Marshall Public Library’s “Remembering Handy Writers’ Colony”

  • 09 Nov 2013
  • 1:00 PM (CST)
  • 611 Archer Street, Marhall, IL

Take a trip back in time at Marshall Public Library’s “Remembering Handy Writers’ Colony” program

On Saturday, November 9th, come to Marshall Public Library for a trip back into Marshall’s rich history. A free program called, “Remembering Handy Writer’s Colony”, will be presented at 1:00 PM in the library’s Dale McConchie Meeting Room.

Dr. James Turner, nephew of Lowney Handy, will moderate a conversation about the writers and what was happening at the unique writers’ colony during the 1940’s and 1950’s. A panel of former colony members will speak about their experiences at the Handy Colony and since.  

Meet four of the former Colony members: Don Sackrider, now from Freeland, Washington and Key Biscayne, Florida; John Bowers, of New York, New York; Kenny Snedeker, who resides in Marshall, and Jon Shirota of Hacienda Heights, California.


A collection of items from the Colony and about James Jones will be on display in the library. This display is on loan from Dr. Turner for the month of November. Books written about the Colony and James Jones, and also books by other Colony writers are available at the library.


Following the library program, take a short drive to see the remaining Colony cottage plus the “Ramada” grounds. Handy Writers’ Colony no longer exists; however, the “Ramada”, where the writers and Handy prepared and ate their meals, and one of the sleeping cabins still stand and are privately owned.  The owner of the cabin will welcome the public for a tour that day only. Kenny Snedeker will be on hand to answer questions about the Colony.  The former Colony grounds can be found by driving west on Archer Avenue from the library to Holly Lane on the right.  Holly Lane leads to private residences.  You will be instructed where to park and shown the residence that may be toured. The former home of James Jones is not available for tours.


This program is in conjunction with the 2013 James Jones Literary Society Symposium.  This international literary society is convening in Charleston, Illinois, at Eastern Illinois University, on Thursday, November 7th, and then in Robinson on Friday, November 8th, where are college and high school students will learn about the literature and legacy of Jones.   The program and tour in Marshall will conclude the three-day event. 


The James Jones WWII Chair Lecture Series program, “From the Sands of Iwo Jima:  Two Veterans Recall Their Battle Experiences”, will be open to the public at Eastern Illinois University’s Lumpkin Hall Auditorium.  It will take place at 7:00 PM on November 8th, and will feature a veteran from the 5th Marine Tank Battalion on Iwo Jima and a Navy Boatswain’s Mate who served on Saipan, Tinian, Guam, and Iwo Jima.  Ray Elliott will serve as moderator for the panel.


For more information or to register for the Handy Colony program, please contact the library at 217-826-2535 or  The library is located at 612 Archer Avenue, in Marshall, Illinois, and is handicapped accessible.

Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm. Closed Sundays and major holidays.

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