BATH - Historians Kirk House and Charles Mitchell have authored two new books on the Finger Lakes region, "Watkins Glen Racing" and "Finger Lakes." Both books have been published by Arcadia Publishing, which has overseen production of earlier books by House and Mitchell, including photographic histories of Bath and Corning.
As with previous Arcadia projects, both books are photographic histories of their respective subjects. In preparing the books, House, a resident of Mitchellsville Road in Bath, said he and Mitchell used archives maintained by The Curtiss Museum, the Steuben County Historian's Office, the Yates County Historical Society and the Ontario County Historical Society.
"And some we dug up on our own," he said.
House also is the author of a biography of Glenn Curtiss, "Hell-Rider to King of the Air; Glenn Curtiss's Life of Innovation," published in 2003 by SAE International. A avid historian, he served as curator and later curatordirector of the Glenn Curtiss Museum, beginning in 1996.
A native of Rhode Island, House, 56, moved to Bath in 1996 from the Canandaigua area after spending 21 years as a teacher and school administrator. He has written extensively about the early years of aviation and open-cockpit flying, but he also enjoys automotive history, as evidenced by his and Mitchell's book on Watkins Glen.
"It's the 60th anniversary of Watkins Glen racing," he said last week, "and the book has great pictures from the early days."
House and Mitchell, the latter a resident of Keuka Park, continue their collaboration and are working on a new book of local history. House declined to identify the community on which the book will focus, noting the project has not received final clearance from Arcadia Publishing.
Three main factors go into the choice of a community to spotlight in the Arcadia series, House said. "It's got to be an interesting story. Second, there's got to be photographic resources. And third, there has to be a sufficient local population to make the project feasible."
Western New York has at least one good thing going for it as a candidate for future Arcadia projects. "There's a whale of a lot of photo archives," House said. "People in western New York did a great job of taking photos over the years."