At this time, I am working on a book that celebrates the Magic City era of Roanoke, Virginia, circa 1893. The content is heavily based upon more than 30 stereoscopic (that’s right, 3-D) views taken by local photographer Frederick Brooks. His studio was in the middle of the business district, and he was mostly known for his portraits.
I acquired these images in the early 1990s at a national photographic collectors show. Over the years, I have gone all over the Valley on research expeditions, talking to numerous local archivists and historians. One of my favorite pastimes is sitting down with another history fan and sharing these remarkable images which were once lost to the area.
The coverage of Brooks’ stereoviews included downtown, railroad, industrial, iron mining, and general scenes. There was even coverage of the Carvins Creek and Hollins area. My research phase is ongoing, but I keep getting slowed down by all of the photoshop work on these images. The challenge for modern presentations is that they were mounted backwards and haphazardly on their mounts, apparently as a trial production run by the photographer.
In addition to this book project, I also anticipate there will be an exhibit of these photographs at the History Museum of Western Virginia sometime in 2017. We are still debating how to best present them in 3-D in a museum setting.
Lost Pages Press has one product available, and more will be added in time.
“Bridgewater Stories” is a coming-of-age memoir set in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia during the 1930’s Depression Era. The book tells of growing up in the Casey family, beginning with the author’s father being transferred from his U.S. Forest Service post in Arkansas to Rockingham County, Virginia. Warren writes of her siblings and of her many life-long friends who went on to become what Tom Brokaw termed “The Greatest Generation.” Her unabashed optimism is steeped in these small-town values, but her sense of the larger world is simultaneously influenced by the presence of Bridgewater College just a few blocks away, and by the family’s strong connection to the neighboring camps of President Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps. At just over 100 pages, most readers will find this to be a “quick read,” but with powerful emotional qualities that speak to our sense of childhood, and to our longing for lifelong friends such as the ones Warren describes in these stories. Wilma Casey Warren, now in her 80’s and living in Roanoke, Virginia, began this book almost 20 years ago – but set it aside as she dealt with her health concerns. She was encouraged by numerous friends to dust off her earlier manuscript and bring these stories to completion. With the help of several close friends, and with the editing and book production by her son, Stephen Warren, “Bridgewater Stories” is now available for your enjoyment!