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History class publishes new book, Cambridge

A group of Muskingum College students, with the help of their faculty advisor, have published Cambridge, a history of that community in stories and pictures culled from local history sources. 

CAMBRIDGE BOOK COVERThe 128-page book has been published by Arcadia Publishing, as a part of its Images of America series.  Arcadia is a national publisher of local and regional history books.  The new volume will be available May 1, from the Muskingum College bookstore, a variety of businesses in downtown Cambridge, or by logging on to www.arcadiapublishing.com.

Edited by Muskingum College Associate Professor of History Dr. Bil Kerrigan, the book represents the work of his “Internship in History” class during the fall semester of 2005 and involved hundreds of hours of research by the students in that class. 

The students Dr. Kerrigan credits with producing the book are:  Allison Avolio '06, Rebecka Hackett '06, Jason Mattern '06,
Michelle Moore '06 and Alicia Seng '07. Mattern, Moore and Seng plan to be history teachers; Avolio plans to attend graduate school to study higher education administration, and Hackett plans a career in public history. 

Of the genesis for the project, Dr. Kerrigan said, “As an historian, I regularly get the opportunity to browse through musty archives where I often stumble across really amazing old photographs that deserve to be shared with a wider audience.  The Images of America series published by Arcadia provides the perfect venue for sharing some of those photos with a wider audience.  I was specifically attracted to doing a volume on Cambridge, Ohio, because it really is one of Ohio’s best kept secrets.”

He went on to explain that most of the images in the book came from the archives of the Guernsey County Historical Society (GCHS), the Finley Local History Room in the Cambridge Library, and from the local YMCA.  The students, he explained, relied heavily on the staffs of the GCHS and the Finley Room to learn more about the photographs.  Dr. Kerrigan was quick to point out that Kurt Tostenson, the archivist at the GCHS; and Melissa Essex, director of the local history room, were valuable resources.

“We hope,” Kerrigan concluded,  “that the hard work of these students will encourage local residents to take a closer look at the jewel of a city that surrounds them.  The historic main street is currently experiencing a reawakening and more events and activities are occurring downtown each year.  We would hope, too, that a pictorial history of Wheeling Avenue and the city in general could contribute to this reawakening.”