Herald-Mail's new book brings back images from county's past

September 29, 2005|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

Turn to page 35 and you will see Paul Shank when he was 8 years old.

The 6-year-old on page 14 is Rosie Baker, the late great aunt of Barbra Reeder.

The late Harry J. Cave, Cindy Brezler's grandfather, is among the crowd on page 168, in a photograph of a soap box derby in 1951.

Those images are among the photos featured in The Herald-Mail Co.'s most recent book, "Washington County, Maryland Our Past, Our People A Historical Portrait, Volume II."

The Herald-Mail Co. has sold 2,552 copies of the book since Sept. 23, said Michele Wills, the newspaper's marketing director. Most of those sales were pre-order purchases, Wills said. The 204-page book contains about 300 photos.


Wills said the newspaper relied solely on local people to submit photos for the series.

"Because without them, there would be no book," she said.

The book, released Sept. 20, is the second in a three-volume series featuring historical snapshots of people and places in Washington County, Wills said.

"We're facilitating a way for people to be published in a book that will be around longer than I will," Wills said.

Brezler, of Hagerstown, said the book was a way of preserving the region's deeply rooted heritage.

"The man holding the pipe," she said, looking at the picture. "That's my grandfather."

Brezler, whose family owns the Lehman's Mill, said historical preservation has declined in Washington County. She said she would like to see more preservation efforts throughout the county.

Shank, 94, who lives near Funkstown, said he grew up on a farm west of Hagerstown, but worked downtown in the 1920s. He said much has changed since he's lived here.

"Downtown was a busy place," Shank said. "The stores were open on Saturday nights, and the streets were crowded with people."

He said it was "exciting" being able to look back on how things used to be.

Reeder, 70, of Boonsboro, said flipping through the book made her remember old family friends.

Reeder took care of her great aunt Rosie, who was blind. Reeder said she remembered Rosie's "uncanny" ability to describe landscapes as though she had seen them with her own eyes. Rosie died in 1968 at the age of 72.

"People used to laugh when she told them she read the paper," Reeder said. "It makes me feel good to remember all of those things."

Wills said The Herald-Mail is accepting submissions for the third volume. The edition will focus on the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Wills said.

The current book costs $39.95 and is on sale at The Herald-Mail and at various retailers in Washington County.

For information, call 301-733-5131.

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