Sesquicentennial presentations at Meehan Memorial Lansing Public Library continue July 13 with program on exploration, city government origins and history of Black Hawk Bridge

The Meehan Memorial Lansing Public Library sesquicentennial presentations continue Thursday, July 13 in celebration of the 150th birthday of the town of Lansing being observed this year. The July 13 presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the library, with hot dogs and brownies being served at 5:30 p.m.

The subjects for the July 13 sesquicentennial presentation include pre-settlement exploration of the Upper Mississippi River and Lansing areas; origins of Lansing city government and court house location; and Black Hawk Bridge history. The discussion will be led by local author, historian and city planner Bill Burke.

Burke has just written and published "The Story of the Black Hawk Bridge and Its Value to the City of Lansing, Iowa." The introduction to the book reads as follows: "The story of the Black Hawk Bridge over the Mississippi River is unique and intriguing. It is truly an epic tale. There are some 'Wow, I never knew that' kind of revelations. The story reveals intriguing facets of human nature, community spirit, and the ironies of fate. This story has a happy ending, including a future requiring continued vigilance and work. This story described here is based on historical accounts from primary source materials. This material includes newspaper accounts; bridge celebration material from the first bridge opening of 1931 and the reopening of 1957; and from the extensive legal and financial documents related to the bridge foreclosure and sale to two states which extended over three decades. A small amount of the story incorporates personal and family experiences with the reconstruction process of the 1950s. There could still be other materials out there that would shed light on some of the remaining gaps. This story remains open to refinement as such facts materialize."

The Thursday, August 3 sesquicentennial program schedule for 6:30 p.m. at Meehan Memorial Lansing Public Library will present on the subject of "Explosion of the Steamboat James Malbon 1872 at North McGregor" (now Marquette). This is a power point program with many photographs and visual effects. A question and answer session on river topics will follow the program. The program will be presented by Robert Taunt, who is an Upper Mississippi River historian and writer with special interests in steam boating.
 

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