The monthly programs produced by the Lakewood Historical Society have proven a major attraction during the last year and the June 15 session will be no exception. Joan Curtis, Steilacoom historian and author, will speak about “The Bad Boys of McNeil Island.”
Curtis said her program describes some of the prisoners of “fame” who spent time at the island prison when it was operated by the federal government. Among the more notable inmates were Robert Stroud, known as “The Bird Man of Alcatraz”; Roy Gardner, a notorious train robber; Alvin Karpis, gangster in league with the “Ma Barker Gang”; Frederick Emerson Peters, a notorious swindler and impersonator; Roy Olmstead, king of the Puget Sound bootleggers; Mickey Cohen, called by Time Magazine “the undisputed boss of Los Angeles gangdom”; Charles Manson, responsible for the Sharon Tate murders; and Dave Beck, Seattle labor leader.
The speaker will explain many interesting aspects of the prison and those imprisoned there while it was under federal control. This will certainly be an unusual program and with the facility being downsized by the state, it is timely.
The June 15 program will be held at the Lakewood Library starting at 7 pm. It is open to the public and there is no charge.
Sponsored by the Lakewood Historical Society, the speakers usually expand upon an historical event or place. Membership in the Society is open to anyone and is $20 for individuals and $35 for a family.
To join, send your name, address, email with your check to: Lakewood Historical Society, POBox 98014, Lakewood, 98496. Membership application forms can also be obtained at the museum in the Lakewood Colonial Center across from Columbia Bank or at the program.