Why we sell what we sell….

Many of our customers at Between the Lakes Group are primarily interested in genealogy, and they can be pardoned for occasionally wondering why we sell what we sell. Yes, occasionally we do some “original” history — history that has not been told before — but most of our business consists of republications of old and out of print material.

Amy Johnson Crow is a professional genealogist who has written an article (and created a podcast) about why genealogists need to be concerned with material that goes beyond “names and dates” — why genealogists need to put meat on the bones, so to speak. We were sufficiently impressed by her article that we wanted to refer to to you. You can find it HERE.

The podcast, in case you are into podcasts, and we know that many people are, the link to the podcast is there as well.

One point she makes in her article is the importance of finding out organizations to which your ancestor may have belonged. They can tell you a whole lot about your ancestor. For example, does your ancestor’s obit say he was in the GAR? Well, that’s an easy one — it stands for Grand Army of the Republic, and it means that even if you cannot find any other documentation of the fact, your ancestor was a Civil War veteran.

However, there are a zillion other organizations, and many are not quite as easy as the GAR. We know that because we kept track of how many people downloaded our old free list of abbreviations for organizations — how you make the jump from the initials of the organization that appear in the ancestor’s obit to the full name of the group.

Suffice it to say that this is a two part assignment. First, read Amy Johnson Crow’s article, and then consider whether you actually can identify all of those organizations your ancestors belonged to that were only identified by initials.

We modestly offer a book we prepared a couple of years ago that can help with that task. Acronyms for Organizations is a great compendium of initials for organizations, and for each there are the organizations those initials stand for, and have stood for in the past.

You can get Acronyms for Organizations via Amazon, and we think that after reading Amy Johnson Crow’s article you might decide that you actually need it.

Acronyms for organizations
Here’s the front cover! Here’s more about it.

Here are a couple of ideas if you don’t want to spend quite that much money. First, consider the Kindle version. This is one book that is probably as accessible on your portable electronic device as it is in book form, and it’s cheaper too. Furthermore, you’re more apt to have it with you the next time you’re stumped by a set of initials that stand for an organization.

There’s one more alternative that will also save you some money and quite possibly answer most of your questions about acronyms for organizations. The book pictured above is actually the second (and greatly expanded) edition of this book:

The first edition — but still available at Amazon

We know it’s a bit unusual to be offering two editions of the same book for sale at the same time, but we considered that What Does That Stand For? might just be sufficient for many people’s needs. It’s also at Amazon, and it also is available in a Kindle edition at a savings.

Well, that’s a long way of saying why we sell what we sell — or at least why we sell a couple of things that we sell — but we hope you find it helpful!

Libertas Yearbook for 1950

The yearbook of Liberty High School, Liberty, Sullivan County, NY

We at Between the Lakes Group are happy to make this Item of New York State history available once again. We acquired it on eBay, and hope that some find it useful.  Given the age that living 1950 Liberty High School grads now are, we expect that this is now of more genealogical interest than it is food for reminiscence.

High school yearbooks are one form of history within which everyone is recorded when they graduate from high school. They, and their community, are frozen at a point in time that the yearbook captures and keeps. Haircuts, clothes, friends, teachers, the sense of humor of the era, the area businesses – they are all captured as they were, not as we choose to remember them or tell our children they were back in the good old days.

The senior this year were born circa 1932-33.  The Great Depression was here; the happy times their parents remembered from their own childhoods likely seemed a distant memory.  They were in school during World War II, and likely most could tell you how they heard about Pearl Harbor.  All knew World War II veterans, and some of them may have had memories of soldiers and sailors who did not make it home from that war.  Boys graduating from LHS this year stood a good chance of being drafted or enlisting for the Korean War.  And at this writing, surviving class members are 85 or 86 years old.

There are a number of interesting aspects of this yearbook.  First off, it was soft covered.  Hard covers were still a year or two in the future.  The interesting blotches of pink on the pages just inside the cover are not some form of abstract art – they are simply color that has over the decades bled from the covers.  Under 70 pages in length, counting covers, it was not an extravagant effort, but it was carefully done.

Something this yearbook has that we’ve not noticed in other yearbooks was the class “Last Will and Testament” – yes, they were a yearbook commonplace back then, but this is the only one we can remember seeing in poetic form.  Shakespeare it is not, but it is an interesting touch.

Gender roles were pretty absolute in 1950.  Girls took home economics.  Boys took shop, with long-time shop teachers AuClair and Burnham already in place.  There don’t seem to have been any shop clubs for either boys or girls, but we note that there was a “Charm Club” that presumably was intended for girls who wished to improve their prospects in the matrimonial department.  Something interesting here:  there were two clubs for boys, the Bachelors Club and the Chefs Club, in the Home Economics department.  These clubs, which sought to teach boys to cook and to keep house, seem to be a bit discordant.  With sex roles still tightly defined, the popularity of these is hard to explain, even in retrospect.

Cheerleading remained the only sport for girls.  Basketball, which had been a girls’ sport as well as one for boys decades earlier, seems to be long gone at this point.  The boys’ sports: football, basketball, wrestling, track, baseball, and golf, were Liberty’s traditional mainstays.  One interesting addition to this book: people occasionally used yearbooks to collect clippings about graduates.  One such – a sad one – is the last page of this file.

At the same time, the Golden Age of the resorts was dawning, and fast.  While we see no references to Liberty’s place in the resort community, it was certainly well established by this time and was growing.  The O&W Railroad was still in business, although fading fast.  The Route 17 Quickway was not yet there, and the trip by car to NYC was a four-hour adventure, likely with a stop at the Red Apple Rest.

Telephones were black, had coiled cords, and were usually found one to a household – and your parents overheard every word you said.  Your neighbors may have as well, on the party lines that were still common.  Television sets, on the other hand, were still scarce, and reception, such as it was, was entirely in black and white, and often snowy.

1950 was genuinely a long time ago.  This yearbook captures it nicely, we think.

Want to capture this bit of history for yourself? CLICK HERE to go to our Liberty, New York page.

A full catalog of our offerings can be found at our main website, http://www.betweenthelakes.com. We invite you to visit us there.

Meanwhile, enjoy this bit of New York State history!

Libertas Yearbook for 1950

Lakeville Crucifix

Our latest book, entitled Lakeville Crucifix, is now available from Amazon.

It’s local history about a subject area that has gone largely unstudied in the part of Northwestern Connecticut that was considered to have an iron industry that was second to none for much of the 19th century.  A number of people have written thorough, careful, and fascinating books about the iron industry itself.  But Lakeville Crucifix takes a different tack.

Basically, Lakeville Crucifix is about the people who made the iron industry function and how they interacted with each other when you add nativism, Irish immigration, changes in the Roman Catholic Church, vestiges of New England Puritanism, and electoral politics to the mix.

In 1882, the Roman Catholic priest in Lakeville erected a 12-foot crucifix on the lawn of his parish church.  The following summer, the local Protestants, offended by this structure, petitioned him to remove the Lakeville Crucifix.  His parishioners retaliated by boycotting the Protestant merchants, and the merchants retaliated for that by calling on the local iron magnate, William H. Barnum, who also happened to be the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to ask him to fire all his Irish Catholic workmen.  It also happened that an ally of the aggrieved merchants was a former Governor of Connecticut, Alexander H. Holley.

The story of the Lakeville Crucifix does NOT end there!  The New York Times ran the story on page 1, it was covered in depth by the Hartford Courant, and the relatively new Associated Press spread the story all over the United States.  And, the tensions continued to mount as the local ladies organized with the intent of firing all of their Irish Catholic household help.  There are many other elements in the story, and we would be poor salespeople if we let all of the surprises out of the bag here.

At any rate, Lakeville Crucifix is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com, and we suggest that you have a look at it there.

CLICK HERE to see Lakeville Crucifix on Amazon!

Lakeville Crucifix
Purchase direct from Amazon.com as a paperback book or as an eBook for Kindle.

 

Thanks for visiting Between the Lakes Group!

See what else we have in our catalog!

 

 

Annual Report for Montpelier, Vermont 1908

We are happy to bring you the Annual Report for Montpelier, Vermont 1908!

Annual reports of towns (and cities) are a frequently overlooked historical resource.  While they seem still to be regularly produced in New England, they are less common elsewhere in the United States, but in New England they are a very useful snapshot of a locality at a specific point in time.

Unfortunately, they are a bit difficult to locate unless you happen to be in the town you are researching and can stop by town hall and see a copy.  The local library will likely have a collection of them as well, but they will not have the annual reports for other area towns, and there is always the risk that someone seeking to “freshen up” the library’s collection will have disposed of the historical reports, keeping, perhaps, the most recent few.

One tends not to find them very often in the used book arena, perhaps because few people perceive much value in them.  When we see one available we tend to grab it and, in time publish it.  But we’ve also noticed that, because they are under-appreciated, they tend not to sell very well for us.

This particular annual report is one of the better ones.  It – like most – includes a report from all governmental agencies and from agencies that are quasi-governmental, like libraries and cemeteries.  We were fascinated by the report of the Health Officer.  Topics of note in 1907 included epidemic diseases, getting decent plumbing in residences, and cleaning up the milk supply.  A table provides analysis, both chemical and bacteriological, of the various water supplies and springs.  Most notable is a breakout of mortality from diseases, and that analysis is five pages long (sorry – it does not name names; however, it does provide gender and age of each deceased person for each disease, so if you are trying to figure out what an ancestor might have died from, and you know they died in Montpelier in 1907 you can make an educated guess.)

Less hidden or disguised are the names of recipients and dollar amounts of support provided to the poor who were not housed on the city farm.

Another tidbit from this report.  In what appears to be the public works department report, it shows regular expenditures for prison labor, evidently to work on the roads.  For those who associate prison labor with chain gangs in the Deep South, this appearance in Vermont comes as a bit of a surprise.

We also noted with interest that back in the day of unpaved streets, Montpelier seems to have provided wooden crossings and maintained them at some expense.  Of course those were the days before gasoline or diesel-powered construction equipment, so one finds abundant references to renting teams to power the public works projects.  However, not all streets were unpaved!  Main Street, South Main Street, and State Street all had macadam roadways laid in 1907, and concrete sidewalks were laid on Summer Street, Elm Street, North Street, Liberty Street, Winooski Avenue, and Northfield Street.  Possibly Main Street, South Main, and State already had them – or perhaps not.  That is one of the frustrations of dealing with annual reports.  One gets a view of a specific year with little in the way of reference points to what had already been done or what was to be done in the next year.

However, we do appreciate what they can tell us!

You can purchase this download on our Vermont pageCLICK HERE to go directly to that page.

Annual Report for Montpelier, Vermont 1908

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sesquicentennial Historical Address — Sussex County, NJ

Sesquicentennial Historical Address — Sussex County, NJ sounds like a solemn and impressive bit of history.

This address, By Francis J. Swaze,  part of the sesquicentennial observance of Sussex County, was delivered at Newton, NJ on September 2, 1903.  While it claims only to be accurate through the Civil War, it’s interesting that the extractive industries (iron and various other minerals) get short shrift here despite their role in American history beginning with the Revolution – or even before; “The Old Mine Road” is one of the oldest thoroughfares mentioned in colonial-era literature.  As we look at the history of this county today, we see these industries as perhaps the most important part of the county’s history.

That said, we understand and appreciate the traditional emphasis on farming and related aspects of country life, and exploits with regard to the native Americans and in the Revolution as being of greatest interest to the audience for these remarks back over a century ago.  In addition to the history captured in this address, one can read it to get a better sense of priorities in American thought over a century ago.   Further, considering this was an address to people who lived in the county a long time, and whose ancestors were likely among those mentioned, this would have been a crown-pleaser.

All in all, it’s a useful document!  And it’s now available for download.

Read more about it on our New Jersey page!

Sesquicentennial Historical Address -- Sussex County, NJ

Acronyms for Organizations

Our newest book, Acronyms for Organizations, is now available in paperback and for the Kindle™ on the Amazon website.

Acronyms for organizations

To view it at Amazon.com, please click HERE!
You can also read more about it, and about our efforts in “real” publishing (you know — like books) and how it compliments our usual business of e-publishing, here’s the front cover!Close observers will note that we published an earlier book of initializations (or initialisms, if you prefer), acronyms, and abbreviations for organizations around four years ago, called “What Does That Stand For?”  Around half the length, it was our initial experience in modern print publishing, and we learned from it.  Many people spoke well of the earlier version, but it left us with the feeling that we had only skimmed the surface of what such a book really ought to contain.  (You can read a little more about our own historical process HERE.)

So, we took what we had there, and began a systematic process of collecting acronyms for organizations (as well as abbreviations and initialisms, of course) for thousands of additional information.  We discovered whole categories of abbreviations for organizations we had not considered — and we went into far greater depth with those we already had.

A little about the book — and it’s also available for Kindle:

Paperback edition:  562 pages, $23.99

Kindle edition:  598 pages, $13.99

(if you buy the paperback edition, you can also get the Kindle edition for a small additional charge).

In any case, please do have a look at the listing in the Amazon catalog — CLICK HERE to go directly to this listing.

Neversink downloads

We’re happy to say that with the availability of these Neversink Downloads, we’ve completed the migration from CD-ROMs to exclusively downloads!

“Old Neversink”  was our all-time best-selling CD-ROM, and, appropriately, it was the last to completely migrate to our modern world of downloads.

In that connection, we are very happy to again make available to you the following four items from the Old Neversink CD-ROM:

Eugene Cross 1910 Diary with index.   See the Old Neversink page

Child’s Gazetteer extract for Neversink, with index.  See the Old Neversink page

Neversink Genealogy with index.  See the Old Neversink page

Quinlan’s History of Sullivan County extract for Neversink, with index. See the Old Neversink page

Considerably more information about each of these is available on the Neversink page, so rather than simply say it again here, please have a look there!

CLICK to go to the Neversink page now

Included in these four downloads are two Neversink excerpts from larger publications of ours, Child’s Gazetteer of Sullivan County, and Quinlan’s History of Sullivan County.  Some people have mentioned to us that these excerpts are easier to handle than the file representing the full book, and that they are happy to have them available to work with in this form.  They’re short enough to print out, if you are more comfortable working from paper (as many of us secretly are!)

And, if you haven’t looked at our Neversink offerings recently, you might want to take a peek anyway — we have several items that we’ve added since the CD-ROM first came out that may be of interest to you.  (Needless to say, we do hope you will check out these four Neversink downloads while you are there!)

To the Neversink page!

Neversink Downloads
Some old Neversinkers, admiring the sidewalk they just coompleted

Annals of Winchester is back

Annals of Winchester is back
Annals of Winchester is back

Annals of Winchester, previously one of our best-selling CD-ROMs, had been unavailable since we discontinued our CD-ROM business to concentrate on low-cost, immediately available downloads.

However, we’ve had several requests for this classic, which, to anticipate a question we were asked many times about the CD, Annals of Winchester DOES include the history of Winsted.

If you are seeking historical information about the Town of Winchester, or Winsted, or the people who lived there and the businesses that made this an important manufacturing center, Annals of Winchester is pretty much the go-to source.  It is indexed — and we have added an additional index of place names that we compiled — and, since it is in PDF format, easy to use on any computer.

There’s lots more information available on our Annals of Winchester page, so please have a look.  If you considered buying the CD originally but were put off by the price tag, you will find that the download version is a small fraction of that amount — and has the advantage of being an immediate download, not something you have to wait a week or more for the Post Office to deliver.

So, CLICK HERE to go to our Annals of Winchester page.

And join us in celebrating that Annals of Winchester is back!

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.

 

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