In this program, Teresa Lehr will examine how the 1918 epidemic, particularly in conjunction with the outbreak of WWI, affected people in Rochester and the broader Finger Lakes region. Ms. Lehr is the author of a new novel, Black Velvet Band, a fictive history about the medical staff, especially the nurses, who were on the front lines of Rochester’s flu pandemic that killed hundreds in the city. She will have copies of the book available for purchase following the lecture.
Ms. Lehr has degrees in English and in History. She retired from the College at Brockport as a professor of English in 2011. She has also been the Assistant Curator in the Baker-Cederberg Museum and Archives at Rochester General Hospital, where she first became intrigued with how the 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic affected the city’s people. In subsequent years, her fascination broadened to include other municipalities across the state as well as rural communities. In addition to her novel, she has written a number of articles about the crisis, as well as designed exhibits and made presentations at conferences across the state on the influenza epidemic.
The lecture series will continue April 17 with “Becoming Well at the Water Cures of Upstate New York” by Jane Oakes and “18th- and 19th-Century Medicine: From the Revolution Through the Civil War” by Les Buell on May 2.
The lecture series is free and open to the public. It is supported in part by the Samuel B. Williams Fund for Programs in the Humanities. For more information about this program or the series, visit www. genevahistoricalsociety.com or call the Geneva Historical Society office at 315-789-5151.
The Geneva History Museum is located at 543 South Main Street and is open Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Parking is available on the street or in the lot at Trinity Episcopal Church.