J. Ross McGinnis, lawyer and amateur historian, will speak on "York County's 1928 Hex Murder and the Three Trials That Followed It" at a meeting of the Millersville Area Historical Society at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, in the Millersville Municipal Center, 100 Municipal Drive.

In a talk enhanced with slides, McGinnis will examine the 1929 trials of John Blymyer and two accomplices who killed Nelson Rehmeyer, a suspected witch, supposedly in order to break a spell he cast on one of them.

All three were charged with first degree murder in the case, which is said to have evolved from a blend of local customs, powwow and belief in the supernatural.

"Trials of Hex," McGinnis' 454-page book about the trials, will be available for purchase and signing.

The talk is free and open to the public; donations are appreciated. For more information, contact Phil Gerber at 872-8837 before 5 p.m. or at pge8507@aol.com.

Yearbooks go online

McCaskey, Hempfield and Lancaster Catholic alumni can revisit the classmates, locker-lined corridors and gymnasiums of their high-school days, thanks to Lancaster Public Library.

The library has just completed digitization of the three school’s yearbooks, along with its own archival high-school yearbook collection.

that means yearbooks issued between 1908 and 1988 are now available as an online database that’s free to the public. Visit the library’s website, lancaster.lib.pa.us/research/digitalyearbooks, to access the collection.

“The project digitized 290 individual yearbooks comprising 31,760 pages. The resulting historical archive is available through AccessPA and the Power Library, providing a unique historical collection of information on the region's educational practices, genealogy, teen culture and fashion, community connections and businesses,” notes Herb Landau, the library’s executive director, in a recent newsletter.

“These archives will be of particular interest to an estimated 20,000 alumni and their family members as well as genealogists, historians, news media, educators and students throughout Pennsylvania and beyond.”

The three schools are the largest in the library’s direct service area.

Author talks on healing, travel

Lancaster Public Library will host "Healing Through Nature and Travel: An Evening With Brenda Lee Sieglitz" at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6.

The author of “Ebb From the Shoreline: Cancer and Courage” will speak about her personal experiences at a difficult time in her life. She will also read from her book, which will be available for purchase and signing.

Quarryville Library offers tours

Tickets are available now for these trip and tours that benefit the Quarryville Library.

•Afternoon Tea and Garden Tour on Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Zemsky family home, featuring croquet lawn, walled garden with fish pond, railway garden and vegetable patch; $20.

•Guided Tour of Gettysburg National Military Park with Civil War author Ed Bonekemper on Monday, Sept. 29, departing at 7:30 a.m. from the library and returning at 6 p.m; includes van transportation, museum admission, film and cyclorama; $40.

•Tour of Naomi Gorrell's 1770s Colerain Township home with lunch, Saturday, Oct. 11; $25.

Call 806-1803 to purchase tickets.

Writer’s in the ‘Soup’ again

Former Marietta resident Connie K. Pombo contributed a personal essay to a new book in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series: “Home Sweet Home: 101 Stories About Hearth, Happiness, and Hard Work,” by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Amy Newmark.

It concerns the move she and her husband made to retire in Ecuador, and how one possession, invested with great sentiment, managed to make the move along with them.

Pombo’s personal essay about her reaction to a breast cancer diagnosis appeared in the authors’ other recent book in the series: “From Lemons to Lemonade: 101 Positive, Practical, and Powerful Stories About Making the Best of a Bad Situation.”

The founder of Women’s Mentoring Ministries, Pombo has contributed to numerous books and written her own, “From Ashes to Roses.”

Store partners with charity

Discount bookstore chain Book Warehouse, located in Rockvale Outlets, is offering a selection of approved children’s books for purchase and donation to partnering organization Reach Out and Read.

The nonprofit organization promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms throughout the country and in Lancaster County. Medical personnel encourage parents to read aloud to their children and present them with books they can take home.

Manheim resident writes of flood

Manheim resident Thomas J. Krupa has released a nonfiction book about the great flood described in the Bible.

“Biblical Flood: Noah’s Ark and the Star of David” connects the flood to long-ago global warming, the opening of the Drake Passage and theories of continental drift and tectonic plates. It connects the ark’s Star of David design to those of Stonehenge and the secret tomb of Alexander the Great in the Arabian desert.

The book concludes with a chapter on the physics of hurricanes, whirlpools and tornadoes that the author links to spiral engravings on Malta, in the path of the flood waters. He also develops a new theory for meteorology’s Coriolis force.

The author, who holds degrees in physics, retired from the U.S. Air Force and worked as an engineer in his own business. His 220-page book with 154 illustrations and nine tables, is available through Amazon.com.



Jo-Ann Greene edits the Books section for Lancaster Newspapers. She also blogs about authors and their work at Off the Shelf. She can be reached at jgreene@lnpnews.com or (717) 481-7306. You can also follow @LancasterReads on Twitter.