Monday, November 2, 2015

Liverpool Library Holds Trip Down Memory Lane

Abandoned Oswego Canal, June 22, 1932.
Liverpool will forever be linked with Syracuse, not only as a major suburb, but also as another center of the salt industry and the canals that connected both to the outside world. Around Liverpool, by Dorianne Elitharp Gutierrez and Joyce M. Mills (Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S.C.; 127 pages/softcover), released in June, aims to bring that history to your coffee table through photos and extended captions.

What's inside the book and even more information that couldn't fit are the subject of Around Liverpool, a presentation Thursday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m. at the Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St. There the co-authors will speak about the village's salty past, as well as other industries, prominent early settlers, how the Onondaga Lake shore has morphed over the years and noteworthy architecture, some of which still stands.

A wagon load of woven willow baskets, Nov. 15, 1926.
Intersection of Old Liverpool Road and Onondaga Lake Parkway.
The two will also take part in the library's Local Author Meet and Greet on Sunday, Nov. 8, from noon to 2 p.m.

Gutierrez has worked as the Liverpool Village Historian since 1991, while Mills retired as a media specialist from the Liverpool Public Library and now volunteers at the Liverpool Village Museum.

Founded in 2014, Arcadia has published more than 12,000 local history books, notable by their format of heavy on the photographs with captions, not chapters. "We had been approached by Arcadia for a couple years and finally found time to do it," says Gutierrez. "It turned out to be labor-intensive, and took us a year to complete, a little less. I tend to be verbal, and Joyce is excellent with images. We are two halves of one brain."

And while Arcadia has strict guidelines, the co-authors strove to improve upon them. "Arcadia sent us some samples," Gutierrez says, "and we looked at others. We thought we could do better. We intended to tell a story, and that is why the organization ended up like it did."

The chapters are organized somewhat chronologically, starting with the burgeoning salt industry and moving next into basketmaking, and on through the sixth and final chapter, the village's growth into a bustling suburb of Syracuse. Liverpool retained its small-village charm, however, and that's evident in the photographs the co-authors selected.

Finalizing the book likely would have taken more time if not for the access the authors had to the Liverpool Public Library's scanned photos; they also used Liverpool Village Museum photos. "We were fortunate in being able to utilize the library's collection that was already scanned," Gutierrez says. "Otherwise, it would have been a different book and it would have taken it a lot longer."

For the library presentation, expect about 45 minutes covering the book but also bonus content of photos and captions that didn't fit into the book. Gutierrez calls it “But Wait, There's More!"

"People can expect the tone of the book," she says, "but with more--more stories, and some other images and pictures of objects. There's something for everyone in this book."

Also at the presentation, Russ Tarby Jr. will sell books for a $20 donation to the Historical Association of Greater Liverpool. The authors will autograph them upon request.

For more information, call the library at 457-0310 or visit