Gladstone history in national spotlight
Gladstone has been chosen as the subject of a nationally prominent book series dedicated to showcasing the towns and cities of America.
Kim Argraves Huey, a historian and active member of the Gladstone Historical Society (GHS), wrote the book through Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series.
"During the past couple of years, the GHS has received numerous inquiries from groups and individuals wanting to view Gladstone's old photos," Huey said. "Since the GHS is actively fundraising, in order to establish a permanent repository in which to store our historical archives, we saw the opportunity to benefit all."
For Huey, putting the book together was relatively easy. "I had the benefit of the well-researched history of Gladstone recorded in the three volumes of the 'History of Gladstone,' published by the GHS" and written by the late Herb Beals. So with that and "about 30 other diaries, books, manuscripts and maps," writing the book was a breeze. Huey's biggest problem was staying within the word limit.
That being said, finding photos for the book proved to be somewhat difficult. "Arcadia has a requirement of a minimum of 180 vintage images, and Gladstone owns only about two dozen of its own photos," Huey said.
But once word got out about the book, Huey was "pleasantly surprised by folks from all corners of the United States offering to share some amazing old family photos." The Gladstone Christian Church, Johna Heintz of the Museum of the Oregon Territory in Oregon City, and family members of Judge Harvey Cross (Gladstone's founder) all helped gather vintage photographs for the book.
"Not only did I learn new details of Gladstone's history, but I also made some wonderful new friends," Huey said. She even ended up with more photographs than she could use.
"Images of America: Gladstone" covers 100 years, from 1830 to 1930. Those were formative years for Gladstone, and the book explores the major events of that time period, such as the first Oregon State Fair, and the end of the Chautauqua movement.
Gladstone is Huey's hometown. "I've always appreciated how lucky I was to grow up in such a great little town as Gladstone," she said. It's "a very special place." Her love for her hometown soon grew into a love for the history and stories behind it. She explained that the history of Gladstone includes "everything that a good story should have — heroes and villains, romance and war, perilous feats and grand events." And of course, it being all true helps.
Huey thinks Gladstone's history (and history in general) is important to everyone, not just those who grew up there. "The past tells people where they came from, who they are, and how they fit into the scheme of things. It compels them to consider their future and what happens next." To her, "Gladstone's history is not only an enjoyable story filled with famous people and some surprising historic firsts, but Gladstone's story is inspiring. (It is filled with) people who were common, but willing to do good things. People worth knowing."
"Images of America: Gladstone" was released on April 8 for $21.99. It can be bought at gladstonehistoricalsociety.org, arcadiapublishing.com and amazon.com. The book launch is from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, April 14, at Happy Rock Coffee, 465 Portland Ave., Gladstone. All proceeds go to the Gladstone Historical Society.