Patch asked Images of America: Avon Lakeauthor Gerry Vogel about what went into organizing more than 1,000 photos of Avon Lake into a historical book of photos and captions.
Vogel, the Avon Lake Library’s assistant director, will sign the book which provides a glimpse back in time with more than 200 vintage images and memories of days gone by. The newly released book includes photos from Avon Lake before it became a city in 1960.
Vogel, the assistant director of the , will hold a book signing on Wednesday, Aug. 24 in the library's Gallery at 7 p.m. The book will be available to purchase. Photos that did not make it into the book will be projected on the Gallery's screen.
Avon Lake Patch: What can readers of the book expect?
An overview of our community's history in pictures from different perspectives. Not just a keepsake but a springboard for the community to keep working together on documenting and preserving our history.
Avon Lake Patch: How many photos were collected and how many were selected?
We collected more than 1,000 photos, as well as postcards and other memorabilia. We asked for as many details as possible. The items were logged, scanned, and returned to their owners. Arcadia books have room for about 220 photos; it was a real challenge to balance good photos with ones that "fit" and represent a wide variety of subjects and sources.
Avon Lake Patch: How long did the project take to complete?
We were in touch with Arcadia Publishing in 2007. We started collecting photos in earnest in March 2008. A proposal was submitted last summer, accepted and then deadlines made it real. Most of my work was done in January and February of this year.
Avon Lake Patch: Do you have any favorite photos?
I have come to really like the cover photo, which has it all: Lake Erie, industry, farms and a proud, iconic moment in time. We got about 100 photos of the CEI plant's many construction phases, far more than we had room for.
Avon Lake Patch: Who contributed the photos? Organizations? Individuals?
Both. Some of them from out of town and out of state. Some came forward on their own, others were nudged by neighbors, family and friends. Many of us made calls and knocked on doors. We didn't get photos of everything, or from everyone, but what we got works.
Avon Lake Patch: How did you come to author the book?
That is a long story. This book has many authors, contributors and advisors, which is why I am the author on behalf of the Library and the Historical Society. I just fit the final pieces together and made sure it got done right and on schedule. Arcadia has a standard format to fill, detailed instructions on their requirements.
Avon Lake Patch: Any surprising photos?
I'd still like to know exactly what THIS was... (Exhibit a, American Legion parade 1939, photo courtesy of John Early) --Editor's note, see the "trainmobile" in photos.
Avon Lake Patch: Any road bumps during the project?
Sometimes photos came with few details or little explanation. Some photos were not good enough quality for publication. Not all of the information checked out. I took a chance with some of these because they were still interesting photos, and we may yet find out more about them as the book gets around.
Avon Lake Patch: Did you write the captions?
Yes, but I had plenty of help with rewording, fact checking and proofreading.