Writer Shauna McVey spent the better part of two years researching local lore and combing through photographs for "Images of America: Middletown." The end result is a book that delves into the town's origins and the people who helped put it on the map.
The newest addition to Arcadia Publishing popular “Images of America” series explores the history of Middletown with more than 150 vintage images and memories dug up by history buff and longtime local Shauna McVey.
I already knew a lot about Middletown,” admitted McVey, who served as the managing editor of the Middletown Transcript following her four-year tenure as a reporter. “But, I learned so much more and wish I had more pages so that I could have included all of the photographs that I found. This is just a snapshot.”
The book illustrates the early days of town, highlighting how the area developed its own industry of trade and agriculture, becoming famous in the region for its peach crops. The community’s charm and agricultural roots still remain, with thousands flocking to the town for the annual Olde-Tyme Peach Festival. McVey’s hope is that the book “will connect longtime and newer residents of Middletown with the town’s rich history and inspire others to appreciate its roots.”
Highlights of the book include information on how Middletown was home to United States Treasurer Dorothy A. Elston, the story of “Chopper Charlie,” who earned his moniker by chopping off the long hair of young men, at the request of their parents, in the 1970s, images of Middletown’s trolley, which was not an economic success and was dissembled after just a few years in operation and details on how Middletown was one of the first towns in the state to have electricity.
Online sales of the book began Monday here. Local retailers will likely begin stocking shelves later this week and early next week.
McVey will also host a book launch from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Mar. 1 at 1861 Restaurant, located on Broad Street. McVey is excited to sign books and chat one-on-one with other local history buffs. Copies of the book will be available at the event for $21.99. There is no admission to attend.