Museum does Lee, Wimbledon proudThe Jamestown area is ready to celebrate one of its most famous residents who went on to become a household name. The wait has been worth it. Peggy Lee was born here but credited her time in Wimbledon, N.D., with forming her into the woman that she became.
The Jamestown area is ready to celebrate one of its most famous residents who went on to become a household name. The wait has been worth it.
Peggy Lee was born here but credited her time in Wimbledon, N.D., with forming her into the woman that she became.
The Midland Continental Wimbledon Depot Featuring Peggy Lee officially opens this weekend in Wimbledon. It pays homage to the singer who, four years after her high school graduation, was singing with Benny Goodman’s band on the national stage.
The museum is an inspiring tribute to the woman that’s been years in the making.
An all-day affair with music, a program and a picnic in Wimbledon on Saturday will honor the singer and the opening of the museum.
While many remember Lee for her music, it was her business sense and showmanship that set her apart from the pack. Aside from being a talented singer and actress, she was also a businesswoman, managing her own career.
That’s also something that can be traced back to her days as a North Dakotan.
Jamestown is fortunate to be part of the celebration with a tribute concert tonight in the Reiland Fine Arts Center, but Wimbledon has been dreaming of this day for decades.
Myrna Bultema in 2007 donated the seed money for the project in her will, setting aside $20,000 to get it rolling. It’s sad that she didn’t live to see the project completed, but it was her vision and funding that ultimately brought the project to fruition.
Bultema clearly had pride in her community. And Wimbledon had that same sense of pride in Lee.
There are stories in Wimbledon about how community members paid Lee’s way on the rail line from Wimbledon to Valley City when she first made a name for herself on the radio.
Lee, a jazz legend, was also a star of the silver screen and earned an Academy Award nomination for her role in the 1955 movie “Pete Kelly’s Blues.” She sculpted and painted whenever she wasn’t busy recording nearly 50 albums of music. Her accomplishments are too numerous to list here.
In 1937, Peggy Lee was Norma Delores Egstrom, growing up in rural North Dakota. She had dreams and the drive to make them come true. On the journey to fame and after, Lee never forgot her roots in North Dakota. She made her state proud.
Congratulations to Wimbledon and those who worked to keep Lee’s legacy alive. The museum does that, and more.
(Editorials are the opinion of Jamestown Sun management and the newspaper’s editorial board)