By Pat Maurer
The new Images of America title by Arcadia Publishing, “Harrison” will be available for sale at the Harrison District Library and other retailers beginning May 19th.
The book is a year-long effort by former classmates of Harrison High School, Angela Kellogg, support services librarian at the Harrison District Library and Cody Beemer, owner of Beemer’s Sand and Gravel.
Cody is a fourth generation Harrison resident who traces his family to the pioneering days of the community and a life-long student of Harrison and Michigan history. Angela’s parents retired to Harrison when she was a teenager from the downriver area south of Detroit. She now manages the Harrison District Library’s local history collection.
The pictorial history they have compiled together represents the best photographs, facts and tales from those who have preserved Harrison history including the Beemer/Bailey family collections, the Harrison District Library, and the Clare County Historical Society. In addition, photos, postcards and other materials were purchased from the internet, eBay and/or borrowed from family members with connections to the area bringing that history back to Harrison for safekeeping for future generations.
Many of the imagers included in the book feature rare and previously unpublished material from private family collections, such as photos of the lumbering operation at Dodge City in the 1890s and Wilson State Park.
Highlights of “Harrison” also includes publication of the “lost” newspaper article from the 1929 issue of the Detroit Free Press detailing the lumber era history; never before published photos of local legend Spikehorn Meyers; and features on many forgotten residents with interesting histories or special influences on the community.
The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.
Beemer and Kellogg could not venture a guess into the number of hours in research and editing of the book. The labor was many years in the making for Beemer, who studied and researched many Harrison tales of folk lore and fact.
Kellogg said, “Telling the story of Harrison was a great honor for us. The Harrison area has a unique history and the people who lived here are captivating.” With the amount of material collected and interest in Harrison’s history another publication may be considered in the future.
“It was more complicated and took longer than we expected,” she said, “but I have enjoyed the project immensely.”
An Open House for the recent remodel of the Harrison District Library and history presentation is being planned for May 28th at 6:00 p.m. at the Harrison District Library.
Harrison, $21.99, Arcadia Publishing. Available at local retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.aradia publishing.com or by calling 1-888-313-2665.