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Lifelong Learning programs begin with local historian

Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning opens its spring session with Cecelia McKeig, “The Battle of Sugar Point,” from 1-2:30 p.m. at Northwoods Bank community room in Park Rapids.

McKeig, of Federal Dam, a researcher and author of “The 1898 Battle of Sugar Point,” describes the battle as “the last confrontation between the U.S. Army and the Indians of North America.”

Using photographs compiled from the Cass County Historical Society, the Beltrami County Historical Society and other sources, McKeig fills in details about the origins of the conflict, the participants, the events and the outcome.

She writes, “Seventeen Ojibwe men were wanted on warrants for resisting U.S. Marshal O’Connor and his deputies when they attempted to take Bug-o-nay-ge-shig into custody. Yet General Bacon and 80 soldiers went north from Fort Snelling to accompany and support the marshals when they went to Sugar Point on the fall morning of October 5, 1898. Were the Bear Island Pillagers waiting around the clearing to ambush the soldiers once they had stacked arms for lunch? Who fired the first shot?”

These and other questions will be explored in a lively session that is open to the public for up to 90, free of charge and handicapped-accessible. Refreshments are provided. Please park facing away from the bank building.

HCLL will offer a series of eight educational programs this spring, beginning February 17.

The 2015 spring series includes the following guest speakers:

n Feb. 24: “The Last Keeper at Split Rock.” Mike Roberts was the last keeper when Split Rock Lighthouse closed in 1969. He has written a book about his experiences, and speaks throughout the state.

n March 3: “Fraud Protection.” Delores Lafollette, formerly of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and now a volunteer with AARP, details how to avoid becoming a victim of a scam.

n March 10: “Rewriting the Rural Narrative.” Researcher and scholar Ben Winchester will delve into trends affecting rural Minnesota, including “the brain drain myth.”

n March 17: “Travels to Ireland.” Photographer and world traveler Cal Rice returns by popular demand on St. Patrick’s Day. All are invited to wear green in honor of the occasion.

n March 24: “Humorous, serious, and more.” Talented speech competitors from Park Rapids Area High School will perform and present in categories ranging from dramatic interpretation to persuasive speech.

n March 31: “Music of Guinea, West Africa.” Janice Haworth of Bemidji State University Music Department recently spent a sabbatical in Guinea and will share in words, pictures, and music, what she learned.

n April 7: “Bombing the Bogs.” Doug Easthouse of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources explains how bogs near Washkish were used by bombers for target practice in World War II.

Brochures with more complete information are available at Northwoods Bank, the Park Rapids Library and Beagle Books.

HCLL is a nonprofit corporation that has presented educational programs in Park Rapids since 2001.