Guest speakers will share stories about the Seattle-Everett Interurban Railway, the Wellington Railroad disaster, the evolution of Northwest music and songs of the western migration, and tools for genealogical research at these free presentations.
"Each one is an individual story, but they all are significant to this area," said Cameron Johnson, the library's adult public program coordinator, who organized the series.
"History has relevance for us today. It gives us some insight into how we got here."
The sessions continue on Oct. 7, 17, 27 and 28, and Nov. 4 at the library's main auditorium, 2702 Hoyt Ave., Everett.
The auditorium seats a maximum of about 105 people, Johnson said. He suggested that people arrive early for musical performances and the genealogy workshop in particular.
For more information, call the library at 425-257-8000 or go to www.epls.org.
Oct. 7 at 2 p.m.: The Rise and Fall of the Seattle-Everett Interurban Railway
Cheri Ryan and Kevin Stadler, authors of "Seattle-Everett Interurban Railway," will talk about our first foray into a mass transit system.
The railway opened in 1910, but closed its terminals in 1939 because of competition from cars and buses.
The railcars, propelled by overhead wires, were quick for the era, reaching 60 miles per hour in some places; the route took one hour and 10 minutes.
Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.*: The Wellington Disaster
Author Martin Burwash tells the tale of what Johnson called the "most terrifying avalanche in U.S. history."
A stranded passenger train was struck by an onslaught of snow near Stevens Pass.
Burwash is the author of "Vis Major: Railroad Men, an Act of God -- White Death at Wellington," which recounts the 1910 tragedy.
Oct. 27 at 2 p.m.: Be the Hit of Your Next Family Reunion
Seattle Public Library genealogist John Lamont will share information about genealogical research tools available at the library
For instance, Ancestry.com's library edition allows people to use the website free of charge.
Lamont also will talk about the recent release of 1940 census data.
Lamont has done genealogical research for more than 20 years.
Oct. 28 at 2 p.m.: Fiddle Tunes Evolution
Musicians Sarah Comer and David Cahn will discuss how music from different countries combined to create today's Northwest music.
Comer is part of the Washington Old Time Fiddler's Association, and Cahn plays guitar, bass, fiddle, banjo, mandolin and accordion.
Nov. 4 at 2 p.m.: Songs of the Western Migration
In what he said will be his last public concert, folk singer and musical archivist Bob Nelson will explain the westward migration of pioneers -- from the East Coast, across mountains and prairies, to the Puget Sound region -- and the music they brought with them.
He will describe the evolution of music during the migration and conduct singalongs.
Nelson is co-director of the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society and has been performing since 1959.
Correction, Oct. 15, 2012: The time of the Oct. 17 event was listed incorrectly in an earlier version of this article.
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