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The Sebago Lakes Region in southwestern Maine is one of the Pine Tree State's most historic. The lake--along with the Presumpscot and Songo Rivers, Brady Pond and Long Lake--was a major transportation route for Native Americans and English and French settlers. Both conflicts and legends abound along these storied waters. The waterways supported the region's growth into a commercial center, as sawmills, gristmills and tanneries flourished during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Canals and railroads connected it to Portland and the rest of New England and brought many visitors, making it one of Vacationland's most popular destinations and the home of several historic summer camps. Join local author Ned Allen as he explores this rich past and celebrates today's resurgence in activity, arts and culture in Bridgton, Standish and other towns around the Sebago Lakes.
In 1862, gold discoveries brought thousands of miners to camps along Grasshopper Creek. By 1864, the Federal government had carved the Montana Territory out of the existing Idaho and Dakota Territories. Gold from Montana Territory fueled the Union war effort, yet loyalties were mixed among the miners. In this compelling collection of stories, historian Ken Robison illustrates how Southern sympathizers and Union loyalists, deserters and veterans, freed slaves and former slaveholders living side by side made a volatile and vibrant mix that molded Montana. Discover how fiery personalities like Union Colonel Sidney Edgerton and General Thomas Francis Meagher fought to keep order in the newly formed frontier, while brave Confederate and Union veterans and their hardy families created an enduring legacy that helped shape modern Montana.
At the beginning of the Civil War, New Brunswick was positioned at the transportation and manufacturing hub of New Jersey. Many of the city's young men exchanged manufacturing equipment for rifles, and those whom they left behind witnessed the war through letters from their sons, brothers and husbands. Patriotism, a longing to earn more money and adventure lured these "Brunswick Boys"--close friends and co-workers--to enlist. Their recollections offer insights into everyday life in New Jersey during the war--New Brunswick's factory system, education and medicine. These letters also reveal their struggles to survive amid battles and close encounters with death that so many soldiers faced, as well as their difficult transition back to civilian life. Local author Joanne Hamilton Rajoppi presents the fascinating stories of New Brunswick and the Civil War, gleaned from the letters of those who experienced it.
The Red River's dramatic bend in southwestern Arkansas is the most distinctive characteristic along its 1,300 miles of eastern flow through plains, prairies and swamplands. This stretch of river valley has defined the culture, commerce and history of the region since the prehistoric days of the Caddo inhabitants. Centuries later, as the plantation South gave way to westward expansion, people found refuge and adventure along the area's trading paths, military roads, riverbanks, rail lines and highways. This rich heritage is why the Red River in Arkansas remains a true gateway to the Southwest. Author Robin Cole-Jett deftly navigates the history and legacy of one of the Natural State's most precious treasures.
As early as 1839, Sacramento, California, was home to one of the most enduring symbols of the American West: the saloon. From the portability of the Stinking Tent to the Gold Rush favorite El Dorado Gambling Saloon to the venerable Sutter's Fort, Sacramento saloons offered not simply a nip of whiskey and a round of monte but also operated as polling place, museum, political hothouse, vigilante court and site of some of the nineteenth century's worst violence. From librarian James Scott and the Special Collections of the Sacramento Public Library comes a fascinating history of Sacramento saloons featuring the advent of all types of gaming, the rise of local alcohol production and the color and guile of some of the region's most compelling personalities..
As early as the 1840s, French settlers brought their knowledge of wine to Washington's Walla Walla Valley. The highly fertile soil and abundant water were perfect complements to their Old World winemaking traditions, halted only by Prohibition and the historically unmerciful weather conditions. A century after the first settlers arrived, the area's wine industry reestablished itself when new pioneers like the Italian Pesciallos and Leonettis opened wineries in the early and mid-1900s, a trade that continues to thrive today. Discover the southeastern portion of the Washington Territory along Lewis and Clark's trail in a whole new light with the trailblazing vintners of the Walla Walla wine industry. Taste the history in every glass with wine writer and Walla Walla native Catie McIntyre Walker as she unearths the valley's transformation from Wild West to world-class wine region.
Far from the rest of civilization, but with plenty of money and booze close at hand, Steamboat Springs and the surrounding towns of Oak Creek, Yampa, Hayden and Craig were filled with shady characters with even shadier pasts. Many of the saloonkeepers in these areas opened multiple enterprises, allowing the various "soiled doves" of the region to move from town to town and bar to bar every few months to keep business fresh or to escape entanglements that had gone sour. Historian Laurel Watson unearths the seamy history of Yampa Valley's early red-light districts and the people who called them home.
Sacramento's open opposition to Prohibition and ties to rumrunning up and down the California coast caused some to label the capital the wettest city in the nation. The era from World War I until the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment brought Sacramento storied institutions like Mather Field and delightful surprises like a thriving film industry, but it wasn't all pretty. The Ku Klux Klan, ethnic immigrant hatred and open hostility toward Catholics and Jews were dark chapters in the Prohibition era as Sacramento began to shape its modern identity. Join historian Annette Kassis on an exploration of this wet--and dry--snapshot of the River City.
In 1921, a chance encounter with a radio receiver sent Sacramento Bee newspaperman Carlos McClatchy on a determined path to break into broadcasting. Ushered by the enterprising McClatchy family, the Bee became the first Pacific Coast newspaper to enter the radio business. For decades, broadcasting in Sacramento was shaped by the brilliant but fatally flawed Carlos McClatchy; his strong-willed, micromanaging father, C.K.; and his sister Eleanor McClatchy, who sacrificed her own aspirations for the sake of the family business. From a single five-watt station, the family built a large media company, established a radio network with William Randolph Hearst and helped shape media in the American West. Historian Annette Kassis tells the fascinating story of the pivotal McClatchy family and the path they charted through the "ether" above Sacramento.
Walking the historic streets of Dallas, North Carolina, reveals a town unchanged by time. The Gaston County seat for over sixty years, the town has roots that were planted in the days of Native American and early immigrant settlement. Union soldiers camped in the Court Square during the Civil War. The famed Dallas Courthouse rose from the ashes of a devastating fire in 1874. Discover notable natives such as the longest-serving UNC president, Dr. William C. Friday, and get a glimpse into Dallas past, present and future. And with mouth-watering regional recipes pulled straight from Dallas residents, this book is a trip back to the halcyon days of the small-town South. Follow along with Dallas native and author Kitty Heller as she chronicles the history of a truly unique small town.
Long before the era of the foodie, the little coal-mining town of Krebs set the standard for celebrating food in Oklahoma. Its reputation as the Sooner State's Little Italy began in the mid-1870s when Italian immigrants chased the coal boom to Pittsburg County, deep in the heart of the Choctaw Nation. After 150 years, Italians and Choctaw neighbors are now bound by pasta, homemade cheeses and sausages and native beer once brewed illegally in basement bathtubs and delivered by children from door to door. Stop by for a steak at GiaComo's, a Choc at Pete's Place, lamb fries at the Isle of Capri, gnocchi at Roseanna's or a gourd of caciocavallo at Lovera's--venues that have proven impervious to time and hardship. Join Food Dude Dave Cathey on a tour through this colorful and delicious history.
The geographic center of Colorado, Park County has long served as a recreational area for Denver and Colorado Springs residents looking to get away. The scene has not always been so idyllic. Marshal Cook was shot while investigating a loud party in Como in 1894, and rumors spread by the Michigan Creek School Board sent Benjamin Ratcliff on a killing spree in 1895. But the county's hardscrabble heritage includes triumphs as well as tragedies. In 1873, county seat Fairplay lost every business on Front Street to a horrific fire. But by 1878, they had rebuilt it all. It still stands today, a true testament to the strength of this old mining town. Journalist Laura Van Dusen shares these stories, outlining the many trials and successes of Park County's earliest settlers.
Before Texas was a state in the United States, it was a state of Mexico called Coahuila y Tejas. Texans then--like Texans today--didn't like being told what to do. So in 1835, the land now known as Texas organized a revolt and fought for freedom from Mexico and for an independent Texas--that's right, Texas was a country But before it could gain independence, for over six months, Mexican troops under Santa Anna battled against the Texas colonists in a bloody war with effects Texans can still find today. Saddle up with Betsy and George Christian for an interactive, fun chapter in Texas history for kids that challenges them to ask questions about the history they're told and the world in which they live..
Before Texas was Texas, it was a lot of things to a lot of different people. Comanche, Choctaw, French, Spanish, Mexican and more laid claim to Texas soil as their own, and no one wanted to share. The fights and alliances that arose out of the colonization of Texas shaped the state's future. Find out all about the beginning of the state and the colonists who helped pave the way for the Texas we now know. Saddle up with Betsy and George Christian for an interactive, fun chapter in Texas history for kids that challenges them to ask questions about the history they're told and the world in which they live.
In 1867, at the spot where the Union Pacific Railroad crossed Crow Creek, the city of Cheyenne was born. Since then, the Magic City of the Plains has had a long history of hauntings. Drop into the Shadows Pub and Grill, and you may find yourself sharing a drink with a spectral patron from another era. Spend a night at the Historic Plains Hotel, and you may run into one of the many ghostly guests who refuse to check out. Even the Wrangler store seems to be home to a phantom cowboy. From the ghosts of the historic Depot and Rail Yard to the spirits that still linger in some of the city's private homes, this frontier town is filled with spooky happenings and chilling sightings. Join writer and guide Jill Pope on a tour of the stories behind this city's most chilling spots.
Oregon has its share of playmakers, dramatic finishes and legendary coaches. With humor and insight, Oregon native and longtime sportswriter Bob Robinson relates highlights from six decades of coverage throughout the state. Blazermania overruns the Rose City as the Trail Blazers take down the favored Philadelphia 76ers in 1977. Oregon State's Orange Express, coached by Ralph Miller, captivates the state in 1981 before a shocking stumble in the NCAA playoffs. University of Oregon's Bill Dellinger kickstarts the school's distance-running tradition with a stunning win in 1954. In the 1970s, Mouse Davis performs coaching magic at Portland State with his Run and Shoot football offense. In these twenty essays, Robinson offers a unique, behind-the-scenes account of some of Oregon's greatest sports moments and game-changing personalities.
Ann Arbor has always been a beer-loving town. From the establishment of the first commercial brewery in 1838 through a century of German immigration down to today's local craft brew boom, the amber liquid looms large in Tree Town's quirky past and present. Find out how beer helped a former University of Michigan professor win a Nobel Prize. Discover the Ann Arbor doctor whose nationally bestselling home remedy book featured ale recipes. Learn which Michigan football legend pounded brewskis as part of his training regimen. Covering the exploits of famous poets, performers and prohibitionists, local author David Bardallis pops the cap off the big beer history of this little college town and leads readers to "the best beer you can drink" in Ann Arbor today.
When the Borden family arrived in the nineteenth century, educational opportunities in Ulster County were limited; classes rarely extended beyond the eighth grade. This changed when the philanthropic Bordens established their Borden Condensed Milk Company and gave Wallkill the means to construct one of the area's first high schools. In 1938, Central School District No. 1--incorporating the towns of Shawangunk, Plattekill, Gardiner, Marlborough, Newburgh and Montgomery--was formed after residents voted to consolidate the John G. Borden High School with surrounding one- and two-room schoolhouses. Although those early schoolhouses are now long gone, the proud tradition of education and service carries on in the Leptondale, Clare F. Ostrander and Plattekill Elementary Schools; the John G. Borden Middle School; and the Wallkill Senior High School. Local educators A.J. Schenkman and Elizabeth Werlau explore Wallkill Central School District's seventy-five years of educational excellence.
New Orleans is practically synonymous with Mardi Gras. Both evoke the parades, the beads, the costumes, the food--the pomp and circumstance. The carnival krewes are the backbone of this Big Easy tradition. Every year, different krewes put on extravagant parties and celebrations to commemorate the beginning of the Lenten season. Historic krewes like Comus, Rex and Zulu that date back generations are intertwined with the greater history of New Orleans itself. Today, new krewes are inaugurated and widen a once exclusive part of New Orleans society. Through careful and detailed research of over three hundred sources, including fifty interviews with members of these organizations, author and New Orleans native Rosary O'Neill explores this storied institution, its antebellum roots and its effects in the twenty-first century..
In the wake of the Civil War, Spiritualism--and its promises of communication with the dead--reached its peak as grieving families hoped to reunite with men lost in battle. In the face of an uncertain future, people sought comfort in the messages of mediums, and for Philadelphians, that reassurance was found in Katie King. Katie was a spirit who materialized at the seances of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Holmes--or so attendees believed. For eight months in 1874, she captivated every level of Philadelphia society, including Vice President Henry Wilson, who clamored to speak with the lovely apparition. When a believer-turned-skeptic decided to investigate Katie King for himself, the "spirit" was quickly revealed as a hoax. From the rise of Spiritualism in the city to the aftermath of the scandal, author Stephanie Hoover reveals the personalities and chicanery behind the curious case of Katie King.
Wallace L. Dow's enduring legacy is visible throughout Sioux Falls and across South Dakota. His distinctive structures, whether civic buildings or private residences, are beholden to no single architectural style. A New Hampshire native, Dow was brought to the Dakota Territory in the 1880s by Governor Nehemiah Ordway. Dow quickly established himself as the preeminent architect of the Dakota prairie, designing iconic structures like Sioux Falls Courthouse and the penitentiary, as well as many beautiful private residences. Using local Sioux quartzite, Dow's buildings gave the emerging Dakota Territory an identity. Yet the architect himself remains something of a mystery. Join author and Dow documentarian Jennifer Dumke as she uncovers Dow's story, recounting the life and work of a true Sioux Falls original who left his mark statewide.
The Adirondack region has long been a favorite of skiers, as its beautiful mountains and deep snow cover provide it with the perfect landscape. Downhill ski areas developed during the Great Depression, when New Yorkers looked for an affordable escape to beat the winter blues. Over the coming decades, ski areas expanded with new lifts, lodges and trails. Despite the popularity of the sport, many ski areas have disappeared, yet countless people still hold fond memories of them. Ski historian Jeremy Davis chronicles the history of these vanished ski areas with photographs and memories from those who enjoyed them, while also paying homage to restored and classic skiing opportunities still available in the Adirondacks.
The fledgling United States struggled to keep its freedom from Great Britain during the War of 1812, but St. Lawrence County in upstate New York played a divided role. The region shared a border--as well as close personal and business associations--with British Canada and opposed the American embargo that disrupted these relationships. While some St. Lawrence men fought bravely for America, smuggling was a common way of life. Several small battles and skirmishes took place along the river, and a local merchant even influenced President Madison's decision-making. Local historian John Austin recounts these and other events, as well as the fascinating North Country characters who influenced them, in this book on St. Lawrence County in the War of 1812.
Beginning in the mid-1800s, steamboats carried people between New York City and the Albany area on the Hudson River. Romantic images lull us into believing it was a quiet means of travel, but a crowded river, faulty equipment and the bravado of the captains resulted in at least one major catastrophe every year. Night boats collided and sank, carelessness caused boiler explosions, races put passengers at risk and fires would quickly swallow the wooden vessels. The grand "Empire of Troy "suffered many collisions. The "Swallow" broke in two on a rock, "Reindeer"'s explosion took forty lives at once and the "Oregon" and "C. Vanderbilt" entered into an epic and dangerous race. Collected from eyewitness accounts, these are some of the most exciting and frightening stories of peril aboard steamboats on the Hudson River.
In Richmond, no other name is more synonymous with dance than Elinor Fry. Helen Keller, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and author Tom Wolfe were just some of the people with whom Fry connected in five decades of dance. From 1920 to 1970, Fry was involved, often accompanied by her beloved students, in nearly every major public event in the River City. Performing in an array of venues and photographed twice by "National Geographic," Fry was a blend of creativity and business savvy and a wonderful role model for thousands of children who learned dance in her studio. Join author and historian Paul Herbert as he celebrates Elinor Fry's spirit and exceptional achievements in the world of dance in Richmond.
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