Meet Our Tour Guides
Her passion for architecture, history and working with people are just a few of the things that make Janey Dann one of the museum’s most beloved volunteers. A lifelong Omaha resident, Dann enjoys sharing her immense knowledge of local history and art deco architecture with museum guests. Dann leads our Millionaires and Mansions tours. These tours focus on 40 Omaha mansions and the millionaire pioneers whose generosity and community involvement built our great city.
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” tour.
Michaela Fricke, Durham Museum Education Programs Manager, leads our newest tour: “Remember the Ladies.” Michaela was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska 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. As a Durham Education staff member, Michaela has given numerous Omaha 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 on her original tour plus a tour newer to the line-up, 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 ‘50s when his grandparents would arrive by train from St. Louis.