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The Santa Fe Line and the famous Fred Harvey restaurants forever changed New Mexico and the Southwest, bringing commerce, culture and opportunity to a desolate frontier. The first Harvey Girls ever hired staffed the Raton location. In a departure from the ubiquitous black and white uniform immortalized by Judy Garland in 1946's Harvey Girls, many of New Mexico's Harvey Girls wore colorful dresses reflective of local culture. In Albuquerque, the Harvey-managed Alvarado Hotel doubled as a museum for carefully curated native art. Join author Rosa Walston Latimer and discover New Mexico's unique history of hospitality the "Fred Harvey way."
As the 2013 Super Bowl approached, New Orleans rushed to present its best face to the world. Politicians, business leaders and tourism officials declared the rise of the "new New Orleans," a thriving city brimming with hope and energy. But as the spotlight neared, old conflicts and fresh controversies complicated the branding. The preparations revealed the strains of the post-Katrina recovery and the contrasts of the heralded renaissance. The watershed moment culminated in darkness when the lights went out in the Superdome. In a stunning portrait of the breathless one hundred days before the game, author Brian W. Boyles unearths the conflicts, ambitions and secret histories that defined the city as it prepared for Super Bowl XLVII.
Streight's Foiled Raid on the Western & Atlantic Railroad: Emma Sansom’s Courage and Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Pursuitby Brandon H. Beck
In the spring of 1863, Union colonel Abel D. Streight sought to raid and destroy parts of the vital span of the Western and Atlantic Railroad in north Georgia with his mule-riding infantry brigade. Determined to thwart the potentially deadly attack, Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest fervently pursued Streight's forces. With the help of unlikely ally fifteen-year-old Emma Sansom of Gadson, Alabama, Forrest falsely convinced Streight he was vastly outnumbered, foiled the raid and forced Streight's surrender. Brandon H. Beck details Streight's dubious plan and the exciting story of a running battle between hunter and quarry that colors history from the hills of northeast Mississippi to the heart of Georgia.
Arizona remained a raw, rather uncivilized territory before it became one of the last states to enter the Union. Few towns exemplify this more than Prescott. Untamed land lured those who saw an opportunity to prosper, including a number of shady ladies. A staple of any western town, these wanton women were independent, hearty individuals eager to unpack their petticoats and set up shop. Within six years of establishment, at least five prostitutes operated in Prescott. As their clientele grew, so did their influence. Mollie Sheppard, Lida Winchell, Gabriell Dollie and many more women were integral forces on the city that should not be forgotten. From Granite Street to Whiskey Row, Prescott's painted ladies established an ever-expanding red-light district halted only by Arizona's admission to the Union in 1912. Join author Jan MacKell Collins to discover the soiled doves of Prescott's red-light district.
To some, chile might be considered a condiment, but in New Mexico it takes center stage. Going back four centuries, native tribes, Spanish missionaries, conquistadors and Anglos alike craved capsicum, and chile became infused in the state's cuisine, culture and heritage. Beloved events like the annual Fiery Foods Show bring together thousands of artisans specializing in chile. The Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University devoutly researches the complexity of chile and releases carefully crafted varieties. Legendary farms like Jimmy Lytle's in Hatch and Matt Romero's in Alcalde carry on generations-old practices in the face of dwindling natural resources. Acclaimed restaurants continue to find inspiration in chile, from classic dishes to innovative creations. Join local author and award-winning documentary filmmaker "Chile Chica" Kelly Brinn Urig for the enchanting history of chile.
The tombs and graves of the St. Louis Cemeteries rise from the ground, creating labyrinthine memorials aptly dubbed "cities of the dead." Most are in even rows with quaint street names. Some are of crumbling brick and broken marble. Others are miniature mansions clad in decorative ironwork with angelic guardians. Grand or humble, each is a relic of the story of New Orleans. Politicians, pirates, Mardi Gras Indian chiefs and one voodoo queen rest below. In an unprecedented inquiry, author Sally Asher reveals the lives within the mysterious and majestic tombs of the St. Louis Cemeteries.
The Guadalupe Mountains hold what some call the most beautiful spot in Texas. Once home to the Mescalero Apaches, McKittrick Canyon is an alluring wonderland of lush and abundant flora and fauna. It is named for Captain Felix McKittrick, who acquired the land for ranching in 1869. Legends of lost Spanish gold mines drew many unsuccessful prospectors before the turn of the century. Later, through the monumental efforts of early landowners J.C. Hunter Sr. and Wallace Pratt, the canyon was preserved as a pristine portion of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Each fall, eager visitors witness a vibrant show headlined by bigtooth maple and a variety of oak trees. Join author Donna Blake Birchell in an exploration of McKittrick Canyon's colorful history.
Birmingham began as a boomtown filled with immigrants who held on to the best recipes from their homelands. More recently, locals like Frank Stitt and Carole Griffin helped transform the modern southern city into a foodie destination with the best of national trends. Andrew Zimmern visited with his show Bizarre Foods America to tout one of the city's most popular food trucks, Shindigs. Fast casual dining is done with care, and gems like Trattoria Centrale and Bettola are dedicated to local ingredients. Join food writer and restaurant enthusiast Emily Brown as she details the delectable history of food in the Magic City.
Since Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin put type to printing press, Philadelphia has been a haven and an inspiration for writers. Local essayist Agnes Repplier once shared a glass of whiskey with Walt Whitman, who frequently strolled Market Street. Gothic writers like Edgar Allan Poe and George Lippard plumbed the city's dark streets for material. In the twentieth century, Northern Liberties native John McIntyre found a backdrop for his gritty noir in the working-class neighborhoods, while novelist Pearl S. Buck discovered a creative sanctuary in Center City. From Quaker novelist Charles Brockden Brown to 1973 U.S. poet laureate Daniel Hoffman, author Thom Nickels explores Philadelphia's literary landscape.
The daring women of Maryland made their mark on history as spies, would-be queens and fiery suffragettes. Sarah Wilson escaped indentured servitude in Frederick by impersonating the queen's sister. In Cumberland, Sallie Pollock smuggled letters for top Confederate officials. Baltimore journalist Marguerite Harrison snuck into Russia to report conditions there after World War I. From famous figures like Harriet Tubman to unsung heroines like "Lady Law" Violet Hill Whyte, author Lauren R. Silberman introduces Maryland's most tenacious and adventurous women.
Truth lies behind the grim legend of Patty Cannon. In the early nineteenth century, Patty and her gang terrorized the Delmarva Peninsula, kidnapping free African American men, women and children. Using surprise and treachery, Cannon even employed a free African American accomplice to lure her unsuspecting prey. Captives who survived confinement in Patty's cells were sold south. The position of the Cannon home on the shadowy border between Delaware and Maryland allowed her to dodge the law until a local farmer unearthed the remains of her victims in 1829. Patty mysteriously died in jail awaiting trial. Author Michael Morgan investigates the chilling history of one of the nation's first serial killers.
There is an otherworldly quality to the Mid-Shore--ghosts seem to rise up from the Chesapeake, and quaint towns hold the spirits of their historic pasts. Oxford's Robert Morris Inn is still home to its colonial namesake, while the Kemp House in St. Michael's is host to the restless specter of Robert E. Lee. Murdered actress Marguerite rides the elevator of the Avalon Theater, and Wish Sheppard stalks the halls of the Denton Jail. Near the witching hour, the eerie sound of the swinging body of "Bloody" Henny Insley can be heard on the grounds of the Dorchester Courthouse. Author and ghost tour guide Mindie Burgoyne takes a chilling journey into the supernatural lore of Maryland's Mid-Shore.
Columbia sits on hills overlooking the Congaree, Saluda and Broad Rivers. The name evokes sanctuary and the American spirit. Its central location in the state makes it the meeting place of the Upstate and the Lowcountry. The all-American city sprang from wilderness, frame buildings and unpaved streets and valiantly responded to the challenges of change. The city was created by the legislature to be the capital and reflects the "ambitions and fortunes" of South Carolina. Columbia is a diverse city that serves as an educational incubator, a magnet for immigrants, a military center and a place to celebrate the arts. Follow author Alexia Jones Helsley as she weaves together the strands of Columbia's long and eventful past.
The grand age of steamboats on Keuka Lake began in 1835 and was vital to the development of the region. The boats carried excursionists--Victorian tourists--to the resorts and cottages that lined the lakeshore. The communities of Penn Yan, Hammondsport and Branchport that anchor the three branches of the Y-shaped lake flourished. This prosperity helped grow the area's grape and wine production that is so celebrated today. Though the last steamboats were taken out of service in 1915, the romance and nostalgia of the period are preserved in tales of glamorous steamers, the people who worked and traveled on them, the resorts they served and the history they made. Local historians Richard MacAlpine and Charles Mitchell capture the stories, anecdotes and photos from this bygone period.
During his whirlwind 1903 tour of the western states, President Theodore Roosevelt paid his first visit to California. In between the appearances and pageantry, he embarked on three days of epic adventure in the wilderness of Yosemite with the famous and influential naturalist John Muir. A lover of the rugged outdoors, Roosevelt was humbled and impressed by the camping trip, which proved to be one of the most important sojourns in presidential history. Through firsthand accounts, speeches and rare photographs, author Chris Epting tells the story of a great and profound journey that had a lasting effect on conservation history and the National Park System.
The Orange County Fair is one of Southern California's most anticipated summer events. From its first year in 1890 with a few livestock exhibits and horse races, the fair evolved into what is now a month-long extravaganza of rides, games and entertainment that still celebrates the importance of local agriculture. Millions of visitors have crowded the grounds over the years to enjoy the spectacle of everything from ostrich races and demolition derbies to its unique Centennial Farm and the time-honored All-Alaskan pig race. Author Chris Epting recounts more than a century of community history and revelry at the OC Fair.
During the first half of the twentieth century, Los Angeles grew into a sprawling metropolis. As suburbs developed, demonstration homes and housing exhibitions brought innovative architectural and interior design styles. Displays like the California Home and Garden Exhibition showcased the latest in timesaving appliances, modern furniture and cutting-edge building techniques meant to represent the future and ideals of Southern California living. Model and tract home exhibitions like those at Leimert Park inspired a new generation of homebuyers. Designed to house the masses, multi-family developments like the Zigzag Moderne-style Val d'Amour were benchmarks for their time. Join author Ruth Wallach on a tour of the varied Modernist styles that give Los Angeles its distinct residential landscape.
Beneath the churning surface of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary rest the bones of shipwrecks and sailors alike. Massachusetts' ports connected its citizens to the world, and the number of merchant and fishing vessels grew alongside the nation's development. Hundreds of ships sank on the trade routes and fishing grounds between Cape Cod and Cape Ann. Their stories are waiting to be uncovered--from the ill-fated steamship Portland to collided schooners Frank A. Palmer and Louise B. Crary and the burned dragger Joffre. Join historian John Galluzzo and maritime archaeologists Matthew Lawrence and Deborah Marx as they dive in to investigate the sunken vessels and captivating history of New England's only national marine sanctuary.
The Grand Strand has a long tradition of hardworking independence and the enthusiastic pursuit of leisure activities. Myrtle Beach is known as a hotbed of hearty partiers, and its chronicles include bordellos, bootleggers, rumrunners, gamblers and a variety of indulgent practices. From Civil War deserters to the excesses of the disco era, the area has a wicked streak running parallel to its beaches. Join author and historian Becky Billingsley as she uncovers the naughty side of the Grand Strand.
At the dawn of the twentieth century, Galveston was a beacon of opportunity on the Texas Gulf Coast. Dubbed the "Wall Street of the Southwest," its laissez-faire reputation called those hungry for success to its shores. Led by brothers Salvatore and Rosario at the height of Prohibition, the Maceo family answered that call and changed the Oleander City forever. They built an island empire of gambling, smuggling and prostitution that lasted three decades. Housed in their nightclubs frequented by stars like Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington, they endeared themselves to their Galveston neighbors by sharing their profits, imitating crime syndicates in their native Sicily. Though certainly no saints, the Maceos helped bring prosperity to a community weary from a century of turmoil. Discover the history of Galveston's famous crime family with authors Nicole Boatman, Dr. Scott Belshaw and Texas historian Richard McCaslin.
Amoskeag Manufacturing Company experienced extraordinary growth following its founding in 1831. The complex company developed land and water power and produced rifle muskets for the Union army during the Civil War. America fell in love with the beautiful, long-lasting colors and quality of Amoskeag's iconic gingham. The company's history is one of engineering genius and invention, enlightened city planning and visionary leadership. It is also the story of the workers, including thousands of eager immigrants who came to Manchester seeking economic opportunity and personal freedom. The company struggled through labor disputes and conflicts between economics and altruism. When the doors finally closed in 1936, local business leaders saved the property from abandonment and extended the Amoskeag legacy through a new wave of prosperity. Author Aurore Eaton explores this revolutionary industry and its lasting significance in Manchester.
Early Maine ran on sweet and fiery New England rum. Later, rapid industrial advances and ever-present drinking opportunities made daily life unnecessarily hazardous. Overindulgence triggered a severe backlash, a fierce temperance movement and eighty-two years of prohibition in the Pine Tree State. While the coastal state never really dried out, the Maine Law sent both serious and social drinking under the table for the better part of a century. Liquor crafted in Maine has slowly and quietly remade itself into a respected drink, imbued with history and representing the best of the state's ingenuity and self-reliance. Contemporary distillers across the state are concocting truly local spirits while creative bartenders are mixing the new and old, bringing back the art of a fine drink. Join Portland food writer Kate McCarty on a spirited romp through the evolution of Maine's relationship with alcohol.
In 1988, public and private agencies began an unprecedented conservation effort for 350,000 acres of wildlife habitat. ACE Basin is an undeveloped region where the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto Rivers create a natural wonder inhabited by an incredible array of plants and animals. The area is a diverse and unique combination of habitat--pine and hardwood uplands, forested wetlands, brackish and saltwater tidal marshes, barrier islands and beaches. More than 250 species of resident and migratory birds soar over the wetlands at various times. The basin offers shelter as well to endangered and threatened species, such as the woodstork, osprey, loggerhead sea turtle and shortnose sturgeon. Author and experienced nature writer Pete Laurie dives into the flora and fauna of a unique Palmetto State treasure.
The North Carolina Piedmont is rich in natural beauty and wildlife. Home to eleven state parks, three state natural areas, a national wildlife refuge and a national forest, the region offers more than just gently rolling hills. Tour the wild wine vines in Medoc Mountain State Park, marvel at the floodplains of the Haw River and follow the migratory birds in Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge. Experience the natural history, field research, interviews with park rangers and firsthand experiences of the state's largest physiographic region. Author Adam Morgan joins in a rich tradition of nature writing to paint the majestic beauty and raw power of North Carolina's wild Piedmont.
Many of eastern Michigan's old boomtowns and sleepy villages are faded memories. Nature reclaimed the ruins of some while progress paved over the rest. Discover the stories of lost communities hidden in plain sight or just off the beaten track. The vanished religious colony of Ora Labora fell into a state of near-constant inebriation when beer became the only safe liquid to drink. Lake St. Clair swallowed up the unique currency of Belividere along with the place that issued it. Abandoned towns still crumble within Detroit's city limits. Alan Naldrett delves into the fascinating history of eastern Michigan's lost settlements.