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Fourth volume of town’s local history book series to be released Oct. 25

Date: 10/22/2015

WILBRAHAM – After two years in the making, the fourth volume of the town’s local history book series will be released at the Country Club of Wilbraham Oct. 25. from 3 to 5 p.m.

Joan Paris, editor of the book, told Reminder Publications the 366-page hardcover color printed book chronicles the town’s history from 1963 to 2013 and is the 250th anniversary edition.

The book consists of 25 pictorial chapters with a foreword, prologue, and epilogue written by numerous volunteer authors who have either lived in the town or are connected to Wilbraham, she noted.

“We encouraged the writers to write from their own perspective, so that really is the beauty of this particular project,” she added. “The 50 years, from 1963 to 2013, will be kind of a social history, a cultural history, anecdotal history, and research history. The authors are actually talking about the times in which they lived. In so doing, they can’t help but leave a little bit of themselves in each chapter.”  

The first book is the “Historical Address of the Town of Wilbraham” and was written by Rufus Stebbins in 1863. Chauncey Peck wrote the second volume, “History of Wilbraham, Mass,” in 1913 during the town’s 150th anniversary. The third book – “History of Wilbraham U.S.A” – was written and edited by Charles Merrick and published following the town’s bicentennial in 1963.

The rise and fall of the Wilbraham Peach Festival is featured in the volume in addition to the end of the State Line Potato Chip factory, Paris said.  

Growth is one of the key features of the book, which includes development of commerce on Boston Road, and the preservation of historic farms and wooded areas, she noted.

“Other chapters include a salute to our military veterans, historic homes, expansion of the golf course at the Country Club of Wilbraham, revitalization of Recreation facilities, and Senior activities and traditions; housing, population, urban sprawl, and education through the decade,” she added.

Paris said the book was initially set for publication in the spring, but was delayed in order to allow the volume to be printed in color.

Local officials and chapter authors will also be on hand to note the event, she added. The event is free and open to the public.

Wilbraham’s original charter is replicated in the book, courtesy of former state Sen. Gale Candaras and state Rep. Angelo Puppolo Jr., Paris said. There are also present day maps, historic timelines, and an 1800’s census map of Wilbraham inhabitants by occupation, courtesy of New England Promotional Marketing of Wilbraham.

Proceeds from book sales will benefit the Old Meeting House and the Wilbraham Public Library. For more information or to reserve a book please call Paris at 205-8669.