THOSE VANISHING COMMUNITY HISTORY BOOKS (June 10/08)

They’re not collectibles or rare, but there are many village and community history books that are difficult to find today.

Take the original edition of the history of New Ross, for example. While there are likely numerous copies of this book in private bookshelves around the countryside, you can’t purchase one anymore. I know; I tried for a long time to add one to my collection of local history books.

Eventually I found a copy of the New Ross history in Maine by going through a website called Abe Books. I recommend this site if you’re looking for out-of-print books of any sort.

Another book difficult to find is Anne Hutten’s Valley Gold. This is an excellent history of the apple industry in the Valley, but try to find it for sale anywhere and you won’t have much luck. The same goes for the history of Greenwich by Edythe Quinn. This book was published in 1968 and while I’m sure there are lots of copies lying around somewhere, it rarely shows up at yard sales or the used book shops.

The Port Remembers, the history of Port Williams, is like the books by Hutten and Quinn – well-written and scarce. Undoubtedly, hundred of the Port Williams history and the books by Hutten and Quinn were printed and sold, but there must be some black hole out there that devours community histories. These three books have vanished and why is a mystery to me.

Another community history I haven’t seen in years is the one on Sheffield Mills, which I believe is called Grist from the Mills. I can’t remember the title of another community history about Woodville (The Homes of Woodville perhaps?) but this book has suffered the same fate as Valley Gold and the histories of Port Williams and Greenwich. Adora Phillips history of Bishopville has disappeared as well, along with Heather Davidson’s short history of Kentville and Watson Kirkconnell’s book on place names of Kings County.

I’ve been told that some years back a history of Scots Bay was published. Of all the books I’ve mentioned above, this history must be one of the rarest. If a reader has a copy, I’d like to hear from them.

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