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Local history enthusiasts immortalize Lincoln Co.

Local history enthusiasts-turned-authors will sign copies of their new book at the Lincoln County Library from 1 to 3 p.m. Tammie S. Brewer, Bettie P. Bullard, Sue Dorman and Marti Parker will sign “Images of Lincoln County,” part of Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series.

Arcadia Publishing describes the series as: “The Images of America series chronicles the history of small towns and downtowns across the country. Each title features more than 200 vintage images, capturing often forgotten bygone times and bringing to life the people, places, and events that defined a community. Local authors transform dusty albums and artifacts into meaningful walks down memory lane.”

The book may be purchased at Vendor’s Emporium, Brookhaven Monument Company, Trustmark Bank main branch, Interior Attitudes, the Lincoln County History Museum (open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and all four authors have some for sale.

Books will be available at the signing on Saturday and the Institute in Learning and Retirement in conjunction with the Thames Center is hosting a book signing on Feb. 9 at the Thames Center from 1 to 3 p.m. Proceeds from the book will go toward a project for the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society.

The series has hundreds of books throughout the United States, many of small towns and downtowns. These books are all similar in style and makeup. Lincoln County’s book has 128 pages and approximately 178 photos, Brewer said.

Brewer said she’s always been surprised at the number of photographs that are discarded, given away, etc. at estate sales, yard sales and the like. She said each photo that is taken was done so for a reason, but somewhere down the road, that reason has been forgotten and so was the photograph.

Brewer said they asked the public to help by bringing photographs of their own to scanning days at the library, and were overwhelmed with the number of old photos families brought out.

“It’s important to record the history of one’s life,” Brewer said. “So much history dies every day. Our older generations are dying off and with them is going so much knowledge and history of our communities. It’s important to me to preserve those memories the best we can. Because of the limited size of our book, we didn’t touch on everything that needed to be preserved in Lincoln County, but we saved a little bit of history. I hope this book gets other people excited about their history, and they’ll start writing it down and preserving their own family photographs.”

Brewer said Arcadia gave them lots of choices when they were deciding to write the book. They could write as much or as little as they wanted and chose to write more by adding more information at the head of every chapter.

“It’s so hard to find photographs of everything we wanted to talk about, so it was there we were able to provide more information,” Brewer said. “Our book has 10 chapters. I’ve already had people to tell me they have found family members in our book. I know that has to be exciting for the reader — it’s exciting to me.”

Parker described the early history of what is now Lincoln County as the most interesting part of their research.

“One of the things that has struck me as being the most interesting in the whole project is the fact that Lincoln County was an established area for many years before it became a county,” said Parker. “What had happened is we were a part of Lawrence County, we didn’t become Lincoln County ‘til after the Civil War. Because of that it looks like we did not have any history that early, and we really did. We had settlers, we had people coming through going to other locations, we had quite a bit of activity. People think we weren’t anything ‘til the railroad, but there is history long before the railroad, and I had just found that extremely interesting. I have enjoyed that period in time the most.”

Brewer said another interesting aspect of the history was famous people and their accomplishments that many people today may not know about.

“When people look through our book they will be amazed at some of the history that has came from Lincoln County. I was amazed at some of the famous people who have come from here and the things they’ve done,” Brewer said. “We started the book out as early as we could with photographs, which is probably in the mid 1800s, all the way until the early 1960s. There is so much more after that period that we could do an additional book about. Like, did you know the author of the ‘Tammy’ books is from Brookhaven? Her name was Cid Ricketts Sumner. There were several movies based on her books, as well. That always interested me since my name is Tammie.”