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Book examines Abingdon in decades past
By Tom Netherland   - 11/14/2010

Herald Courier

More Info on This Book: Abingdon

Good news for those who live in or simply love Abingdon.

Care to learn more of Abingdon?

Then pick up a copy of Donna Gayle Akersí new book "Abingdon" (Arcadia, $21.99). The photos-heavy book with accompanying text examines Abingdon of decades past in comparison with Abingdon of today via photographs.

"I hope it will demonstrate how historic preservation is really important," Akers said by phone from her home in Boone, N.C. "I hope itís received well."

Turn out to meet Akers, buy a book and have it signed when she appears at the Annual Christmas Show at Coomes Recreation Center in Abingdon from Nov. 19-21.

Then catch her again on Dec. 4 at Zazzyíz Coffee House in Abingdon and on the same day at the Historical Society of Washington County.

"This is my ninth book," Akers said. "My first book was a childrenís book, published in 2002. I feel honored every time Iíve been able to complete a book."

Most of Akersí books concentrate on either Washington County, Va., or Abingdon and for good reason. Sheís a ninth generation native of Washington County, a genealogical line that she said leads back to the days of Daniel Boone.

"These books are a labor of love," Akers said. "I feel like I am giving something back to the community."

In the case of her new book, that community is Abingdon.

"Itís an educational tool," Akers said. "I think it will educate folks from natives and to people who live around there."

For example, Akers explains a bit of why so many historical buildings in Abingdon survived through decades of urban renewal.

"Abingdon has done a great job of preserving its history," she said. "Because we had a historical district early in Abingdon, that is one reason why so many buildings were preserved."

Akersí vast and interesting photographs reflect that. From shots old and new of the Martha Washington Inn to the Zephyr Theatre, Hotel Abingdon, Barter Theatre, Abingdon Motor Company and so on, Akers illustrates a fascinating look at how history can be preserved while also showing how history either does or does not change particular locales.

"My heart is in Abingdon," Akers said. "Itís a walk down memory lane."

BOOK SIGNINGS BY DONNA GAYLE AKERS

When: Nov. 19-21
Where: Coomes Recreation Center, 300 Stanley St., Abingdon, Va.
Info: (276) 623-5279
Web: www.donnaakers.com

AND
When: Dec. 4, 10 a.m.-noon
Where: Zazzyíz Coffee House, 380 E. Main St., Abingdon
Info: (276) 698-3333

ALSO
When: Dec. 4, 1-3 p.m.
Where: The Historical Society of Washington County, 306 Depot Square, Abingdon
Info: (276) 623-8337


Buy It Now: Abingdon $21.99




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