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Area Men Produce Book on Town’s History
By Jimmy LaRoue   - 02/21/2007

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

The authors of “Around New Market” live on opposite sides of Massanutten Mountain, but they are united in their love of the town.

James “Rod” Graves of Luray grew up hearing stories and collecting items from the town. His father had close friends there.

“I’ve been the kind of person that kind of perks up at lore,” said Graves, who manages the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum at Luray Caverns.

John D. Crim, on the other hand, grew up in New Market, and had direct ancestors working for J.W. Clinedinst Company, which produced several items in the museum collection. The company manufactured fine carriages, wagons and buggies.

The two were also friends, so when Graves was looking for a collaborator to put together a pictorial history of New Market, he found a willing one in Crim.

Book Origins

Graves said the idea had been stewing inside him for the last 15 years.

And, when he came to Crim for some photos of the town, the two started discussing the possibility of a book.

After contacting the publisher – Arcadia Publishing – the two began meeting with the local residents and historians to find pictures.

At first, it was slow-going, but about halfway through, the two had more photos than they knew what to do with.

“There’s so much there, and so much photographic history,” Graves said.

Cover Photo

The cover of the book, while depicting a rather ordinary scene, is not an ordinary photo.

It’s a tintype photo that was originally developed on metal.

Because of that, the original image was reversed from the actual scene. So Crim had the image scanned and then reversed to depict the actual scene in the photo.

Crim then took the image and laid it beside another picture of three men – one of which he knew.

One of the faces in the book photo jumped out at him.

It was his great-grandfather.

Because of the clothes the people were wearing, Crim guesses that it was taken before the Civil War. Thus, because tintype photography wasn’t invented until 1856, that would place the photo somewhere between 1856 and 1861.

On the Inside

The book consists of 224 images of life in the New Market area.

Graves calls is a quick glance photo and basic history book, with the story of the town flowing in a chronological format.

In particular, Graves marveled at the town’s architecture.

“New Market has a very unique architecture with their porches and the Germanic flavor that the town has,” Grave said.

The book also highlights families who had a key role in shaping Shenandoah Valley history.

“It was a lot of effort and work at times,” Crim said. “Like anything you do with history, it offers tantalizing fingers in other directions.”

Where and When to Buy It

The book, which retails for $19.99, went on sale Feb. 19 at area bookstores, as well as independent and online retailers. Arcadia Publishing will also be selling the book on its Web site (www.arcadiapublishing.com).

Graves and Crim are also lining up book signings in the coming weeks.

All of the proceeds from the book will be going to the New Market Free Library Foundation.

Graves hopes the book will build an awareness for the need to preserve the town’s history, and for residents to appreciate what they have.

“I hope our efforts are worthy of the town,” Graves said. “I hope we’ve got it right.”

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