Join Roy Lambert when he presents his 100th Talk About Aurora History program on May 28th.
Aurora is a community of stories and for more than fifteen years Roy Lambert has shared many of those Ohio River town tales with neighbors and visitors alike through his local history programs at the Aurora Public Library. Later this month and again in July and September, Mr. Lambert will once again regale audiences with well-researched and enthusiastically relayed stories from his beloved city’s past – but the upcoming May 28th event will be especially significant.
Peggy Dean, director of the Aurora Public Library District says, “We are very excited that Roy will be presenting his one-hundredth Talk About Aurora History. It’s an on-going program series that has been very successful in engaging people in the local area.”
She continues, “I think one of the things that’s made it so successful is the format that Roy uses; he does all the research, he has a presentation, but he also gives people an opportunity to tell their stories, to ask questions, to share memories with each other. It’s very interactive – it’s not just a lecture.”
According to Mr. Lambert, attendees arrive early and stay late. He says, “What this thing has morphed into… it’s become a chat room, a social gathering. Everybody knows that they don’t have to raise their hand. They don’t have to get permission. Everybody knows that if they’ve got something to say, they can say it. Anybody can contribute anything they have on the subject.”
While attendees are encouraged to share their memories and learn from one another, the foundation of each presentation is Mr. Lambert’s carefully researched facts about the people, events and even the structures that make up Aurora’s past. Mr. Lambert says, “I know most people think I’m talking off the top of my head, but I’m not. I would venture to say 25 hours of research for each talk – between what I do here and at home. And there’s courthouse research … this is a well thought-out, well-researched talk.”
Ms. Dean says, “There’s no one who knows Aurora history like Roy does. If you want to know something about Aurora, Roy will always the person to talk to and people know that.”
Kim Batchelor , Local History Library Branch Leader, agrees and says, “There are the people who come every time, but we see new faces now, too; people who are probably just learning about their hometown, people who are not as familiar with the local history.”
Mr. Lambert says, “People want to know about their hometown regardless of what town it is – especially small hometowns. And they like it when they get a chance to add anything that they know, so it has become a homecoming; it really has.”
As a historian, Mr. Lambert understands how hours spent pouring over cemetery records and centuries old newspapers can lead to the unexpected. Such was the case with Dr. Jacob Ebersole, a 19th century physician who practiced in Aurora for twenty years before enlisting in the Nineteenth Indiana Regiment in General Bragg’s famous Iron Brigade in April, 1862. His skills as a surgeon lead to his amputation techniques being adopted by the United States Army.
Mr. Lambert says, “I found Dr. Jacob Ebersole by doing other research. Nobody ever knew anything about him until I found him and that morphed into me being Dr. Jacob Ebersole.” Mr. Lambert has portrayed the one-time Aurora resident for bus tour groups, school children, at the request of BB Riverboats, and recently for the Franklin County Library’s Genealogy and History Department. In 2017, Mr. Lambert was invited to speak as Dr. Ebersole at the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station – the very place the Indiana doctor had been ordered to claim and use as a hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg.
Fortunately residents of and visitors to Aurora don’t need to travel very far to learn about the colorful history of this picturesque town. Anyone with questions about the city of Aurora is welcome to join in the conversation on the fourth Tuesday of May, July and September, when Mr. Lambert in conjunction with the Aurora Public Library District will present Talk About Aurora History. Although the program usually takes place in the historic Aurora Train Depot, on May 28th, those wishing to celebrate Mr. Lambert’s 100th presentation while learning about the Tim Miller Building Restoration are invited to the Lion’s Club building located at 228 2nd St, Aurora where the program will get underway at 6:00pm. Every program is free and open to the public.
For more information, please visit:
Aurora Public Library – https://eapld.org/
Aurora Public Library Blog – https://eapld.org/2019/05/06/you-are-invited/