South Dakota woman "Rediscovering Dorothy" from Wizard of Oz - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

South Dakota woman "Rediscovering Dorothy" from Wizard of Oz

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She's a courageous girl trying to make her way through an unknown land, helping incomplete men find what they need along the way.

"So even though you may never have heard of Matilda Joslyn Gage's name you know her spirit because it comes through in the character of Dorothy," said Carey Graeber.

Gage was L. Frank Baum's mother-in-law.

A dry goods store owner in Aberdeen, Baum wrote "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and thirteen other novel sequels. Turns out they really weren't in Kansas anymore.

"The opening setting in Kansas that description really was more describing the Dakotas because there had been a drought while he had been in Aberdeen," said Graeber. "That's one of the reasons why his store wasn't successful, and so the idea is that he didn't want to embarrass his family by saying Dakota."

Graeber is also an Aberdeen native, and telling the story behind the character of Dorothy has become her passion project. She's creating a documentary called "Rediscovering Dorothy" and Gage, or the original Dorothy, is as the center of the story.

"Turns out she was the architect of the women's suffrage movement. She was a lot of the brains behind the fight to get out the vote, and she was written out of history by Susan B. Anthony," said Graeber.

She wants to keep Gage's spirit alive through the documentary, making sure this courageous women's legacy lives on.

"When you find out a woman who was really, really important and she's been left out of history... women have been left out of history in general, but then to find someone that other women didn't help stay in history you say that's a correction that needs to be made."

If you're interested in donating to this project, click on this link:

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