MOUNT VERNON – What do you think of when you hear the name The Donner Party? For most, it brings to mind a group of people snowbound and surviving by breaking the taboo of cannibalism. Although most wagon trains west got through with nearly all surviving, the Donner Party sticks out because 36 members died, 25 resorting to eating the flesh of the dead to survive.
Most people in Knox County don’t realize there is a direct connection between Mount Vernon, Ohio, and the tragedy that beset the Donner Party. The connection that Mike Petee will present involves a book written by a man born and raised in Mount Vernon named Lansford W. Hastings, generally scapegoated as the cause of the Donner Party tragedy. Mike will present the history of the Donner’s journey west and defend Hastings, pointing out the decisions and circumstances that lead to so many deaths.
This presentation will occur as part of the Chautauqua Series, now in its 9th season. The program is presented by Elixir [a local group] and supported in part by a grant from The Ariel Foundation and is a donation based event. The program will take place this Thursday, August 6 at 7 PM at ThePlace@TheWoodward [120 S. Main Street in downtown Mount Vernon, Ohio]. Doors open at 6 PM to allow others with special needs to be seated in this first floor theater.
Opening the program will be Bob Ford, musician/historian/entertainer and then at 7:45 PM the story of the Donner with a question and answer period immediately following the presentation. Find out more about this program and others in the series by calling 740-392-6102 or by visiting www.elixirsings.com or www.VisitKnoxOhio.org. To receive a gentle reminder on the Sunday before each program, contact Mike Petee at firstname.lastname@example.org.