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New Illustrated Chronicle Of Monroe's History To Launch In January

The cover of "Monroe Through Time II"
The cover of "Monroe Through Time II" Photo Credit: Contributed

MONROE, Conn. -- A new illustrated paperback capturing the rich history of Monroe will be launched at a luncheon at the Edith Wheeler Memorial Library on Jan. 7.

The luncheon will introduce "Monroe Thought Time II," which chronicles such little-known chapters in the town's history as:

  • A Ku Klux Klan rally in 1924 that drew 1,100 America-Firsters to a site where a Goodwill Store stands today
  • A neighborhood popularly called Punkups that disappeared when Lake Zoar was created in 1919
  • The unsolved mystery of Captain Nathan Seeley, who was found dead in his barn in 1890 with a noose around his neck

Tickets for the launch at the library are $35 and cover a copy of the book and lunch. Tickets are available at the library and at the office of the town clerk at Town hall. They are also available through Marven Moss at mmoss36@yahoo.com and (203) 268-2961.

Proceeds go to the Monroe Historical Society to preserve Monroe's heritage.

The luncheon will be held from noon to 2 p.m., and also features the premiere of a documentary, "The Lost Cave of Monroe," produced by Mike Sandone, described in the book as "Monroe's Indiana Jones."

"Monroe Through Time II" is the second collaboration by Kevin Daly, John Babina and Marven Moss, availing themselves of the resources of the Monroe Historical Society and the World Wide Web. Daly provided the essential research, Babina the contemporary photography, and Moss the authorship.

Daly is a senior engineering manager in computer aided design and the incoming historian of the Monroe Historical Society. Babina is the founder of Monroe-based radio station WMNR and a retired engineer who worked on helicopter avionics, missile controls and surveillance satellites. Moss is a former New York Timesman and past president of the Monroe Historical Society.

Their book is the fourth pictorial account of Monroe's transformation from a Colonial farming village into a charming New England community offering a bucolic lifestyle with proximity to the upbeat rhythms of today's bigger cities and their spheres of commerce and global culture.

The publication follows "Monroe Through Time," "Images of America: Monroe," and "A Glimpse of Old Monroe." It presents a number of previously-unpublished photographs, the legacy of the marvelous vitality of Frederick P. Sherman, and traces the hardscrabble life of the homesteaders, the tradesmen in their shops, the entrepreneurs of bygone days, the talented figures in arts and sports, and even the fumes of scandal.

Also incorporated is the first comprehensive listing of virtually all of Monroe’s civic leadership since incorporation in 1823 and the presidents of the Monroe Historical Society since it was established in 1959.

Like its predecessor, the cover reproduces a segment of a David Merrill acrylic, this one depicting the Town Green and the old Town Hall erected in 1897 and the old library, both demolished in 1972. The artwork was made available courtesy of Merrill who used to play touch football on the Town Green in the 1950s and impishly inserted a football into the foreground of his rendering. The original hangs in the Town Hall.

In addition to the Jan 7 luncheon, the book has been designated for preferred placement in Barnes & Noble stores.

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