Local history aficionado Marcia Yunker has spent the past year on a special project, and next month it will be available to the public. She combed through the Galion Historical Society’s photo archives and selected more than 200 photos to be included in her book, “Images of America: Galion.”
The book is divided into nine chapters and each one focuses on a different subject. Yunker described her work as a “picture history” because it is image based, with 50-70 words per picture. “Sometimes 70 words weren’t enough,” Yunker said with a laugh.
Selected photos represent different eras in Galion’s history and include the early platting of the city, historical sites like Brownella Cottage, numerous structure fires and sporting events. There is also a compilation of the original, neighborhood school buildings, which has significant meaning to her because she taught at those buildings for 30 years. On Dec. 12, she will do a presentation to third graders at Galion Intermediate School about the book and Galion history.
“Images of America” is a series produced by Arcadia Publishing, in which cities throughout the country are featured. Books on more than 8,000 cities have been written, and now Galion is one of them.
“I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to showcase the town…I’m glad Galion is now part of this series,” Yunker commented.
However, she emphasized the book is not all-inclusive, just a small representation. For Galionites who read it, she hopes they simply enjoy her work. It might also be interesting to anyone who has spent time in Galion. The book will serve as both an educational tool and a source of nostalgia.
The book’s cover is one of the photos she selected: A group of men stand at what is now the Public Square and look toward a row of buildings, beginning with the former Liggitt’s Drug Store. Up the street, an interurban car passes by a large clock on the sidewalk.
Yunker explained that 10 cover photo options were sent to the publisher. The one chosen is her favorite out of the Society’s entire collection.
Yunker said she has always been interested in history and finds Galion history especially fascinating. Her father was a Korean War veteran and sparked her interest at an early age. Some of her career was spent teaching 7th and 8th grade history and she joined the Galion Historical Society two or three years ago, currently serving on its Board of Directors.
Speaking about the process of putting the book together, Yunker said it was challenging but fun. With help from the Society’s Archiving Committee, she spent countless hours going through the photos, she is very thankful to the Archiving Committee for preserving the photos.
She worked with an editor from the publishing company for the text, which she said was a quick process. Overall, the publisher was very helpful and it was a positive experience.
In particular, Yunker wished to thank Amber Wertman and Trudy Kempf for their help and providing support; Mary Court, president of the Society’s Board of Trustees, for being so encouraging and getting her involved in the Archiving Committee; and the Board of Directors for allowing her to use the photos.
Proceeds from the book sales will go directly to the Historical Society and will be available at the Galion Museum. They are available on Amazon as well, but the Society will not make money from those sales.
Just in time for Christmas, 300 copies have been ordered for the book signing on Dec. 7. During the Christmas at the Cottage event at Brownella Cottage, Yunker will be in the Bishop’s study from 1-4 p.m. to sign copies and discuss her work. To reserve a copy, contact Yunker at 419-468-9893.
“Images in America: Galion” is dedicated to Dr. Bernard Mansfield, whom the author called “Galion’s definitive historian.”