Calista Jessey DuBay returns from the year 1857 to tell the story of the events in time leading up to, including and beyond August 15th when the men hired to complete the first canal, having used intimidation, threats, and betrayal, decided to built a structure on American Fur Company land where Calista and her husband lived. The land had long belonged to John Baptiste DuBay (Dube') per contract with Joseph Rolette.
Calista was born in Bridport, Vermont in 1833 her parents having traveled down the St. Lawrence River coming from a place in the British Isles during a period of mass starvation, disease. That great hunger was embedded in the minds of her parents. They moved to Pennsylvania then to Indiana before arriving and choosing to stay in Wisconsin. Her husband John Dube' was one of the most picturesque frontiersman to cross the Minnesota-Wisconsin-Michigan Territory, an interpreter for General Cass Territorial Governor, a voyageur, trader, stage coach owner and driver as well as one of the wealthiest men in the Wisconsin Territory.
On this day in history all was lost in a cruel plan to take DuBay's land by a type of eminent domain for the utility company and finalized by the lawyers who required him to sign over 160 acres plus buildings if he wanted a top-notch defense. He had been advised by his attorney to defend his land against encroachment. In telling her story, Calista's objective is to bring energy to the Portage area tourism and balance in how we depict history and our understanding of those who came before us.
Linda L. Burt currently lives in Olympia, WA with her husband, Tim Howell, an artist and their indoor pet rabbit, Minnie. Linda was born and raised in Wisconsin, first in Wisconsin Rapids/Biron, then after her father Jack (in 1958) entered the Methodist ministry they moved to Fairchild, then Colfax, and finally to Hazel Green where Wisconsin kind-of got away from them in a move – sight unseen – to Western Washington.
Linda adopted two children with her first husband. They participated in the airlift out of Vietnam the night Saigon fell and greeted a little seven month out girl until her new home in Omaha Nebraska could be reached. Ms. Burt chaired the Island Relocation Committee on Vashon Island, WA hosting a family with a professional father, a mother, six children. She arranged for a house with free-rent, furniture, food and two jobs. Linda is a certificated Paralegal, has a teacher's license with a B. A. in Education and Communication from Western Washington University. She received her MA. in Education majoring in the four arts: Dance, Drama, Visual and Music. Her first years of teaching were spent on Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands.
Linda is the daughter of the late Rev. Jack Burt, son of Fred W. Burt, son of William Burt, son of Fred W. Burt who married Celeste Eliza Jessey a sister to Calista who married John Baptiste DuBay (Dube'). Linda drove up to Portage alone last summer after her mother, Lorraine Bishop of Antigo, died of Bone Metastasis one week after diagnosis. Finding the Old Trading Post Grounds empty, without life, honor virtually abandoned and forgotten. The trip gave her a mission. She comes now to the land of her forefathers, hoping to raise the Log House and Trading Post as well as the Historical Tourism in the area as a Dedication to her own father and mother whose parents and grandparents were the frontiersmen of the Territory called Wisconsin.