Houston Library in So. Charleston hosting author talks about train history

(Posted Sept. 26, 2019)

Houston Library, 5 W. Jamestown St., South Charleston, is hosting the following activities. For details, call (937) 462-8047.

Holy Frijoles. Who is that masked Chihuahua? Holy guacamole! It’s that imaginative Siamese cat, Skippyjon Jones! At 6 p.m. Oct. 1, join Skippjon on one of his great adventures. Stories, songs, a craft and a special meeting with Skippyjon are planned. Pictures will be possible as time allows. This program is geared toward families with children ages 8 and younger, but older children are welcome.

“Toy Story 4” (G). Movie time is 3:30 p.m. Oct. 8. In “Toy Story 4,” Woody has always been confident about his place in the world and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. But when Bonnie adds a reluctant new toy called “Forky’ to her room, a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends will show Woody how big the world can be for a toy. Popcorn will be served.

Author Talk. Calling all train enthusiasts, Ohio history buffs and true crime fans. At 2:30 p.m. Oct. 12, Jane Ann Turzillo will talk about two of her books, “Murder and Mayhem on Ohio’s Rails” and “Ohio Train Disasters.” Turzillo is a full-time author and speaker with degrees from the University of Akron in criminal justice technology and mass-media communication. Her other passion is photography. She will have copies of her books available for purchase.

About “Murder and Mayhem on Ohio’s Rails:” The West may have had Jesse James and Butch Cassidy, but Ohio had its own brand of train robbers. In “Murder and Mayhem on Ohio’s Rails,” discover how Alvin Karpis knocked off an Erie Railroad train and escaped with $34,000. Learn about the first peacetime train holdup that took place in North Bend when thieves derailed the Kate Jackson, robbed its passengers and blew the Adam’s Express safe.

About “Ohio Train Disasters:” In nearly a century of heavy rail travel in Ohio, a dozen train accidents stand out as the most horrific. In the bitter cold, just after Christmas 1876, 11 cars plunged 75 feet into the frigid water below. The stoves burst into flames, burning to death all who were not killed by the fall. Fires cut short the lives of 43 people in the head-on Doodlebug collision in Cuyahoga Falls in 1940 and 11 people in a train wreck near Dresden in 1912.

Author Talk. Calling all railroad enthusiasts. At 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21, Mark J. Camp will talk about his book, “Railroad Depots of Southwest Ohio.” Camp is a geology professor at the University of Toledo and serves as a national director of the Railroad Station Historical Society. He will have copies of his book available for purchase.

Springfield was the original destination of the two oldest railroad companies to lay rails in Ohio, the Mad River & Lake Erie Railroad and the Little Miami Railroad. This would form the first rail link between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. Other routes became more important as rails eventually spread like spokes of a wheel from Cincinnati, and connections were made to Akron, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis, Lexington, Louisville, Marietta, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Toledo, as well as many other cities by the late 1800s.

Hundreds of depots were erected to serve train travelers, ranging from the smallest shelter to the standard combined passenger-freight building to the major city passenger terminal. Cincinnati, Dayton and Springfield became railroad centers, and towns like Blanchester, Hamilton, Loveland, Middletown, Morrow, Wilmington and Xenia, served by more than one line, became busy transfer points.

With the decline of rail passenger service, depots became unnecessary. Many were demolished. “Railroad Depots of Southwest Ohio” presents a pictorial look at a sampling of these grand structures when they were in their prime.

Halloween Scavenger Hunt. Between Oct. 21 and Oct. 31, kids and teens are invited to follow clues to find 10 hidden Halloween characters. Participants must fill in the corresponding number for each matching picture on an activity sheet and submit the sheet for a small prize.

“Lion King” (PG). Movie time is 3:30 p.m. Oct. 22. In “Lion King,” Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother and former heir to the throne, has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba must figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his. Popcorn will be served.

Storytimes. Thursdays at 11 a.m. through Dec. 5 for ages 2-4 and parents/caregiver. Children participate in stories, movement activities and crafts to take home while learning to interact politely with other children. Call the library to sign up. Storytime will be held regardless of school closings, except Thanksgiving Day.

LEGO Club. Second Mondays at 3:30 p.m. through Nov. 11 for school-aged children. (The library will be closed Oct. 14 for a staff in-service day.) Bring a friend to share in the fun and to help build a masterpiece out of LEGOs. Creations will be left on display until the following month. LEGOs provided.

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