The "Images" Series

The Arcadia Publishing Company has become well-known for producing numerous titles on local topics that are predominantly historic in nature.  Including within these books are similarly historic, and often rare photographs accompanying the subject featured.  If you ever visit a bookstore such as Barnes & Noble you have likely ran across one of their books, which features and sepia-tone photo on the cover.  Their "Images" series is one of the most popular and highlights everything from railroads and towns to universities and businesses.  Naturally, such books are often big sellers in the local area and region they represent.  Over the years I have come to own several in the "Images" series and they are always interesting to peruse (even the accompanying information is not always correct at times).

Mount Hope And Otisville

A few years ago I was contacted by Arcadia Publishing some time ago hoping to review one of their new titles at the time, Mount Hope And Otisville from their Images of America series. Because I am neither a native of Otisville, Mount Hope, nor New York state the region is not the least bit familiar to me. However, it may be to you and personally I found the book interesting for a few reasons: first, I grew up in a small town like Otisville so reading about a similar place was interesting in itself; and second, because the Erie Railroad constructed its main line through Otisville seeing the photos and reading about the history of that was similarly intriguing. In any event, I hope the information presented here highlighting the book will be of interest to you and perhaps even compel you to pick up a copy for yourself!

Even if you are not familiar with Arcadia Publishing you have probably read one of their books, especially their Images of America series, which are titles with a black & white photo gracing the cover and highlighting a local town, community, or location. Because Arcadia's books are so personal and feature such local regions and areas (usually written by local authors who know the locations) the publisher has become very successful with current offices in Charleston (South Carolina), San Francisco, Chicago, and Portsmouth. The company specifically mentions the local nature of its books, "Publishers of local and regional history books."  The title Mount Hope And Otisville is written by Nancie Craig and Anita Goldsmith, both of which are residents of the local area and members of the Mt. Hope Historical Society (Craig is vice president while Goldsmith is president). Through 128 black and white images the two authors spent many hours compiling the book covers the long history of the two towns and the impact the railroad held on their growth.

According to Arcadia's official press release of the book:

Mount Hope and Otisville have been making history for years. From the Erie Railroad to today's thriving commerce centers, these two communities have been vital to the area's growth and development. In over 200 vintage photographs local authors Nancie Craig and Anita Goldsmith bring readers on a nostalgic journey down Mount Hope and Otisville's memory lane. The authors hope the book will "spur an interest in the history of our community, as well as show the importance of saving images for future generations."

The profits from this book are going to the Mount Hope Historical Society for construction of a local history library.

Highlights of Mount Hope and Otisville:

* Reveals many rare, unseen photographs from private and public collections.

* Features images of old churches, schools, and hospitals.

* Covers the Erie Railroad and its tunnel, and how they impacted the two communities.

* Includes photographs of the Otisville Tuberculosis Sanitarium.

The Great Northern Railway In Marias Pass

This title was released in 2017, authored by Dale W. Jones.  It features a collection of photos highlighting Great Northern's route through the Montana Rockies, Marias Pass located within what is now Glacier National Park.  The images range from the line's construction into the modern era as it remains in service under successor BNSF Railway.  Discovery of the pass is credited to Colonel John F. Stevens in 1889 although, as Mr. Jones notes, he may not have been the first to actually do so.  In any event, the area became a favorite for company publicity photos, particularly over the breathtaking Two Medicine River Bridge.  The pass, which peaked at 5,213 feet above sea level, also features a series of tunnels and snowsheds.  Finally, a former crew quarters, Izaak Walton Inn based in Essex and now converted to a popular vacation destination, is situated to the west of the pass.  The photography you will see in this book stretches from Browning to Whitefish, Montana with some scenes at Kalispell and Haskell Pass.

Rails In And Around Saratoga Springs

"Rails In And Around Saratoga Springs" was released in 2017 and authored by Richard Chait. It largely focuses on the Delaware & Hudson Railway's service into Saratoga Springs, a long-time resort town which sprang up around the area's natural mineral springs.  For the D&H, the nation's oldest transportation company still in existence, it reached Saratoga through the 1871 lease of the Rensselaer & Saratoga.  As the railroad continued to grow, its network would ultimately comprised over 700 miles stretching from the anthracite coal fields of northeastern Pennsylvania to Montreal, Quebec.  In Mr. Chait's book you will find a collection of photos featuring everything from the Saratoga's spas, hotels, and resorts to classic steam-era scenes when rail service played a vital role in the region's transportation services.  In later chapters you can read about other railroads to serve Saratoga as well as what remains there today.

Rail Depots Of Eastern North Carolina

This title was written by Larry Neal, Jr. and released in 2017.  As the name suggests, it highlights depots and stations within the eastern regions of North Carolina.  The coastal plains of the Tarheel State were served by all three noteworthy southeastern railroads; the Southern Railway, Seaboard Air Line, and Atlantic Coast Line.  The latter, however, best served this region along with the smaller Norfolk Southern Railway (original) which operated to the northeast.  Mr. Neal has provided a wonderful collection of historic and modern scenes, broken down into four chapters highlighting the above-mentioned railroads (except for the Southern) along with union stations and short line facilities (such as the historic East Carolina Railway and Laurinburg & Southern).  If you have any interest in the state's rail history I would highly recommend this book.