Book chronicles history of Greencastle area

July 09, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - "Images of America Greencastle-Antrim," an historic journey of the Borough of Greencastle and Antrim Township, uses old black-and-white photographs and captions to take its reader from frontier days through the early 1960s.

The 128-page picture book, written by local couple Bonnie A. and Kenneth B. Shockey, came out in June.

Bonnie Shockey is president of the Allison-Antrim Museum in Greencastle.

Proceeds from the book, estimated to be about $8,000 if all 1,500 copies are sold, will benefit the museum.

The Shockeys spent January, February and part of March, perusing more than 600 old photographs before selecting the 224 they chose for the book.

It was published by Arcadia Publishing of Portsmouth, N.H., the company that published "Around Waynesboro," last year by Waynesboro resident Dave Thompson.


Last September, the Shockeys put out word among area residents that they were looking for old photos for a book on Greencastle that they planned to write. They also mined Allison-Antrim Museum's collection plus the extensive photo collection in Greencastle's Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library.

"We tried to stay away from what you'd normally see on postcards" Bonnie Shockey said.

Kenneth Shockey, 57, said he scanned photos in private homes, the museum and the library. "I spent about three days scanning photos in the basement of the library," he said.

Keith Rowe scanned photos supplied by his family that were used in the book, Kenneth Shockey said.

Bonnie Shockey, 54, with volunteer help from Isabelle Barnes, Pete Goetz and Louise Mowen, did the research and identified the photos. Shockey wrote the captions from the information she and the volunteers gleaned. She said she tried to visit the site of each photograph to see how it looked today.

It was not a matter of getting one source of information for each of the photographs, Kenneth Shockey said of his wife's effort at accuracy. "She went to many sources to sort out conflicts in the information she was getting," he said.

The Shockeys selected a group photograph of 65 "Old Boys" who returned to Greencastle for a 10-day reunion in August 1902 for the cover of their book. The reunion was the forerunner of the town's Old Home Week celebration that's been held every three years since.

This year Greencastle will hold its 35th Old Home Week celebration from July 31 through Aug. 8.

The "Old Boys" photo is found on page 116 in the book. It begins Chapter 10, a photographic history of Old Home Week through the years.

The nine preceding chapter titles cover - in ascending order from Chapter One - Antrim Township, Greencastle, Villages, Business and Industry, Public Services and Transportation, Carl's Drug Store ("the oldest continuing operating drug store in the United States," Bonnie Shockey said), Civil War Veterans and Noteworthy Individuals and Events and Pastimes.

"Displayed here are images of colonial forts, soldiers from the Civil War and other conflicts, historic homes and churches, business and industry and events unique to the area...." wrote local historian Ted Alexander in his synopsis on the book's back cover.

The book will be on sale during Sidewalk Days, Greencastle's annual two-day downtown promotion today from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Center Square next to First National Bank of Greencastle.

The Shockeys will be on hand to sign books at Carl's Drug Store at 145 N. Antrim Way from 10 a.m. to noon Friday and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

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