Green Bay Press-Gazette from Green Bay, Wisconsin on September 9, 1990 · Page 6
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Green Bay Press-Gazette from Green Bay, Wisconsin · Page 6

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Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Sunday, September 9, 1990
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Page 6
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A6 NATION Sunday, September 9, 1990 Green Bay Press-Gazette Steel doors to spruced-up Ellis Island reopen Monday i i ByJJudle Glave . Associated Press EW YORK : Ellis Island, reclaimed from ruins and restored witji theaters and exhibits depict-ingi the immigrant experience, is ready for the masses once again. tlien the great steel doors are 8wing open to the public Monday ight years and $156 million after i restoration work began thofee who pass through can drink in Old World ambience through sight, sound and touch. The Ellis Island Immigration Museum is dedicated to the 12 million unknowns who entered the so-caljed Golden Door, such as the Schneider family from Switzerland whp came in 1920 and Tong Ly Jue, whj left Canton, China, in 1880. Thir stories are among several displayed. 'It is an everyman's museum," sail Diana Pardue, the island's chif curator. IJecause nearly half of all American's can trace their immigrant beginnings back to Ellis Island, "it's a museum that relates to everyone's personal experiences," she said. he depth of the nation's feel- "11 is an everyman's museum." Diana Pardue, Ellis Island chief curator ings about its immigrant roots is seen in the wealth of objects donated for the "Treasures From Home" exhibit: delicate handmade lace fans from Spain; yard-tall black leather boots with hand-embroidered toes from the Ukraine; and a candy wrapper lovingly preserved some 57 years by Nathan Solomon, a Polish Jew. "A lot of people had these objects in their attics for years and didn't know what to do with them," Pardue says. "They're thrilled knowing someone is interested and someone will preserve them." The museum, which opens with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, will be filled with more than 2,000 artifacts, 1,500 photographs, oral histories, a library, two theaters, a children's learning center and several interactive exhibits. In one, visitors can take the actual citizenship test given to immigrants. From the cattle-like queue gates through which thousands of steerage passengers were herded into the formal, courtroom-like setting of the Special Board of Inquiry room, visitors can learn what immigrants faced before being accepted or rejected as new Americans. It's been 25 years since President Johnson turned the island over to the National Parks Service, with the proviso it be made into a national museum honoring U.S. immigrants. When Ellis Island officially was closed in 1954, "The government just turned everything off and left," National Parks ranger Donna Bentley said during a recent tour. The building sat untouched and uncared for until 1986. Windows were broken. The roof leaked. Chunks of plaster littered floors, and mold covered the walls. Scavengers had ripped fixtures from the walls, leaving behind gaping holes. It took two years to dry out the interior. Pardue said the building was so dank, "We actually had a 5-foot-high sapling growing in 'the middle of one room." Iff " : lata (fe & b Mfeff (Smb Ugb G , . mil mi r m m wj i m rm m, Heartbreak of boy's kidnapping remains By Frank Santiago Gannett News Service DES MOINES, Iowa The mystery continues and the emotional scars remain for Noreen and John Gosch, whose son Johnny was last seen delivering newspapers eight years ago. "People say it probably gets easier with time, but the reverse is true," Noreen Gosch said. "It might be easier if this had been resolved and we could get on with the healing process. That's not possible. We're left swinging on a trapeze." On Sept. 5, 1982, Johnny Gosch, then 12, is believed to have been abducted near his home. Bundles of undelivered Des Moines Sunday Registers stacked in his wagon were found two blocks from where he picked them up. Two years later, on Aug. 12, Eugene Martin, 13, also a Sunday Register carrier, was last seen fold- ing newspapers a few blocks from his home. Although similar, the two cases haven't been linked. Thousands of leads, including several ajleged " sightings, have gone nowhere. There have been no ransom notes, no arrests, no agreement among the FBI, state and local investigators as to what happened and who may be responsible. Last year, the Gosches, declaring there was no reason to keep their son's room a shrine, cleared away his belongings. Noreen Gosch said the investigation, which has wound down, remains active. She said that rarely does a week go by that the West Des Moines Police Department doesn't get some call about the case. The Gosches continue to make occasional public appearances on behalf of missing children, and they are sought by parents asking help in coping with the disappearance of a child. They are expected to be in New York soon for the taping of a Ger-aldo show to discuss the case. "We haven't changed our feelings about what happened. We believe that the kidnapping was organized and that Johnny was taken out of the area. It certainly sounded like it was well organized," Noreen Gosch said. She said she and her husband plan no memorials. "We're both going to work. We're not letting the sadness get the best of us. As you get closer to the day, the little memories of what he said and what he did still come to mind and they tear you up," she said. 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