EUREKA - Mary Kerr enjoys sharing stories from days gone by with children. The retired teacher from Washington encourages an interest in the past by taking historical artifacts into schools through the Time Travels in Trunks program sponsored by the Washington Historical Society.
During one of her recent school visits, students became especially fascinated with information about World War II German prisoners of war (POWs) who worked at local canning factories. Their interest sent her on a course of research that resulted in two books about the POWs' local experiences and how the war affected local residents' everyday lives, including food rationing, victory gardens, war bonds, recycling and more.
She will share details from her research and from her first book, the self-published 2016 "Washington's Homefront and the POWs," on March 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Eureka Public Library, located at 202 S. Main St. Kerr will discuss the role of POWs who were used by regional industries, including Libby, McNeill & Libby canneries in Eureka, Morton and Washington. She will share photos and stories about the prisoners and the local residents who interacted with them.
See article on March 1 Woodford County Journal newsstands