LEWISTOWN - Tyrone native Jeff Adams use vintage photographs and images to convey a nostalgic portrait of significant local history in a book called "Juniata's River Valleys."
Adams said he hoped to provide a unique prospectus of the Juniata Valley, a journey from the Susquehanna River inland along the Juniata River through the counties of Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Huntingdon, Bedford and Blair.
He said he was challenged with narrowing down the nearly 1,000 historical photos he collected from private photo albums and antique shops into the 220 most provocative, eye-catching photos featured in the book.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
Canoeists travel down the Juniata River near the Locust Campground Friday evening in Mifflin County.
Along with the river, highlighted in the book are bridges, roads, buildings and businesses that were unique to the region and helped bring forth commerce and cultivate recreational activities.
He said the captions to the photographs detail information of the river, canals and Indian trails, which were vital to the development of the area. He also said the book highlights the accounts of the nation's early settlers' desire to settle in the western frontier. Adams said much of the land provided
iron and lead at the start of the Industrial Revolution.
"Lewistown really took off when the (Pennsylvania) Canal came through. The canal brought a great deal of commerce to the area," Adams said.
Also included in the book are accounts of the branch rivers, the Raystown Branch, Frankstown, the Beaver Dam Branch, and the Little Juniata.
He said he hopes his work provides factual perspective and presents images that can be relished by those who enjoy seeing local images as well as those unfamiliar with the area.
He said when one sees something someone captured many years ago, "it's like discovering another time."
He said identifying where the photos were taken was a difficult task as often times the towns and land names changed over the years.
Adams said another challenge he faced was extrapolating information from such an expansive area, which includes portions of nine counties and four valleys. He said he felt obligated to honor as much history as he could although he enjoyed laying out the photographs, analyzing maps and researching the history.
He said he has lived in the region his entire life. Adams' passion for examining local history stems from his deep familial roots in Blair County prior to the American Revolution.
He said it is an important edition to anyone's collection of local history books or for anyone attracted to old photographs, which date back to the 1800s.
The book is the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing's popular Images of America series. It is Adams' third book. He has written published books detailing the history of Tyrone and Harrisburg.
"Juniata's River Valleys," which went on sale May 2, is available at local retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or (888) 313-2665.