wonders of nature that she found.
The Cottage Grove Historical Society will host Williamson’s talk on Saturday, November 17th at 10 AM in the Community Center at 7th and Gibbs. Admission is free. This event will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Opal’s publishing of The Fairyland Around Us and her nature diaries.
Williamson’s research will show that many of these entries date from when Opal was nine and ten years old, on up to her teenage years. These diary entries are a gold mine of new, perhaps controversial information about her early life. Biographers have mentioned a few entries but, no one has collected them in their original diary form.
Over thirty new pets are introduced in the “Fairyland Diaries” such as a deer named Maurine, her pet skunk Julius Caesar Napoleon and a chipmunk called Pandora. His talk will also answer questions such as if her childhood diary was really torn up by an angry sister as Opal said, and what later happened to its fragments.
Williamson will show the complete “Fairyland Diaries” online with his research notes at www.opalnet.org. These diary entries will open up a rich vein of her writings for researchers, fans and even critics. Schools will also find this website helpful in teaching about Opal Whiteley or diary writing. For more information, contact Steve Williamson.