Lime Rock Walking Tour

More than a decade ago, Geoff Brown, the Principal Partner of Between the Lakes Group, was asked by the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area to conduct a Lime Rock Walking Tour.  He repeated the tour by request a few years later.

Trinity Church in Lime Rock graciously hosted the tour and provided hospitality as well as access to their archives.  Lime Rock Park provided a highly knowledgeable historian of the track to tell us a bit about that internationally known institution from an insider’s point of view.  Many others helped in ways too numerous to mention.

But there was one problem.  A number of people told us they would like to go on a Lime Rock Walking Tour, but they were not physically capable of walking the three miles that even a minimal tour would require.  What could we do?  The answer was soon in coming:  we would prepare a Powerpoint slide show of the walking tour, and while those up to the walk could experience it in real life, those who could not would be able to watch the slide show in Trinity’s Walker Hall in comfort.

As we prepared the slide show, it quickly became clear that we would be able to put far more information about Lime Rock in the slide show than actual participants in the Lime Rock Walking Tour would actually get to see.  We could include sights too distant to walk to.  We could include historic photos and maps of features of Lime Rock that were no longer there.  We could include concise summaries of things we would talk about on the walk.  We could include photos of sights that still remain that are not accessible because they are on private property.

Ultimately, the slide show accompanying the Lime Rock Walking Tour became considerably more comprehensive and satisfying than the tour itself!

Subsequently, we decided to make the slide show of the Lime Rock Walking Tour available as a CD-ROM.  We sold quite a number in that format, but when the time came to retire our CD business, the slide show became unavailable.

However, we recently resurrected the slide show and, realizing we could republish it as a PDF file, could include even more information and photos than the slideshow format permitted.  For example, we could provide the old maps in a way that people could study them as long as they wanted.  We were able to add considerable information that would have passed too quickly to be absorbed in a slide show.  We could even improve on the original slide show by incorporating information unearthed since the slide show was created.

Coincidentally, we had two “real” books in the works.  Research for our forthcoming “The Lakeville Crucifix” and “History of Trinity Lime Rock in Context” had turned up huge amounts of information that permitted an updating of the Lime Rock Walking Tour slide show that genuinely improved it.

This is all in the way of announcing that the new, enlarged and enhanced Lime Rock Walking Tour is now available as a download in PDF format.  Now 141 pages long, we feel that it is something that belongs in the collection of any student of Lime Rock or the Town of Salisbury or the historic iron industry of the Upper Housatonic Valley.

More information and an opportunity to download the document are on our Lime Rock page.   We encourage you to take a look!  CLICK HERE to find out more about it!

Here’s one of the items we particularly like that appears in the Lime Rock Walking Tour:

Lime Rock Walking Tour
A photo of the company band of the Barnum Richardson Company circa 1900


Lewis County, NY material

Among the final items we are planning to bring you this calendar year is some Lewis County, NY material.  These two items were originally issued on the Lewis County CD-ROM which we discontinued a few months ago, but are now again making available, but this time, at a substantial savings, as downloadable files in PDF format.

Originally the north end of Oneida County, NY, Lewis County is indisputably part of the “North Country” and as such historical material can be a bit skimpy.  We are happy to be able to offer these items to help those who need them.

One of these republications is Child’s redoubtable Gazetteer and Business Directory for Lewis County for 1872-73.  Child did these of most New York and Vermont counties, and later expanded into other states.  He had a formula for producing these collections of historical material, and, based on this one and other Child Gazetteers we’ve seen, the formula worked very well.  Most of the information contained is still of great interest to local historians and genealogists nearly a century and a half later.  If you would like more information about this download, please click HERE to go to a page all about it.

The second item is modest in size and of less general interest, but since we have it we would be remiss not to again make it available.  This is a survey of local relief in Lewis County in 1906.  Extracted from a three volume survey produced by the state in that year, this is information you are unlikely to find elsewhere.  However, be advised that this section is short.   There were no state hospitals or other facilities in the county at that time, and the services provided by the county itself were quite limited.  Nonetheless, you may find that it’s worth a look.  Click HERE to go to our main Lewis County page, where you will also find other Lewis County, NY material.


Recovering history
Between the Lakes Group helps you recover history!

Erie County NY material

We’re happy to bring you some Erie County NY material.  While it was originally provided on our Erie County Directory CD-ROM, which, along with all the rest of our CDs, was discontinued, it has been unavailable long enough to qualify as “new” we think.

Without further ado, here is the “new” Erie County NY material:

The Saga yearbook for 1957 from Clarence High School in Clarence, New York.

The Gateway yearbook for 1954 for the Frontier Central School in Hamburg, New York.

The Erie County Directory for 1924.  Note that this is real Erie County NY material, not Buffalo material and not Tonawanda material (neither of those cities are included in this directory.  It appears they were published as separate directories shortly after this Erie County directory was published.

Some picture of antique postcards of Erie County and Buffalo.  We had included these times from our collection on the CD-ROM, and we hated to see them go to waste.  (You’ll see one of them below)

At any rate, all this Erie County NY material is available at a significant savings over what we charged for the CD-ROM, and you get to pay for only what you want, not everything we previously included in the CD.

Take a look at our Erie County page in any event.  We now have a fair amount of material that may be of interest if Erie County history is of interest to you.

Also, why not take a look at our catalog!

Erie County NY material

Newton MA Blue Book for 1910

The Newton MA Blue Book for 1910 is an important piece of social history (and history of Boston “Society”) that we are delighted to bring back into our catalog.  Originally published on CD-ROM, it has been unavailable since we discontinued our CD line, but now we have taken the original material from the CD and made it available as a download — at a substantial savings, by the way.

In case you wondered what communities are included in the Newton MA Blue Book for 1910, here’s the list:  Thompsonville, Newton Upper Falls, Newton Highlands, Newton Lower Falls, Chestnut Hill, Waban Hill, Newton, Newton Centre, Newtonville, Nonantum, West Newton, Waban, Reeds Corner, and Auburndale.  Today — and doubtless in 1910 — residents frequently would say where they lived according to the small community — e.g. Waban — rather than the more inclusive Newton.  In case you’re trying to correlate any of these to today’s locations, the Blue Book contains a large and detailed map of all of Newton as well.

Since the Blue Book is first and foremost a directory, it has the predictable names and addresses of the residents — with some additional touches, such as summer addresses for those who went to the ocean in the summer (a bit like the Social Register).

The ads are fascinating.  You’ll find the usual trades, but you will also see ads for riding stables and private schools, as well as seating maps of the major theatres of Boston — and you’ll not find that in many other municipal directories of the era!

If this sounds interesting, you can CLICK HERE to go directly to the Newton MA Blue Book for 1910 page on our website to learn more.  There we have a list of the surnames included, in case you would like to check further.  We would be remiss if we failed to mention our catalog as well.  Who knows what you might find there!

Newton MA Blue Book for 1910


Worcester MA Directory for 1871

We’re very happy to announce the republication of Howland’s Directory of Worcester, MA for 1871, this time as a download.

A few years ago we made this rarity available on CD-ROM, but when we discontinued our line of CDs, it became — as far as we know — unavailable except as a rare book.  Now we are catching up on making material that was previously on our CDs available as downloads, and today Howland’s Worcester MA Directory for 1871 came up.

We are aware that does offer lookups in this directory, but we are unaware of any other online sources for this 405 page volume.  While lookups are certainly useful, we think that having the “real thing” at hand offers many advantages that you don’t get with a download.

At any rate, you can read more about this volume, and, if you feel inclined, you can buy it via download if you go to our page about the Worcester MA Directory for 1871.

Worcester MA Directory for 1871

Wayne County NY material

We are very happy to announce that we’ve made two items of Wayne County, NY material again available.

Previously included on our CD-ROM (since discontinued) were Child’s Gazetteer of Wayne County, NY as well as a collection of Wayne County material from the New York State Board of Charities three-volume 1906 annual report.  We are delighted that both are now available as downloads, and — even better — at a significant savings to you.

Please CLICK HERE to go to a page all about the Gazetteer (a must for genealogists and local historians).

Please CLICK HERE to go to our main Wayne County, NY page for more about the charities of Wayne County.

We would be remiss, of course, if we also didn’t offer a link to our catalog.  Have a look!  You never know what you might find!

Wayne County NY material
Just one page from the Gazetteer. Look closely. They offer a course in “Phonography” which is presumably all about how to operate one of those new-fangled things called a “phonograph”.

Missouri Material

We’ve got some Missouri material to offer you!

To tell the truth, it’s not all new.  When we discontinued our CD-ROM about the small city of Nevada, Missouri, these three items included on it were no longer available.  Now, we’ve taken these items and made them each into an individual download.  In the process, we’ve made these available at a considerable savings compared with the cost of the CD-ROM they replaced.

Here’s what’s newly available:

The Nevada, Missouri City Directory for 1905.  (It may surprise you to learn that Nevada was large and important enough to need a city directory.  However, at that time it had an Army camp, Cottey College, a state insane asylum, and a fair number of optimistic businesses.

The Comet yearbook for 1928 from Nevada, MO High School.  This is a remarkably modern yearbook for the times, and features higher quality photography than is found in most older yearbooks.

Some Nevada, Missouri photos.  Honestly, they are scans of old postcards from the area, and had that unfortunate stippled finish that used to mean “this is one classy postcard.”  Regrettably, they don’t scan well.  However, they did appear on the discontinued CD-ROM and we felt we needed to make them available for those who might have a need.

All three of these are available HERE.

Be sure to let us know if you would like us to publish additional Missouri material.  We attempt to be responsive to our customers’ needs.

Nevada Missouri Bushwhacker Museum
The Bushwhacker Museum in Nevada, Missouri

Middletown CT Downloads

We’ve got some Middletown CT downloads available for you!

Several years ago, we collected a quantity of Middletown, CT material and published it on a CD-ROM, called, somewhat predictably, the

Middletown, CT

When we decided that times and technology had provided better alternatives than CDs for distributing our material, we took this one out of the catalog along with the others.  Now, The Middletown Collection has made its way to the head of the queue as “Middletown CT Downloads” and we are pleased to bring you four new items.

Here’s what is now available:

–The Middletown Real Property List, tabulated by street, for 1931.  Want to see exactly where someone lived in 1931 and what their property was valued at?  Want to see who lived in a particular location in that year?  You can do it with this download.

–The 1947 Cauldron yearbook from Middletown, CT, High School, including the supplement that filled in the blanks representing the time between when the yearbook was published during the school year and graduation.  The supplement, by the way, is very hard to find today — not surprisingly — but it is included in the download.

The Connecticut Quarterly was an elegant magazine about all kinds of Connecticut topics that began in the closing years of the 19th century.  One of the earlier communities that received feature article treatment was Middletown!  Lovely photos and quite a bit of history here too.

Middletown Ephemera.  One thing we miss about the CD-ROMs was the ability to include random material that certainly didn’t justify a CD of its own, and was even a little weak to make a separate download.  However, when we collected the ephemera from this CD, it represented a nice package, and some may find material in it that is of use to them.  One item here is the relevant Middletown listings for one of the annual Connecticut Registers.  Another is a collection of postcards of Middletown and particularly of the fraternity houses at Wesleyan.  A Chamber of Commerce brochure is here, as is the program for the Middletown tercentenary.

Unlike the old days, when you had to buy a CD-ROM with everything on it even if you just wanted one of these items, now you can pick and choose — and probably save yourself a few dollars in the process.

Why not have a look?  Take a look at our overall catalog as well.  Who knows what might be there for you?

The Wesleyan Gymnasium, back in the day


New Rhode Island Downloads

We have four new Rhode Island downloads now available.

Previously included on the discontinued CD-ROM covering Warwick, RI and points south, the four new Rhode Island downloads are now available individually at a considerable savings.

Here are the four:

Minutes of the Rhode Island Congregational Conference

Chronicle yearbook of West Warwick High school for 1930 and for 1932

Westerly High School yearbook for 1934

These downloads are all in PDF format, permitting you all the latitude you get with this format, and none of the roadblocks many downloaded books, whether free or paid, put up in the way of the user.  You can print individual pages, copy selections, and save the file wherever works best for you.

At any rate, this now completes the conversion of this CD-ROM to individual downloads, so we can begin to add new Rhode Island materials to the catalog.

While the links above will take you to the former contents of the CD-ROM, you may also want to take a look at our main Rhode Island page, and at our overall catalog.

Thanks for your interest!

One of the new Rhode Island downloads