A couple of years ago, Glenda Bozeman’s daughter Summer was researching a book about the history and architecture of St. Augustine, Fla.
Bozeman, who was helping her daughter with the research, had the idea to work on a similar book about Macon. Having moved to Middle Georgia 14 years ago, Bozeman fell in love with the city’s unique and storied architecture.
It helped that Arcadia Publishing, which produced the St. Augustine book, has a long-running series of similar titles called “Then & Now.”
“They’re the largest publisher of local history books in the nation,” Bozeman said. “(Macon) is so full of beautiful antebellum homes and buildings. There’s so much I wanted to write about.”
Bozeman, in fact, started conducting the research for “Macon,” before she had even signed the contract with Arcadia in January 2009, just to make certain there was enough material to put into a book.
“Once I got into it, I couldn’t stop myself,” she said. “I found a wealth of information at (Washington Memorial Library). I was limited to a certain number of pages of what I could put into the book.”
She completed the book this past September, and it hit bookstores Feb. 15.
It’s just under 100 pages filled with old photos of various historical sites in the city, combined with modern pictures of the same sites that Bozeman herself photographed.
She also wrote about the history of these places.
One of her favorite sites, she said, is the McCaw-Massee House at 615 College St. It was first owned by Wallace McCaw, who manufactured a hydrogenated cottonseed oil in Macon.
Proctor & Gamble bought the rights to the formula, changing the name to Crisco, and the home became known as “the house that Crisco built.”
The house was later owned by W. Jordan Massee, a friend of playwright Tennessee Williams who would later serve as the inspiration for the Big Daddy character in Williams’ play “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof,” which was written in the house.
Another favorite is the Armory Building, located on First Street, which served as the home of the Macon Volunteers, a militia unit founded in 1825 that lasted until World War II. The unit fought in the war of Texas’ independence from Mexico in 1836, and the unit’s white flag with a star was eventually adapted into the Texas state flag.
Bozeman, who lives in Gray, said she’s working on a series of articles about the history of Jones County. She and her daughter are talking with Arcadia about another book focusing on Macon history for the publisher’s “Images of America” series. That book would focus more on the written history and less on visuals, but Bozeman said she’s not planning to write it for a couple of years. She would also like to do a “Then & Now” book about Milledgeville.
“I don’t know when I’m going to have time to do all this,” she said.