These last hundred years have been a remarkable journey, for both the newspaper and the communities it covers; a journey worthy of a closer look, thought the newspaper’s editorial staff.
To celebrate its 100th year as The Anniston Star, the newspaper is working with the Anniston-Calhoun County Public Library on the book titled “Calhoun County Memories.” It will be filled with Calhoun County photographs from the 19th century onward and with Anniston Star front pages dating back to early decades of the 20th century.
“We began to look at that occasion and said it would be interesting to put together a book that looked back at the history of our community, and look back at some front pages from that era,” Anniston Star Editor Bob Davis said Wednesday.
The book will be published by Pediment Publishing, which specializes in pictorial history books.
“We were thoroughly impressed by the work that they’ve already done,” Davis said.
In addition to photographs from local historical organizations, the hard-bound, coffee-table book will include images provided by its readers. Anyone with photos that meet submission guidelines is asked to bring them to one of three public scanning sessions to be held this month.
“We never know what we’re going to get from the public,” said Brad Fenison, president of Pediment Publishing. “... but we really need the public’s involvement because we get things like family portraits from the 1800s. School classes, things that really bring the book to life. It’s those photos and the stories that go along with them that really make it interesting.”
Often, Fenison said, people will bring in photos of longtime family businesses, images that have likely hung on a wall in a shop for decades. This type of photo adds to the overall picture of a community, Fenison said, because examples are so often seen by only a few people.
“It’s fun to dig in those photos and tell the stories of the community,” Fenison said.
Fenison researches a town before heading out to scan images brought by individuals, and he often works with historical societies, but, he added, “we almost always get surprised. We find things we didn’t expect ... And that’s what makes it interesting.”
The book is expected to be ready for purchase in November, Davis said, and will be available at various retail outlets and at The Anniston Star office.
Books may also be preordered for $29.95 at Calhoun.pictorialbook.com
GUIDELINES FOR PHOTO SUBMISSIONS
• Pictures must be general interest photos, such as: commerce, industry, transportation, rural life, public service, etc. Photos must be taken from the 1800s to today, and they must be photos only.
• No newspaper clippings or photocopies. They must have been taken in Calhoun County, and there must be one submission form per photo.
• Photo submission forms can be downloaded at Calhoun.pictorialbook.com. Only 10 photos per family will be accepted. Call 360-687-6731 to set up an appointment if you’re a private collector with a sizable collection.
• Wednesday, Aug. 22 9 a.m.-noon The Anniston Star located at 4305 McClellan Blvd.
• Thursday, Aug. 23 2 p.m.-5 p.m. The Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County located at 108 East 10th Street, Anniston.
• Friday, Aug. 24 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. The Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County located at 108 East 10th Street. Anniston.
Star staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563 or on Twitter @burkhalter_star.