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New book chronicles local community’s history in photos
By Chris Bournea   - 06/11/2008

This Week

A new book tells the history of Upper Arlington in photos.
"Images of America: Upper Arlington" (Arcadia Publishing, 128 pages) was authored by Upper Arlington Historical Society president Kate Erstein and Stuart Koblentz, past president of the Ohio Preservation Alliance and current president of the Marion County Historical Society.

A native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Koblentz has roots in Upper Arlington. He approached the Upper Arlington Historical Society about undertaking the book in the summer of 2007, when the demolition of a historic home on Devon Road raised the issue of historic preservation.
With the help of Erstein and the historical society, Koblentz began compiling photos from the society's archives as well as those from the city of Upper Arlington, the Upper Arlington Civic Association and other community organizations, schools and area residents.

Photos range from an 1889 class photo from the Stony Point School, one of the earliest schools that taught the children of farmers on the land that later became Upper Arlington; a 1935 snapshot of the Shops on Arlington Avenue; and images from the Fourth of July parade in the 1960s and '70s.

Koblentz said he was especially pleased that he was able to obtain photos from the area north of Lane Avenue.

"The history of the area south of Lane Avenue has been well-documented. People didn't think we were going to be able to get photos from the north of Lane, but we were able to," he said. "It's a nice way of breaking that invisible barrier that exists across Lane."

"Images of America: Upper Arlington" complements the historical society's 1976 text-heavy book, "History of Upper Arlington."

"This book is more pictures," said Erstein. "We're hoping people will read the new book and become interested and want to read the old book."

Response to the new book has been enthusiastic, Erstein said. About 50 people attended a May 23 kick-off celebration and Erstein and Koblentz also signed books at a June 3 event at the main library featuring live entertainment by the Sounds Good to Me Quartet and a display of the UA Fire Division's vintage Seagrave fire truck.

There will also be a book signing on Saturday, June 28, from 1-3 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble Upper Arlington, 3280 Tremont Road.

Koblentz said he expects sales of the book to increase as the Fourth of July celebration nears. The event attracts generations of past and present Upper Arlington residents.

"With folks coming home for that event, we expect even more interest," he said.

"Images of America: Upper Arlington" is available at area bookstores and the city of Upper Arlington Parks and Recreation's Lifelong Learning & Leisure office at the Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road. The book can also be ordered through Arcadia Publishing at 888-313-2665 or www.arcadiapublishing.com.





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