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Staff Picks Category: Architecture

A House, a Street, a City : the Story of 17 Summer by Lu Stone []



Published as part of Northampton’s 350th Anniversary Chapbook Series, Lu Stone’s remarkable history of the house and street she called home is a fascinating portrait of the many interwoven stories which make up our neighborhoods. Finely illustrated and impeccably researched, the book is a rich tapestry of the many lives whose fates crossed in the neighborhood in the 110+ years before she purchased the house in 1983. The subjects range from working class families and Olympic athletes to Lewis Warner, the President of the Hampshire County National Bank who suddenly absconded with hundreds of thousands of dollars from the bank in 1898. The book remains one of the finest examples of a ‘people’s history’ we have in the region, of dusty stories forgotten through the ages but rediscovered through neighbor’s anecdotes, dusty old newspapers, library microfilm and aging photographs cherished by relatives. The house in question, which sits today mere yards from 7-Eleven and Dunkin’ Donuts, around the corner from the generic strip that is present-day King St., stood on the edge between a neighborhood of working class families and the stately homes and towering trees of 19th century King St. The book provides a priceless snapshot of local history, illuminating lives forgotten, reviving cherished memories and in the process helping us to understand the town’s history as a whole. This book is, as always, available to borrow from the library’s collection but is also, along with others from the 350th Anniversary Chapbook series, available for purchase at the Forbes Circulation Desk.

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