“Montevallo,” a pictorial history on sale May 26

Published 4:31 pm Monday, May 23, 2011

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

The little book, “Montevallo,” to be released on May 26 is a real treasure for history buffs and for all who love Montevallo.

Book signing and the beginning of sales will take place at The Eclipse Coffee and Books on Thursday, May 26, at 6 p.m.

The authors, UM Professors Clark Hultquist and Carey Heatherly, have assembled more than 200 vintage photos for a wonderful pictorial history of the university and the town.

Hultquist is professor of history and chair of behavioral and social sciences, and Heatherly is an assistant professor, and reference librarian and archivist at Carmichael Library. The book cover explains that the photographs came from the library archives and other local history collections.

The book includes some rare images scanned from glass plate negatives dating from 1890-1910.

The authors’ intent, beautifully accomplished, was to illustrate the rich heritage of the larger university community.

Copy of the front of the book showing Montevallo students and the campus chief of police at the front gate; intersection of Oak and North Boundary Streets. (Contributed)

“For over 100 years now, Montevallo has been home to a constantly evolving institution that affects change in the area,” Heatherly said. “Be it the poets, writers and artists who teach here or The American Village, Ebenezer Swamp and Eclipse Coffee and Books where students and townspeople mingle and learn collaboratively, Montevallo is a small, but vibrant community. Our work attempts to accurately reflect the change from a tiny hamlet with a girls’ training school to a bustling community with a fully accredited university. Hopefully, Montevallo will serve as a way for alums and townspeople to reminisce and as an access point for those doing research on town or university history.”

Hultquist emphasized the uniqueness of Montevallo when he said, “Small towns often have the undeserved reputation for being sleepy and backwards. Montevallo belies this stereotype as our work documents that for the last nearly two hundred years this town has had an important influence upon central Alabama, the larger state, and the region. What we have particularly noticed is the transformative affect the University of Montevallo has had upon tens of thousands of students, many of them first-generation collegians. The institutional loyalty the school has generated is impressive with many students having parents and grandparents who have attended the school.”

“Montevallo” is one of “The Images of America” series by Arcadia Publishing Company celebrating the history of this country’s towns, cities and neighborhoods. Arcadia is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States.

“Montevallo” sells for $21.99 and is available at area bookstores, independent retailers, online retailers or through Arcadia Publishing.

Catherine Legg can be reached by email at clegg2@bellsouth.net.