Society Hosts Two Authors

August 22, 2023 at 12:33 PM

            The DuBois Area Historical Society hosted local author Kathy Myers and Maine-based author Sara Lambert Bloom for presentations and book signings during the summer months.

            Myers, an Elk County native and current Beechwoods resident, specializes in writing about the history of the Pennsylvania Wilds. Her latest work is The Pennsylvania Wilds and the Civil War.

            During her presentation Myers read excerpts from the book and outlined some of the areas she researched in preparing the book.They included:  Thomas Kane of Kane, founder of the Bucktail Regiment, and his quite accomplished physician wife, Elizabeth; Eli Parker, a Seneca Indian, present for the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; John Wilkes Booth’s early oil interests in Venango County; Brookville's Kate Scott who courageously went to the front lines to work as a nurse and later wrote foundational histories on the history of Jefferson County and the military unit raised there; Soldiers Orphans Schools formed after the war; the Underground Railroad through the Pennsylvania Wilds; as well as stories of common soldiers who wrote home about their experiences; and of course the missing Civil War gold in Benezette.

            Sara Lambert Bloom is the author of ISELIN:  The Rich History of a Western Pennsylvania Coal Town   in Appalachia; The Inspiring Story of Unrelenting Citizen Advocates for Social Justice

            Bloom’s affiliation with DuBois dates back to her mother's birth there in 1909, a daughter of Byron and Estelle Hayes of Sandy Township. Her mother, Sara Hayes Lambert (1909-2016) graduated in 1927 from Sandy Township High School following an academic track curriculum, and was a 1929 graduate of Indiana Normal School.

            She taught elementary school in Sandy Township prior to her marriage to James P. Lambert (1909-1981) in 1936. Lambert was born in Punxsutawney but graduated from St Catherine's High School in DuBois, following a business track curriculum which served him well for all that he was tasked to perform in his position as Town Manager of Iselin beginning in 1941, as well as his visionary work in a leadership role as an unpaid citizen advocate for social justice.

            ISELIN details with historic documents and photos as well as interviews with more than a dozen people about the inspiring story of James Lambert and his unpaid citizen advocate colleagues using the Indiana County, Pennsylvania state, and federal grant system to bring to Iselin clean air in 1974, ample potable water in 1981, and an innovative waste system in 1983 that finally replaced the dangerous outhouses that had been built 80 years earlier, becoming a model for the nation.  

            The book also briefly tells the history of the same conditions having been corrected in the coal mining town of Force, Pennsylvania, in the 1940s through the efforts of Sara Lambert’s first cousin, Dr Elizabeth Hayes, using not grants but the court system to take a bankrupt coal company to court and winning in the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 1945.  

            Both The Pennsylvania Wilds and the Civil War and ISELIN:  The Rich History of a Western Pennsylvania Coal Town   in Appalachia; The Inspiring Story of Unrelenting Citizen Advocates for Social Justice are available for purchase at $25 each at the DuBois Area Historical Society.



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