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Ghost Towns, Ruins and Lost Places at Lifelong Learning

No tricks, just a treat for you on Halloween.

The Sisson Library will sponsor its next lecture in the Lifelong Learning series at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. The subject will be “Abandoned America: The Meaning of Ghost Towns, Ruins and Lost Places,” presented by Dr. Kevin Britz, director of the Center for Southwest Studies.

Ghost towns are more than just relics of the old West. Britz will share his fascination for abandoned places in America and explore the cultural meaning of the phenomenon through artistic depictions and their role as tourist attractions. The talk will conclude with an examination of the modern phenomenon called urban exploration.

Britz’s interest in ghost towns, abandoned places and the surprising way they appear in our culture comes from his research on the western towns of Deadwood, Dodge City, and Tombstone, where the fear of becoming a ghost town caused each community to turn to tourism.

Britz graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., with a B.A. in history and anthropology.  He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in history at the University of Arizona.

He specializes in museum and the history of the American West.

Before coming to Fort Lewis College, he taught American history at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Britz previously worked as vice president for programs at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Ore.

Are you a fan of Arthur Post? Then join us at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7, when the music director of the San Juan Symphony will entertain us once again — this time with musical “storytelling” through his presentation “Once Upon a Time.”

The Lifelong Learning Lecture series offers a wide variety of topics to help keep your mind agile and your life interesting. Each presentation is free and open to the public. Lectures take place at the Sisson Library, located at the corner of U.S. 160 and 8th Street.