Towns in SepiaEditor
Publishing approaches its 100th Texas Title
seems like only yesterday that there were only a handful of Texas titles in Arcadia’s
collection. It was also yesterday that they had around 2,000 titles total. By
now Arcadia’s small handsome volumes should be familiar to anyone with an interest
in local history.|
If they don’t have a volume on your specific town –
just give them time. If they don’t have a book on your present town, they will
almost certainly have one on your hometown or a place where you used to live,
or one your parent’s hometown, or where you went to college or were stationed
in the military…..
of a circus parade circling the town square c. 1904 taken from the roof of the
Smith County Courthouse. Photo Courtesy Smith County Historical Society. |
Tyler, Texas - Arcadia Publishing, 2008
|The secret to Arcadia’s
success is to partner with local historians and authors – the people who know
their subject best. In almost every case the photos included are the absolute
best of private and institutional collections. They have been culled and culled
again before appearing in Arcadia’s pages. |
Years ago counties wishing
to publish there histories had to go to publishers who specialized in producing
them or were scammed by fly-by-night “publishers” who collected monies in advance.
If publication did occur, the reader was hit with a committee-made project with
a $60 to $80 price tag.
Arcadia’s plan is twofold: avoid the committee
by utilizing dedicated authors and keep the cost down by selecting the best photos.
Since they started, Arcadia has branched out on specific subjects. Sports, amusement
parks, universities, neighborhoods and even the occasional business are now interspersed
in their directories. However the backbone of their business remains small towns.
| In the event they
strike a rich vein of photos and have an enthusiastic author, they can (and will)
produce a volume on the town and another on the county. The county books allow
the authors to feature towns too small to be featured separately. |
can produce one book of photographs and another on the same town using vintage
postcards. This was the case recently with Tyler. Historian Robert Reed authored
his first book of Tyler photographs in 2008 and
his second book was available in
September of 2009. The two volumes complement one another but each stands alone.
A partial list of Arcadia’s
Burnet, Carthage, Big Spring and Howard County, Cherokee County, Cleburne, Corpus
Christi, Corsicana, Del Rio, Denton, Donna, Dumas, El Paso, Ennis, Ft. Clark and
Brackettville, Ft. Worth, Gainesville and Cooke County, Gilmer, Glen Rose, Goliad,
Haskell County, Hemphill County, Hidalgo County, Huntsville, Hutto, Jarrell, LaGrange,
Lampassas, Lee County, Luling, Marfa, Midlothian, Mission, Matagorda County, Nacogdoches,
Oak Cliff, Pilot Point, Plano (they do have a history), Rockwall, Round Rock,
Smithville, Temple, Tyler, Val Verde County, Waco, Waxahachie, and Weatherford.
(County Seats and County Histories):
| Content starts from
the earliest maps, daguerreotypes and photos available and subjects run from picnics
to Baptisms to hangings and from graduations to funerals. Disasters are always
unwelcome guests at the historical buffet but tornados, floods, fires and train
wrecks are included – as are occasional events like the presidential visits or
forced landings of early aviators. |
Text is provided in captions to the
photos. Complete enough to tell the story behind the photos but short enough not
Since Arcadia is constantly moving on to new titles, it’s interesting
to see how valuable some of their out-of-print titles have become. It would come
as no surprise to find people speculating on certain books and their future availability.
Arcadia has been very generous in sharing content with Texas
Escapes and it’s a pleasure to recommend their good works to our readers.