Friday, August 19, 2011

Historical Society Project

***Disclaimer*** Today's post has nothing to do with quilting, and everything to do with local history. If you've come looking for pics of fabric and blocks and quilts, today is not the day to visit.  *smile*

This former high school English teacher jumped at the chance offered last year to help write a small pictorial book for our local historical society. A small committee would be established to find pictures and research available information; my job would be to write the captions. We entered into a contract in late spring obligating us to have all photos and copy submitted by mid-August.

Needless to say, it is now just beyond mid-August. I've been commenting in recent posts that I've been distracted. Now you know why! This project and deadline have been breathing down my neck! We were able to secure a one-week extension, thankfully. Even so, I just had no clue the extensive details that needed to be dealt with when publishing.

This book is nothing huge - it'll be just 128 pages long. We have 225 (mostly) never-before-published historic pictures, and yours truly wrote most of the captions for them - with massive help from the group who provided all the historically relevant details.

A project like this is so much the kind of thing I wanted to do when I retired. To be writing for publication on a subject I am passionate about - well, that is exactly what I taught my high schoolers in composition class! The only drawback to this is that I am not a native to Greenfield; I grew up about 20 miles away in Hillsboro. Therefore, I am familiar with none of the history of this area. The other members of the committee had to feed me information. Thankfully, they were a patient group. Much of what they told me was surely "common knowlege," but only if you've lived around here forever! In the 19 years I've resided here, it has not been my priority to learn the nitty gritty historical tidbits of the town.

Here is where I have spent most of my time over the past 2 weeks ~ The Travellers Rest, a building which dates to 1812. It's been kinda' cool to surround myself within the walls of a building that so many earlier generations have visited. Even more cool, the TR was owned and operated by Noble Crawford, a name that I believe I can locate in my own family tree on my father's side. My grandpa's middle name was Noble, and his mother's maiden name was Crawford. It just has to be more than coincidence.

Above the door of the TR is this carved stone:

I'm going to have to go at different times of the day to re-shoot some pictures. I need to get the shadows just right so that the letters and numbers are more legible. But that's the proof that the founder of the inn was Noble Crawford. Way too cool, in my opinion!!

Here's a view from the rear of the Travellers Rest showing the Old Pioneer Burial Ground and stone wall.

An interesting fact about this building: it was not originally located on this site. In its original location it was under threat of being demolished (along with another historic building) so that a gas station could be built. The community came together and managed to dissuade the company, thus saving both buildings. At some point around this time - I think the 1960s - the building was dismantled stone by stone, moved across the street to this location and rebuilt, stone by stone! What an effort! Impressive, isn't it?

Back to the book project -- we worked a marathon day yesterday - from 9am to 10:30 pm - and finished it. Harold, the president of the historical society is going to send it all via computer to the publishers today.

I can't wait for this book to come out. And I don't know how long the wait will be! I'd love to be able to have it by Christmas - is that a realistic goal? I've no idea the turn around time necessary for taking a book through the publishing process.

1 comment:

  1. oh, that sounds so exciting. Congratulations. I bet you can hardly wait for it to be published.


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