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Doyles capture Sharpsburg's image

December 08, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

SHARPSBURG - Vernell and Tim Doyle didn't ask to compile "Images of America: Sharpsburg," but at the publisher's request, they dove into the project.

They asked around town for historical photos they could borrow and scan. They did research at Antietam National Battlefield's library, the Washington County Historical Society and Washington County Free Library's Western Maryland Room.

"Good thing we're not shy, because we did get on the telephone and found, I guess you could say, a generous response for the most part," said Vernell Doyle, who recently became president of the Sharpsburg Historical Society.

"It was one of those projects where we know there's lots more out there, but we didn't get them for this book," Doyle said. The Doyles have homes in Sharpsburg and east of Hagerstown.

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The book, part of a popular series of books focused on pictorial histories of small towns, was published Oct. 5.

It is available through www.arcadiapublishing.com for $21.99 plus shipping and handling or through the Doyles by calling 301-992-9767. It was available for $16.49 through amazon.com this week.

Some local businesses had copies, but the book sold quickly, said Vernell Doyle, who used to teach at Roxbury Correctional Institution. The book has chapters on the town, the people, the battlefield, the canal and the area.

Doyle said she didn't care about history until 2006, when she and her husband bought a home on Chapline Street that dates to 1856 and once belonged to a Chesapeake & Ohio Canal boatman.

"It's fascinating once you find it's real," she said.

Tim Doyle, who used to be an editor for The Daily Mail, said some of the photos were a little fuzzy and didn't meet Arcadia's standards, so he did some "fancy footwork on the computer" to make the images sharper because the couple thought they were significant enough to be in the book.

One of his favorite photos is of early Crawford automobiles being driven on the hill by Burnside Bridge.

One of Vernell Doyle's favorite photos is one her husband took of a canal tollhouse being renovated in December 2008. The image shows board-and-batten siding, as well as parts of the original log structure.

The couple is not sure yet whether they will collaborate on another volume about the town.

"It was not exactly a job. It was more like writing a dissertation," Vernell Doyle said.

"We did get to know some people that we didn't know before. That's just a bonus. That really is the payback for the book - learning things and meeting people," she said.le of Sharpsburg compiled "Images of America: Sharpsburg." It was published Oct. 5 as part of a series of pictorial histories of small towns.

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