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Librarians pen book on Freeport's history
The Freeport Memorial Library was all about reminiscing on Monday night, as members of the Freeport Historical Society joined librarians Cynthia Krieg and Regina Feeney for the presentation of their new book “Freeport,” which was released by Arcadia Publishing on May 7.
Since 2004, Freeport residents Krieg and Feeney have overseen the digitization of thousands of photographs, newspapers, documents and local publications, all tracing the history of Freeport.
“People have been asking us for years, 'When are you going to write a book?’” Feeney said.
The answer finally came in 2010, when Krieg approached Arcadia Publishing, producers of the well-known “Images of America” series, which chronicles the history of local towns and villages through photographic books.
After a year of research and help from the local community and other historical societies, the book, which includes more than 200 vintage photographs dating from the mid-1800s up until World War II, was complete.
“The digital database was a huge help, and we couldn’t have done this without the help of the community,” Feeney said.
Monday's presentation was filled with information about famous Freeport residents and locations. An entire chapter of the book is dedicated to the town’s architecture, much of which is still standing.
Even with the vast archives and community resources, Feeney and Krieg ran into some trouble. Arcadia employs a formulaic system of publishing to maintain the series’ uniform look, and the company reserves the right to reject images based on quality or subject matter.
“We had to fight to get certain pictures in there because they were so important to the history,” Krieg said.
One such photo was of Merritt Cutler, a World War I soldier and recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, who later went on to play in the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
“It’s such a rare photo, and not many people have seen it,” Feeney said. “We had to include it.”
Above: Freeport Memorial Library librarians Cynthia Krieg, left, and Regina Feeney used images from the library's digital database to complete the book “Freeport." (May 14, 2012)