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  • Local History books.

    I received a belated christmas gift from one of the guys at work: A couple of photographic history books of my hometown of Springfield, Ma. It is a pleasure to read up on the city's industrial history involving companies like Smith and Wesson (Which is a five minute drive from my house) and Springfield Indian Motocycle. A gift that put me in a mood much better than last night's.

    Anyrate, here's the publisher's website:
    http://www.arcadiapublishing.com

    I'm curious now wether there are similar books out there for other states.

  • #2
    Re: Local History books.

    Oh yeah my grandmother helped pen this one:

    Attached Files

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    • #3
      Re: Local History books.

      BTW I went to college in Springfield fun town.... Western New England..

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      • #4
        Re: Local History books.

        Originally posted by wrench spinner View Post
        BTW I went to college in Springfield fun town.... Western New England..
        I live, literally, within walking distance of that college. It is currently gunning for university status. They have a small, but very impressive engineering program that I would like to enroll into someday.

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        • #5
          Re: Local History books.

          I love history and often the local history is expecially nice as it gives you something that you can directly relate to.

          Back in Painted Post, NY I had a couple of opportunities, one was doing some research into the local compressor plant's history and the Imperial Engine company that predated it. I put together a nice digital image presentation for the plant's last open house in the late 90's. I found quite a few very old photographs, some dating back to the late 1800's. One of the things that struck me was how sad it was that nobody in the company really cared much about the local plant's history.

          Also while I lived there I had an opportunity to help a friend publish his writing of the history of the northern extension of the old Erie railroad. HIs great grandfather had been the station master at Millerton, PA and my friend did a lot of research on the line that ran north from Blossberg, PA. A nice read, with a few old photos from the period.

          I attended High School in a little village, east of Binghamton, NY. We had this great gentleman who would often fill in whenever one of the teachers were absent. Mr. Roberts knew tons of history about the region, the "underground railroad" (slaves escaping from the south and going north to Canada). I don't think he ever wrote a history, but I've got to tell you that he turned a lot of us on to the history in the area where we lived.

          I think every place ought to have a written history. It gives us perspective on our times and the times of our parents and grandparents. I know in Painted Post, NY we can find history back to pre-Revolution times. ("Painted Post" used to be referred to as "the land of the painted post".... a description of the ceremonial pole that the first colonial explorers found in the middle of the indian village that was here... the "paint" was the blood of the enemies that the tribe had captured.

          Since then the whites established a trading post on the rivers that meet there, harvested lumber and because of that, built and manufactured steam engines (to drive the saw mills). The land on the southside of the river is know as "Gang Mills". The Imperial Steam Engine Company later became one of two Ingersoll-Rand plants. There, they invented the first light compressor for automobile tires. They made rockdrills and compressors for mining (and for the Panama Canal, Mt. Rushmore, Hoover Dam and many other world-renowned civil engineering feats. In WWI we made artillery shells in in WWII we made engines for Liberty Ships, compressors for subs and other warships and even compressor/starters for aircraft engines. We even made the engines that drove the pumps that drained the Great Salt Lake in the 80's. Great plant and even greater history.

          So, history can be rpetty neat and every "local" history should be known to those who have an interest.

          CWS
          Last edited by CWSmith; 12-30-2010, 12:42 AM.

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          • #6
            Re: Local History books.

            That rock formation in the background is a landmark on the Mormon/California Trail and the Pony Express route. Back in the late 80's when I moved to Wyo. I was biking back there and you could see the tracks cut into the rock. Very cool! I went there last summer to take pictures of it but the hill had sloughed off and covered it.


            To the north of me there's a place where trappers in the 1800's carved their names in a sand stone rock wall. I've got pictures somewhere.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by spoon; 12-30-2010, 10:28 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Local History books.

              My hometown, Bellefontaine, Ohio, put out a history of the area during its sesquicentennial about 30 years ago. It had photos, maps, personal recollections, etc. from over the years. This was a big railroad center once upon a time, as well as the highest point in Ohio, home of the first concrete street in America, and (arguably) the shortest street in the world. A competitor of the Wright brothers set up shop in a downtown loft, and lifted finished planes out the windows over Main Street.

              I also have several books of county histories for surrounding counties. These go into much more detail with family histories, tax and census records, photos and engravings, etc. Some of these books are over 100 years old, so the "history" in the books is even more historic due to the age of the books. One of the family bibles is 200 years old in a few years.

              I am lucky enough to have several family history books published by family members over the years. My maternal grandfather's family landed in Virginia in the early 1600s and eventually settled in the Miami River valley in Ohio in the late 1700s, so there is a lot of history locally. My wife's paternal grandfather's family was Mennonite, and have well documented history dating back to the mid-1600s in Pennsylvania. It is fascinating reading that GGGGGrandfather William bought a calf for $1.50 and land for not much more. (Amazingly, several of my daughters' classmates don't even have grandparents' maiden names recorded when they do family tree projects in school.)

              Interestingly, more and more of our present history is digital, and on media of limited future use. Already, our wedding on Beta tape and our first daughter's baby movies on VHS-C are useless unless we pay to have them converted. I wonder how future generations will be able to view family histories?
              Steve
              www.MorrisGarage.com

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