Local connection: A founding member of the Carmel Valley Historical Society, Elizabeth Barratt also serves on the Monterey County Historical Commission and is a member of the Commodore Sloat Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Content: Another in the Images of America series that features Central Coast communities, this collection of vintage photos and commentary begins with the valley's early inhabitants, mission days and the rancho era. The middle chapters deal with the ranching and agricultural economy of the area, plus the period when Carmel Valley village became the hub of the valley.
The final sections focus on the early resorts that sprang up in the valley and a montage of photos of some of the famous people who resided in the area. A short concluding chapter features some of the historic sites that have been preserved within the valley.
As one would expect, some of the valley's prominent "first" families, such as the Wolters, Martins and Hattons, are featured in the collection. Also, a smattering of celebrities, including Merv Griffin, Clint Eastwood, Joan Baez, Hank Ketcham and Doris Day, are pictured. Some of these individuals called the valley home for a rather short period, yet they made the "celeb" photo gallery, while other famous folks (such as authors Jane Smiley and Beverly Cleary, and actress Kim Novak) were omitted.
Favorite photos: Although some of the photos, especially those of the mission's early days, have appeared in other Images of America titles, others are unique. Of special interest are a World War II Civil Defense airplane lookout tower at the northern end of the Carmel Valley airstrip, the small Pacific Improvement Co.'s dam constructed on the river in the 1880s, and the first Carmelo School.
Author quote: "I would like to inspire readers of all ages to be motivated to do research on their own past as well as the Valley's lively history, and to record their findings for the archives of the Carmel Valley Historical Society."
Audience: Central Coast historians, as well as Carmel Valley residents, will want to own a copy of this collection of photos that charts the valley's history. It is the ideal book to show visitors what the Carmel Valley once looked like in the good ol' days!