By Tim Leeds
The Clack Foundation will host a series of celebrity luncheons, beginning Aug. 29 with Helen Baumler's talk about ghosts in Montana.
The lecture, "Shadows in the Corners," will start at noon in the third-floor courtroom of the Heritage Center and will cost $15. People planning to attend are asked to RSVP by Wednesday.
Gary Wilson, vice president of the foundation board, said foundation members will decorate the courthouse for the lectures, and will have it ready for Baumler's presentation.
"We'll have a little bit of a spooky atmosphere," he said.
Baumler, interpretive historian for the Montana Historical Society, has accumulated a collection of ghost stories as she's researched places in Montana for the society and the Montana National Register of Historic Places. She is currently compiling the ghost stories into a book to be published by the Historical Society.
Baumler's lecture will be loosely organized around the historic mining camps of Virginia City, Butte and Helena. All three towns have a history of "uneasy secrets, scary places and unsolved mysteries," Baumler said in a statement released by the foundation. History often lends some support to claims of ghostly happenings, she added.
Some of the stories Baumler has researched include the "haunting" of the Quartz Street Fire Station in Butte; ghosts in the streets of Virginia City; and haunted westside mansions, a ghost in the Grand Street Theatre and spirits in the night in the Montana Club in Helena.
Baumler said even if the listeners don't believe in ghosts, most of the stories can be tied to events in history, and have become part of the communities' histories as well.
The foundation has two other celebrity luncheons planned for the fall.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford, will do a reading followed by a question-and-answer session on Oct. 3, and Havre business owner Mike Tilleman, a former defensive lineman for the Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints and Houston Oilers, will present "An Inside View of Professional Football" on Nov. 7.
To RSVP for the Baumler luncheon, call 265-7258.