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E.C. Book is "Like History Falling Out of Trees"
By JUDY BOMAN   - 06/21/2006

The View

It was a glimpse of the past,” says Marsha Wight Wise, referring to the first time she laid eyes on the historic mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, the summer she was eight.


“I saw those old houses and thought they were works of art unto themselves,” she adds, confessing she’s loved old things ever since.

So when the Baltimore native (she grew up in Federal Hill) happened upon an ad for author wanted for a Catonsville book, she had her application in the next day.


That was the beginning of November 2004; by the end of the month she had a contract. The publishers, Arcadia Press, were pleased with the product, Catonsville, MD. in the Images of America, series, and asked her to follow up with an Ellicott City edition.


The success of the book lies in the amount of photos she’s able to get, a feat Wight Wise claims is not difficult at all.


“I’ll put an ad in the paper that I am looking for photos, and I always get a response. It’s like history falling out of trees,” says the 39 year-old author and mother of three.


Wight Wise is happy with the collected photos she was able to attain for this book, especially the picture of an 1815 Turnpike ticket. Another interesting photo is a report card which a graduate of Rock Hill College ( first an academy and later a college) kept through the years.


“His class standing was 18th out of 18,” says Wise.


The second-time author and amateur historian gives credit to the many wonderful families who opened up their collections to her, names familiar to many in Howard County – Jim Hooper, Fred Dorsey, Alice Fort, Jacque and Gladys Tittsworth and the William Hollifield collection.


The timeline of the book covers the end of the 19th century up until the latter part of the 20th century with pictures of the devastation, wrought by Hurricane Agnes in 1972. There are over 200 photos in the book, and street addresses are given for the buildings which are still standing,


The book will be released for sale Monday, June 26, but Wight Wise will appear at the Howard County Historical Society on Sunday, June 25, at 3 p.m. to share some of the stories uncovered in the making of the book and to autograph copies.




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