Meet YOur Tour Guides

William Deardoff

William Deardoff is a veteran educator of 25 years with Omaha Public Schools and is presently teaching in Bennington Public Schools. His Bachelor and Masters degrees are from UNO, where his love of Omaha History was influenced by his teachers Orville Menard, Harl Dahlstrom and Charles Gildersleeve. He has been involved with Omaha history projects for years. At OPS he developed and taught an Omaha History class with Pat Ryan. His love for sharing Omaha history has lead him to give numerous tours around Omaha to groups ranging from grade school age to college to adult groups. Deardoff leads our popular Last Call for Alcohol: Omaha’s Bootlegging History tour.

Michaela Fricke

Michaela Fricke leads our Remember the Ladies! The Women of Early Omaha tour. Michaela was born and raised in Omaha and received her Bachelor’s Degree in History and Geography from Wayne State College. She is passionate about early Omaha history as well as late 19th century to early 20th century women’s history. A couple of her favorite female historians and role models include Laurel Thatcher Ulrich and Lori Ginzberg. Michaela has over 10 years of experience giving history tours to groups ranging from grade school age to adult groups.


jean and lee johnson

Retired teacher and UNL graduate, Jean Johnson has been volunteering her talents at The Durham Museum since 1991. She is a long-time museum docent and her signature tour, From Expositions to Jazz Musicians, is an outgrowth of the museum’s Building our City tour, which highlights the incredible history of the Trans-Mississippi & International Exposition, as well as surrounding neighborhoods including Historic North 24th Street. Jean also has a passion for art and leads our guided museum tours and teaches visitors about the art deco architecture of Union Station. Jean teams up with her husband Lee Johnson for Parks and Boulevards, which explores the beautiful parks and boulevard system Omaha began developing in the late 1800s. Lee is also a UNL grad with an advanced degree from UNO. After nine years in education, he partnered a start-up third party administration firm for self-funded health plans. Now fully retired, Lee has watched Jean enjoy her tours and decided to join the fun. His memories for the building as a train depot, with its crowds, sights and sounds, go back to the early 1950s when his grandparents arrived by train from St. Louis.

Mick HaleMiCK HALE

Mick Hale is the Director of Education Services at The Durham Museum. Mick rejoined the museum in December 2023, having served in this role from 2005-2015. He is responsible for the development and delivery of content for all ages and audiences. In addition to his work with informal education the past 20 years, Mick had an 18-year teaching career in Omaha and the surrounding area. He has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Peru State College and a master’s degree in secondary administration from Concordia University. For the 2024 RCHT Season, Mick leads our Omaha & The Presidents, Happy Hour History and PresFest tours.


Kyle Chattleton is a public historian who coordinates and delivers The Durham Museum’s public programming. Originally from Southern California, Kyle graduated from Chapman University before studying the history of local protests and sounds in Charlottesville and at the University of Virginia, where he earned his PhD in 2022. Prior to working at The Durham Museum, he led over 2,000 tours for over 30,000 visitors at Monticello, the historic home and plantation of Thomas Jefferson. Kyle is excited to help lead the new programs for the 2024 River City History Tour season: Omaha & The Presidents, Happy Hour History, and the PresFest series.


A practicing historian and father of three children, Troy Stolp was born in Omaha, and grew up in Council Bluffs. He graduated from Lewis Central High School in 1990 and afterward obtained a BA in Anthropology and Religious Studies from Iowa State University, a BA in History from Buena Vista University, and an MA in History from UNO. He has worked in human services in various capacities since 1994 and has been at Lewis Central Schools since 2013 (where he is also the chess coach). Troy has been on the Board of Directors for Preserve Council Bluffs, a judge for National History Day and is happy to have served on the Council Bluffs Historic Preservation Commission. Troy leads The Durham Musuem’s Downtown Omaha Walking Tours and PresFest RCHT tours, and can be spotted on many of the museum’s other educational programs.

Check out the Full Schedule of River City History Tours »