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In support of our educational mission; to promote central Ohio's rich local and regional history, the G.W. Adams Educational Center is pleased to present a series of thought provoking lectures by area experts and scholars, examining various aspects and events in Ohio's past.  Support for this series is provided in part by the generous support of the Ohio Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and our good friends at the Dresden Branch Library of the Muskingum County Library System.



w/Dr. Brandon Downing, Historian

Saturday, May 20, 2023; 11:30am - 1:30pm
Dresden Branch Library: 816 Main Street, Dresden, OH, 43821


This is a light-hearted talk about the travel narratives of John May’s journeys to the Ohio Country. In comparing the modern-day luxuries of travel to the difficulties of nineteenth-century travel, this talk provides perspective on what settlers had to overcome in order to make it to their destination. Listeners will receive insight about what it was like to meet new people in a foreign land, opinions on interesting food choices, less than conventional accommodations, and the otherworldly adventures of John May. After all, John May never had to book an airline ticket, pay for an expensive hotel room, or deal with long lines at a theme park. Did May, however, have the same aspirations for travel as we do in the modern world? This talk will cover all this and more.


Dr. Brandon Downing earned his BA and MS in History from Slippery Rock University, his PhD in History from the University of Cincinnati, and is an Assistant Professor of History at Marietta College. He teaches early American history classes in Native and Colonial America, the American Revolutionary War, and in Public History. His primary interests are Native-White interactions in the Ohio Valley, the War of 1812, and the history of Marietta, OH. He is currently working on a project titled, “Performative Violence as Political Discourse: Delawares during the Seven Years’ War, 1755-1758,” which provides a Native perspective on the Penns Creek and Great Cove Massacres in Pennsylvania.

w/Dr. Bradley Lepper, Archaeologist

Saturday, April 22, 2023; 11:30am - 1:30pm
Dresden Branch Library: 816 Main Street, Dresden, OH, 43821


The 1989 discovery of this giant, ancient elephant-like creature opened an unprecedented window onto Ohio’s Ice Age. Archaeologists, biologists, and geologists studied the mastodon’s nearly complete remains (including its last meal) and other Ice Age animals and plants. This presentation will describe their findings and address the question of whether ancient human hunters or environmental changes drove mastodons into extinction.


Dr. Brad Lepper earned his BA degree from the University of New Mexico and his MA and PhD degrees from The Ohio State University. His primary areas of interest include the Ice Age peoples of North America, Ohio's magnificent mounds and earthworks, and the history of North American archaeology. Dr. Lepper has written extensively on these subjects for both technical journals and magazines intended for a general audience. He is the author of the book, Ohio Archaeology: an illustrated chronicle of Ohio's ancient American Indian cultures, published in 2005 by Orange Frazer Press.   Dr. Lepper was born and raised in northeastern Ohio, and now lives in Newark, in the vicinity of the extensive ancient earthworks of that region, with his wife Karen, two children, one dog, and four cats.  Dr. Lepper has been visiting professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Denison University in Granville and the Department of Anthropology at The Ohio State University at Newark.

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