Book project nears completion

Published 10:26 pm Thursday, January 27, 2011

Scanning photos: Lynn Rose, chairman of the Greater Chuckatuck Historical Foundation, scans in pictures for the Chuckatuck history book that the foundation has been putting together since 2009.

The Chuckatuck Historical Foundation is making its last call for pictures and information to be included in a book on the area’s history.

The group is requesting all pictures and information for the book be submitted by May 1, said Lynn Rose, chairman of the foundation.

“We want to stress at this point that if they have information or a picture that they want included, we need it now,” she said.

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The group has been working on the project since early 2009. Rose estimated hard copies of the book will be available for purchase by spring of 2012.

“We are in the process of writing the chapters and selecting the pictures to go with the chapters,” Rose said.

The foundation has drafted a schedule and hired editors that will help them navigate from the written information and compiled photographs to the priced and finished product.

The first section of the book, which deals with the area’s topography, is complete. Sections about the 19th century and country stores are nearing completion.

They are still conducting research and conducting interviews, however, and they will still accept information and pictures for those sections if anyone has items they have not submitted previously.

The foundation will begin providing editors with portions of the book within the next six to eight weeks.

The book will begin with a geology section that will feature the Suffolk escarpment and information gathered from interviews with geologists.

The next section is dedicated to the history of American Indian tribes in the area. The Nansemond Indian Tribe will participate in writing that section, which will include information up to the present time. Chapters about the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries will follow that section.

The section about the 18th century will include information about historic homes — including the Pembroke House built in the early 1700s — information about the Quakers who resided in this area mainly in the late 1600s, and more.

The section about the 19th century will include information about the first post office, built in 1826, and information about Chuckatuck as a center for trade in the early 19th century.

The final chapter of the book will discuss 20th-century stores, churches, notable people, historic homes and information up to the present day.

After May 1, the foundation will finalize the information to be included, finish writing and focus on publishing the book.

“It’s a little scary to me,” Rose said. “I’m concerned because there are things that I feel would be wonderful that we haven’t found yet.”

The prospect of publishing a book on Chuckatuck history is also exciting, though, she said.

“It’s also exciting to realize some of these pictures I’ve had put away for years will be published in a book of local history,” she added.

In addition to the book, the foundation also hopes to produce a companion DVD with additional pictures and interviews. The book and DVD will feature history from the areas making up the greater Chuckatuck area, including Oakland, Everets, Wills Corner, Longview, Reid’s Ferry and Sandy Bottom.

Rose encourages anyone with information or pictures to contact her at 255-4663 or Conrad Haas, co-chairman, at 923-0095.