The event seeks to inform and entertain people on historical and anthropological topics

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The Quons will present a lecture that incorporates spoken word and music to tell stories about the Oregon Trail.

Next month, the Bowman Museum is inviting local residents to come each Thursday evening as they once again host their May at the Museum series.

The museum staff has teamed up with Friends of the Crook County Library to offer the public an informative and engaging series of lectures.

"We are just really bringing things that we think are interesting," said Museum Director Gordon Gillespie. "We don't have an agenda. We don't think that people need know (these topics) necessarily."

The opening program will feature "Dynamic Geology of Oregon," presented by Scott Burns, a retired professor of geology from Portland State University. His lecture will cover the state, showing different provinces, how they were formed, and how they are all related.

The following week, visitors will be greeted with a lecture infused with music as presenters The Quons present "Seeing the Elephant: Songs Inspired by the Oregon Trail." The duo will perform original music inspired by the true life stories of Oregon Trail pioneers, and present excerpts from Oregon Trail journals and literature.

The next lecture, presented by Dennis Jenkins, Ph.D., RPA, will cover the Luther Cressman excavations at Paisley Caves in south central Oregon during the late 1930s. His slide show will take audiences through the scientific processes employed in proving the case for pre-Clovis human occupations at the caves.

The final lecture, “We were not Tramp Sheepmen: Joe Odiaga and the Oregon-Idaho Biskaian Basque Community, 1890-1946,” will be conducted by Kevin Hatfield, Ph.D.

The presentation is described as “The story of how Joe Odiaga, ‘the Basque Patrick Henry’ in the opinion of his fellow Biskaian Basque immigrants, creatively organized a community-based resistance to expulsion from their traditional grazing grounds by the federal government during the New Deal, and helped illuminate the identity and place of the Americkanuak (Basque Ameicans) in Oregon.”

Gillespie believes that a person could walk into any upcoming lecture, with no prior knowledge of the topic, and still find it interesting.

“I think this is one of our best,” he said of the lecture series. “Three of those guys have a Ph.D. in their field. This happens to be almost like an all-star cast.”

Given the quality of topics, and the success of prior lecture series, Gillespie is anticipating a strong turnout for each lecture.

“We have never had a bad one where hardly anybody showed up. We have had a few where it’s standing room only,” he said. “Get there early to make sure you get a seat.”

The May at the Museum lectures will take place each Thursday in May at 6:30 p.m., in the Bowman Museum’s community room. Admission is free.

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