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Thursday, May 20,2021
Jessica A. Reitz
“Ancient Egypt Through the Eyes of a Modern Archeologist”
Archaeologist Jessica Reitz discusses the importance of Ancient Egypt and the culture it created. Using major archaeological finds, Ms. Reitz examines some of the issues modern archaeologists have with past scientists. Some of the questions she addresses are how the sites were excavated, whether they were done by modern standards, and how far the study has come.

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Thursday, June 17, 2021 • Live online at 7 pm
Gabrielle Ferrara
“Mastodons, Myths and Marshalls Creek”
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Gabrielle Ferrara, owner of Uniquely Morbid, is a local artist and entrepreneur who creates Victorian-inspired works of art and jewelry with ethically sourced animal remains.

She has a master’s degree in museum studies and undergraduate degrees in anthropology and art history. Gabrielle completed her graduate internship at the Monroe County Historical Association in 2016 and continues to volunteer when possible.

Gabrielle enjoys spending her free time with family, venturing down the rabbit hole of obscurity, and talking about dinosaurs.

Inspired by the 1968 discovery of a nearly complete mastodon skeleton in Marshalls Creek, Pa., this lecture will explore the fascinating history behind this extinct proboscidean.

We will learn about how these majestic beasts got their name, dispel common myths and misconceptions, and explore the archaeological excavation that uncovered one of the most complete mastodon skeletons in Pennsylvania.

 The Marshalls Creek Mastodon
 Uniquely Morbid

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Thursday, July 15, 2021 • Live online at 7 pm
Michael Mancuso and Eric J. Kerchner
“Etna: A Murder Out of Time”
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Michael Mancuso and Eric J. Kerchner will discuss their exciting book which examines the unsolved murder of 17-year old Etna Bittenbender of Hamilton Township in 1880.

Mancuso — Monroe County’s first assistant district attorney — and Kerchner — the district attorney’s chief investigator — spent more than eight years investigating this 140-year-old crime. They used the techniques and insights acquired over the course of their careers, recognizing the limitations of the original investigators, uncovering leads long ago forgotten, and using the passage of time to connect suspects to the crime.

Their mission was to fulfill a centuries-old mandate issued by a long-forgotten grand jury directing their predecessors to “use all resources to ferret out the murder of Etna Bittenbender.”

Mancuso specializes in the investigation and prosecution of murder and suspicious death cases, and has worked on hundreds of death investigations, bringing to verdict nearly 50 murder defendants.

Kerchner, chief of the D.A.’s Criminal Investigations Division, has more than 40 years of experience as a law enforcement professional.

 The Times News — Monroe County investigators pen book about cold case murder
 WNEP-TV — Monroe County prosecutor and detective team up to write cold-case book
 Etna — A Murder Out of Time

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Thursday, August 19, 2021 • Live online at 7 pm
Kathleen Sandt
“Having a Swell Time: A Postcard History of the Park”
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Kathleen Sandt, a public affairs specialist with the National Park Service, will discuss her collection of historic postcards from the Delaware Water Gap resort era, when the well-to-do streamed to the Poconos to escape the heat of the city.

For Sandt, who has been collecting local memorabilia and postcards for 20 years, the value of these items is in the messages scrawled on them. While most collectors prefer cards that are unused and in new or mint condition, Sandt prefers ones that tell a story, even if it is only a few words.

“Many of the people writing and sending the cards were here to do the same things that bring people to the area today — like hiking, sightseeing, and paddling on the river,” she says.

While the beautiful pictures, some of which are hand-colored, provide glimpses of what familiar places looked like long ago or document places that are no longer extant, it is the messages that were written 100 ago that will be the focus of her presentation.

“Each one is like a little time capsule containing a message from someone who was here before we were,” said Sandt.

Postcards from the area that is now Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and the surrounding area will be featured.

 Kathleen Sandt’s Postcard Presentation

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Thursday, September 16, 2021 • Live online at 7 pm
Ben Gelber
“Winter Predictions and Climate Change”
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Local weather expert Ben Gelber will talk about the signs to look for this autumn in order to make an educated guess about the severity of the upcoming winter.

Gelber, an East Stroudsburg native, is an Emmy award-winning meteorologist and science and environmental reporter at NBC4-TV in Columbus, Ohio, but maintains an active interest in the Pocono weather.

Ben was already a practicing meteorologist in the third grade, giving daily morning classroom forecasts. He constructed a weather station during his high school years, collecting data for the Poconos with the help of his parents, who maintained records that are part of the NOAA Climatic Data Center archives.

He holds a bachelor of science degree from Penn State University, and a master’s in meteorology from Northern Illinois University. He was inducted in the East Stroudsburg High School Meritorious Hall of Fame in 2004.

Gelber is the author of “The Pennsylvania Weather Book,” which is available in the MCHA’s Gift Shop. He also wrote “A Weather History of Eastern Pennsylvania, the Poconos, Western New Jersey” and “Pocono Weather.”

He is an adjunct instructor of meteorology at Columbus State Community College, and a guest lecturer at The Ohio State University in climate science.

Gelber enjoys giving community weather talks and teaching seminars, judging science fairs, and moderating science panels on subjects ranging from air quality to climate change.

 The Pennsylvania Weather Book

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“Landing of Columbus,” by John Vederlyn.

Thursday, October 21, 2021 • Live online at 7 pm
Dr. Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo
“Columbus: The Man and Myth”
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Professor emeritus and Pocono Record columnist Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo presents a timely discussion on Christopher Columbus.

Popular history once made Columbus the intrepid hero who “discovered” America, but now he is sometimes pictured as a villain who started genocide against the First Americans.

The lecture will show how these interpretations of Columbus are based on cultural and political myths that distort the real facts behind this man’s role in history.

Born in Philadelphia, Stevens-Arroyo has had a distinguished career as a professor of religion at Brooklyn College.

Known for his advocacy of Hispanic culture among Latinos in the United States, in 1992, he was awarded the Citation of Honor by the National Columbus Day Committee.

Since moving to Monroe County in 2007, he has become an active member of many organizations, and serves as member of the board of MCHA.
2021 Lecture Schedule

Lecture Series

Presented May through October

The Monroe County Historical Association is pleased to present its 2021 Third Thursday Lecture Series online.
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All presentations are held the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m., and webcast live on Zoom because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Interested being notified of upcoming lectures? Contact us to get on our emailing list. Call 570-421-7703 or email us.

Videos of each presentation will be posted, so if you miss the live presentations, you can watch them at any time.

Sign up below to receive Zoom registration links for each presentation as they are available.

Webcast registration: Call 570-421-7703 or contact us.