Cherrie Beam-Callaway speaks to the audience as the historical figure Mariah Monahan, while peeling potatoes. She gave the presentation on chapter two of the Monahan trilogy at Champion Mill. A group of children sat on a quilt on the ground listening to her story. (Johnson Publications photo)

Museum hosts historical presentation

    The Chase County Museum hosted the second of a historical trilogy on Saturday, presented by storyteller and educational speaker Cherrie Beam-Callaway.
    Beam-Callaway is an independent scholar for Humanities Nebraska and enjoys bringing the 1800s life to her audiences.
    Saturday evening, Beam-Callaway continued the story of Irish immigrant Mariah Monahan to a crowd of around 50 people at Champion Mill.
    Her presentation was titled “The Courage to Continue.”
    She was dressed in period clothing and spoke with the Irish accent of Mariah Monahan, taking the audience back in time while in character.
    Beam-Callaway began with a quick recap of the first chapter in the trilogy called “Promise in a New Land,” which she presented at the museum last summer.
    She caught the audience up by explaining how Monahan’s family left Ireland when the potatoes rotted in the ground, turning to mush. Millions of people were dying of starvation and disease.
    She told the story in first person of their voyage across the sea to New York City, a trip by  wagon train and locomotive.
    They settled near a new town start-up called Omaha, living in a dugout and struggling to survive in a new land.
    Beam-Callaway then began chapter two where Monahan’s family sold their eastern Nebraska homestead and started again as cattlemen in the treeless Sand Hills of western Nebraska.

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