Genealogy Society puts final touches on history book

Sean C. Morgan

The Sweet Home Genealogical Society’s new photo history book about Sweet Home is in its final stages, and more than half of it should be at the press this week.

The book committee had 62 pages of the 300-page book at the press in Bend last week, said Chairwoman Terri Lanini, with another 100 set to go over on Monday.

“We’re still working on a cover, a bound cover,” Lanini said. The book will be bound in Silverton. The committee is trying to make it work with copy of the wooden city seal hanging in the City Council chamber. Ben Dahlenburg designed and built the seal.

The book is similar to “Oregon: Then and Now,” a coffee-table sized photo book that depicts historic scenes around Oregon on one page and a photo taken in the same place today. It will sell for $75.

Committee members are busy mocking up pages using prints of the photos destined for the book. The appropriate photos are loaded onto a CD, and the CD and mockups are sent to the press, which builds the pages electronically. Small stories about Sweet Home’s historic families and photo captions are typed and emailed.

The book isn’t exactly like the Oregon book, Lanini said. Every page does have pictures, more than 1,000.

They’re generally “then and now” photos, said Corky Lowen, a committee member.

“There will be more then than now,” Lanini said.

Some of them will be arranged more as a progression, Lowen said. Logging, for example, will depict logging history through the present.

The society probably has had more than 2,000 photos to choose from, Lanini said.

“People have been so generous,” Lowen said.

Photos have come from all over the place, including Washington and California, Lanini said.

“We’re hoping to have it done before the 10th of December,” Lanini said. Ideally, that’s when the society will hold an open house at the Senior Center to present the book.

“We’re hoping to maybe have a couple of guests,” Lanini said, and the center will be decorated with a “back-in-time” theme.

The book will cost more than $10,000 to publish, Lanini said. The society has raised close to $8,000 for the printing. Funding has included a $500 grant from the city, and the committee is planning to apply for a $5,000 grant from the Grand Ronde Tribe.

The Genealogical Society is planning to give some of the proceeds to the East Linn Museum because of its contributions to the book, said Susan Lowen. The museum needs a laptop projector and must replace more of its roofing.

The first printing will be 200 books, Lanini said. The committee hopes to do another 200.

The book was intended to raise funds for the Genealogical Society, but that’s only half of it, Lanini said. “It’s a great thing for the community because it makes people aware of where things came from and where they started.”

Committee members have been learning a lot about Sweet Home, Lowen said.

Brief stories will explain photos and relate tales about Sweet Home’s oldest families, including Lanini’s family, the Rices, who homesteaded in Holley in 1953.

The committee is planning to give copies to the schools and city library.

For information or to donate, call Susan Lowen at (503) 930-1212 or the Genealogical Society at (541) 367-5034.