On May 27, the Russellville Depot will be celebrating its 100th anniversary with Reunion Round the Rails. This week, I thought I would feature two books that take an intimate look at American history around the time that the Depot was built.
American Home Life, 1880-1930: A Social History of Spaces and Services edited by Jessica H. Foy ad Thomas J. Schlereth. American Home Life explores aspects of the American home and its changes during that era, with essays on topics such as the decline of the parlor, children in the home, the home library, home-based pastimes, gardens, and keeping house. This book may contain way too much detail for most, but it also features nearly 80 illustrations.
The Arts and the American Home, 1890-1930 edited by Jessica H. Foy and Karal Ann Marling. This book is similar to American Home Life and makes a good companion to it. The essays cover home interiors, music in the home, stitching, and photo portraits. It is more concise than American Home Life and contains about 50 illustrations.
These two books give a glimpse into domestic life in America around the time the Russellville Depot was built. If you would like a little history closer to Russellville, The Courier compiled A Pictorial History of the Arkansas River Valley and followed up with A Pictorial History of the Arkansas River Valley: Volume II. Each page contains several photographs with a brief explanation. The entries are divided into sections covering people, places, churches, schools, and other topics. You can purchase these two books at B Street Books.
Another great book to pick up to explore some local history is Thomas DeBlack's new book entitled, A Century Forward: The Centennial History of Arkansas Tech University. You can pick up a copy and get it signed on May 27, between 1:00 and 2:00 at B Street Books.