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Putnam Co. towns, river featured in new book

Oct. 25, 2013 @ 04:55 PM

POINT PLEASANT -- The newest addition to Arcadia Publishing's popular Images of America series is "Along the Kanawha River" from author Joseph Phillips.

The book boasts more than 200 vintage images and memories of days gone by.

Phillips will be signing copies of the book from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Point Pleasant River Museum.

The Kanawha River is a prominent natural feature running through West Virginia's Putnam County. Beginning in the 19th Century, small, permanent towns began to appear along the river's banks. The waterway served as a vital mode of transportation for these burgeoning communities.

Buffalo has a rich agricultural history and a historic town center with several buildings in the National Register of Historic Places. Eleanor was one of three New Deal settlements established by Eleanor Roosevelt. Winfield, the county seat, was named after Gen. Winfield Scott. Nitro was seemingly built overnight as a US ammunition facility during World War I.

While each town has its own identity, it shares a common link -- the Kanawha River. "Along the Kanawha River" chronicles Civil War-era residents, floods in the early 1900s and economic hard times in the 1930s. This pictorial history captures the diversity of these communities and the ways in which they flourished along the Kanawha River.

Highlights of "Along the Kanawha River" include:

A large portion of never before published images in the book came from the Army Corps of Engineers' archival collection.

Chronicles Nitro's immense industrial infrastructure from its time as a WWI munitions plant.

Includes images depicting the 1953 robbery of the Buffalo Bank.

The author's profits from the sale of the book will be donated to funding local projects undertaken by Rivers to Ridges Heritage Trail. Their projects include historical preservation efforts and construction endeavors, like the rebuilding of Hometown Park.

Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at 888-313-2665 or online.

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