PRINCETON — On Nov. 4, the Bureau County Historical Society held its first virtual annual meeting via Zoom.

BCHS members and friends attended this free event that began with a business meeting hosted by BCHS President Linda Gustafson, followed by the reading of the minutes from 2019 by BCHS Secretary Dana Fine, the 2020 financial report by BCHS Treasurer Mike Smith and the presentation of the slate of 2020-21 BCHS officers and directors.

Following the business meeting, BCHS Curator David Gugerty presented an exclusive viewing of the earliest and most fragile Bill Lamb films that were recently processed thanks to a $10,000 Princeton Rotary Club 100th Anniversary Community grant that was awarded to the historical society. These Bill Lamb films from the 1940s and early 1950s featured the Bureau County tornado of 1945, the 1947 film of Ronald Reagan at the Eureka Pumpkin Festival featuring the Princeton High School band, the City of Elms with scenes of Princeton in 1948, the Death Dodgers Stunt Show at the 1949 Bureau County Fair and highlights of Bill Lamb’s trip out West in 1951. A video of the BCHS annual meeting and Bill Lamb films is available on the Bureau County Historical Society’s website,

These silent films reflect local life over 70 years ago and the early days of the development of filmmaking. Bill Lamb was one of the early photographers and filmmakers of this area, and his complete collection of photographs, films and equipment have been donated to the Bureau County Historical Society due to the efforts and generosity of Gary and Joyce Johnson. Gugerty and a large group of dedicated volunteers have been archiving all of these images for the past four years.

An expanded, narrated DVD of these early Bill Lamb films will be available for purchase for $20 either by contacting Gugerty at 815 875-2184 or on the Bureau County Historical Society website. Pre-ordered copies of this Volume 2 of the Bill Lamb series of films will be available on Dec. 1.

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