Madison HeightsAugust 10, 2012
Pictures sought for history book on Madison Heights
By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer
MADISON HEIGHTS — Members of the Madison Heights Historical Commission are working with Arcadia Publishing to create a Madison Heights edition in Arcadia’s line of local photo histories, sepia-toned books sold everywhere from gift shops to Barnes & Noble to Amazon.com — and you might be able to help.
Photographs are needed, showing life in Madison Heights from recent decades back to before the city’s date of incorporation in 1955.
The owner of the picture and/or photographer would be credited in the final product, if they wish, and they wouldn’t have to give up their original copy, either.
In fact, the picture wouldn’t even have to leave their home: Margene Scott, city councilwoman, said she’s willing and eager to visit people in person to copy photos for the project, which promises to share the city’s heritage with the world. Arcadia has already done the same with Clawson, Royal Oak, Troy and other local communities.
Scott is co-authoring the book with Roslyn Yerman, director of the Madison Heights Public Library. The two have been developing the book, tentatively titled “Madison Heights: City of Progress,” ever since Arcadia first expressed interest last year.
Already the Historical Commission has collected pictures dating back to a time when Madison Heights was still Royal Oak Township, mostly farmland consisting of a few developments here and there.
For example, descendants of the Kendall family, German immigrants who snatched up 160 acres of land north and south of Lincoln between Dequindre and John R in the 1860s, shared family photos from the early 1900s.
But more pictures are needed — and they don’t need to be nearly so old. Even something that might seem mundane, like an exterior shot of a building in the 1960s, could tell volumes, illustrating changes in the lay of the land, the look and feel of one era versus another. And photos in rough condition can be copied and enhanced.
“People should take a little time to go through the shoeboxes of pictures up in their attic and see what they have — any date from the 1800s up to now,” Scott said. “All of these little treasures and memories are going to be brought back out in the book and made important to everyone, not just those sharing it.”
The books consist of timelines told via hundreds of captioned photographs, which are sure to evoke memories for longtime residents of the city. Scott said some sources got teary-eyed remembering the way things used to be, describing a time when every establishment was a mom-and-pop shop where the owners knew you like family.
But that’s why Scott and Yerman are also asking for pictures showing warm moments between family, friends and neighbors — the one constant across the years.
“One thing we wanted to highlight is the sense of community, such as volunteerism,” Yerman said. “If we lost a personal touch with the arrival of the big-box stores, Madison Heights has maintained it with the sense of community and the spirit of volunteerism.”
To contribute pictures, call (586) 924-5760 or (248) 588-3122, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Pictures can also be dropped off in the Heritage Rooms museum at the Schoenhals school building, 27107 Hales St., north off 11 Mile, between Dequindre and John R, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16. The Heritage Rooms will also resume their regular hours of noon to 4 p.m. every Thursday after Labor Day.
For more information, call the Madison Heights Public Library at (248) 837-2852 or email email@example.com.
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