Old Clayton County photos sought for book

By Curt Yeomans


It'll be old school versus new school for an upcoming book on Clayton County, according to an official from Historical Jonesboro/Clayton County, Inc.

The new book, which will be titled "Clayton County: Then and Now," is not scheduled to go to the printing press until next year, but Historical Jonesboro President Barbara Emert is inviting county residents to get involved, now, in the publication. She said Historical Jonesboro has been asked by Arcadia Publishing, which is producing the book, to collect old photographs of the county.

She said the photographs, which should focus on places, and not people, will be paired with modern-day photographs of the same locations. Photographs of all six cities in the county are needed, Emert said, because each city will have its own chapter in the book.

"We're really not interested in photographs of individuals," she said. "We're looking for any old photographs people have of old schools, old churches, old houses, or, maybe, street scenes, like Main Street in Forest Park, in 1910. Then, we'll go out and get modern-day photographs of the same places, to show how things have changed."

Historical Jonesboro will be collecting the photographs through April 15, 2011, Emert said.

She said Arcadia Publishing has tasked her organization with collecting 100 old photographs of the county, to fill the 96-page book. She said this is the second time Historical Jonesboro and Arcadia Publishing have teamed up to work on a local book of historical photographs.

Three years ago, the two groups worked together on a book of historic photographs of Jonesboro for Arcadia's "Images of America" series.

"They do several different series of books," Emert said. "There's 'Images of America' and then there's 'Then and Now,' which is what we'll be doing this time, for the entire county."

According to Arcadia's web site, some of its other series include: "Arcadia Kids," "Postcard History," "Black America," and "Campus History." Some of the other local communities featured in the company's "Then and Now" series, are: Marietta, Carrollton, and Macon.

Books from various Arcadia Publishing series can be found in most book stores and gift shops, Emert said. She added that anyone who provides an old photograph to be included in the Clayton County book needs to provide Historical Jonesboro officials with "a very accurate description of where the photograph was taken, so we can go out and take a picture of what that area looks like now."

Emert said information provided with the photograph should also include when the photograph was taken, and who is in the photograph, if a person is in it. "Since we're also writing up short pieces for each page, we also need to know something about what it is that we're looking at in the pictures," she said.

Although pictures of individuals are being discouraged, Emert said pictures of groups which still exist, such as school athletic teams, can be accepted as long as its possible to show what the group looks like now.

"We have a photo of the 1936 Jonesboro High School State Championship [basketball] team, so we may use that, and compare it to a picture of this year's team," she said.

Anyone who would like to provide a photograph, can go by Stately Oaks Plantation, which is located at 100 Carriage Lane, in Jonesboro. For more information, call (770) 473-0197.