Sesquicentennial presentations continue at Meehan Memorial Lansing Public Library with pair of historic programs in August

Meehan Memorial Lansing Public Library is continuing its series of Sesquicentennial presentations with a pair of events scheduled for the first two weeks in August. A presentation entitled “Explosion of Steamboat James Malbon 1872 at North McGregor,” which is now Marquette, is scheduled for Thursday, August 3 and a Thursday, August 10 presentation is entitled “Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln’s Body Guard.”

“Explosion of Steamboat James Malbon 1872 at North McGregor” is a PowerPoint program created by Robert Taunt with many photographs and visual effects. The program begins at 6:30 p.m., with hotdogs/brownies being served at 5:30 p.m.

Taunt is an Upper Mississippi River historian and writer, with special interests in steamboating and George Byron Merrick, Wisconsin’s Mark Twain. Taunt has written a brief history of the steamboat War Eagle, the Explosion of the Steamer James Malbon, and several other publications about steamboating. He organized a commemoration entitled “War Eagle Days” in La Crosse, WI and has given talks at the Wisconsin Historical Society, Effigy Mounds, and for many state and local groups. He has been a guest speaker on the Julius C. Wilkie, the Julia Belle Swain and the Belle of Peoria steamboats, and has welcomed many Delta Queen boat visitors to La Crosse, WI. Taunt is a past president of the La Crosse County Historical Society, and is currently a member of the Norskedalen Heritage Site.

The Thursday, August 10 program is a special appearance by Bob O’Conner on the subject of “Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln’s Body Guard.” It is an authentic program in period attire based on years of research. The presentation will feature unique first-person interpretation starting with the meeting of Lamon and Lincoln through their times on the 8th Judicial Circuit, the Republican National Convention, the train from Springfield, IL to the inauguration in Washington, the sneaking of Lincoln through Baltimore, the years of the Lincoln presidency, the Lincoln assassination, and the Lincoln funeral train.

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