If you want to take a trip back in time through Montgomery’s history, you can’t do much better than local author (and Patch contributor) Jo Fredell Higgins’ new book, simply titled Montgomery.
And if you want to meet Higgins and get your book signed, well, you’re in luck. She’ll be at Gray’s Mill on River Street on Saturday.
Montgomery is Higgins’ sixth book, and her fifth historical photo collection. She’s spent the last decade painstakingly chronicling Fox Valley history, and her four previous photo books—dedicated to Naperville, Geneva, DeKalb and Aurora—are mainstays at local bookstores.
For Montgomery, Higgins spoke with more than 100 residents, and assembled 220 historical photographs, creating a visual timeline of the history of the village. Higgins, a former teacher at Waubonsee Community College before her 2007 retirement, sometimes worked 10 hours a day doing research. She availed herself not only of local libraries, but of the village’s extensive historical records.
Montgomery begins with Daniel Gray, the first settler in what would later be the village, and includes interviews with some of Montgomery’s oldest living residents, including Ruth Dieterich Wagner, all of 97 years young. Higgins got first-hand accounts of village history from those who saw it happen.
The book’s foreword was written by Montgomery Village President Marilyn Michelini.
The book is now available at Montgomery Village Hall, and can be ordered from Borders and Barnes and Noble, or online through Arcadia Publishing. But if you want to meet Higgins and buy one from her, come on down to Gray’s Mill at 211 N. River St. on Saturday.
The signing runs from 1-3 p.m., and will feature music from Geneva cellist Allison DeYoung, and light refreshments. There will be door prizes as well, donated by local businesses, including George’s Restaurant, the River View Diner, Buona Beef, and the Montgomery Economic Development Corporation.
Higgins will also have copies on hand of her first novel, A Song for Cecilia, also published earlier this year.