Guest curator to speak on Sparta icon

Princess White Deer according to Pat Galperin


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  • Pat Galperin, Sparta resident and Mohawk scholar



SPARTA — Pat Galperin, Sparta resident, guest curator of the Van Kirk Homestead’s current fall exhibit, and published author, will trace the most successful and talented Mohawk entertainer in a presentation entitled “Princess White Deer: Her Life and Legacy.”

Princess White Deer, best known in Sussex County and forever tied to the Sparta community for dedicating Lake Mohawk in 1927 and having a plaza named in her honor, will be the subject of this special presentation outlining the remarkable and fascinating life of Esther Deer, known as Princess White Deer, a third generational Mohawk entertainer with a career that spans from Wild West Shows to the Russian stage, Vaudeville, Ziegfeld, and the footpath of Broadway. Her life inspired artists and scholars in the 21st century.

Known as a scholar in Mohawk Indian culture and affairs, Pat Galperin has been warmly received in the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory near Montreal, Canada with articles in The Eastern Door newspaper, a radio interview, a library talk, and evening lecture and presentation at Kahnawake Cultural Center (Kanien’keha:ká Onkwawén:na Raotitióhwa Cultural Center (KORCC)).

This historical program will be held on Thursday, November 16th at Sparta Presbyterian Church located at 32 Main Street from 7:00PM – 8:30PM. Following the presentation, refreshments will be served. Those attending will have a chance to ask questions about the topic or other issues relating to the history of Mohawk people. Pat Galperin’s published book, In Search of Princess White Deer: The Biography of Esther Deer, will also be available for purchase. Members are free, non-members $5

The Sparta Historical Society is located at The Van Kirk Homestead Museum at 336 Main Street (Rte. 517, use Middle School Driveway), Sparta. It will be open Sunday, November 12th, November 26th and December 10th with our Fall Exhibition on “Princess White Deer: A Women, A Mohawk, and A Legend” from 1-4 pm with 2PM talk. Further details or group reservations, call 973-726-0883 or Email: spartahistoricalsocnj@gmail.com.

Technology funding has been made available in part by the NJ Historical Commission through the County History Partnership Program, as administered by the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council.

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