Book Review:
Images of America: Groveland

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Content Rich Author: Doris Bloodsworth
Pages: 128
Published: 2009
ISBN: 0738567515

As news of the depressed world economy continues to drag on, it's nice to be able to occasionally escape to a much simpler time, or at least one that seemed simpler than the present. It's not as if people 50-100 years ago didn't have their own problems; it's just that we tend to forget that part and remember the goods things. There is something to be said for a world without hi-tech technology.

And escape is exactly what you can do with Doris Bloodsworth's new book, Images of America: Groveland. This book, published by Arcadia Publishing, is part of their "Images of America" series. It's an excellent series for anyone wanting to find out the history of a particular community in the United States through photographs. Many people are turned off by history because, if it's just text, it can get boring real fast — even if it's something you're interested in. The "Images of America" series provides an alternative method for delving into history without all the dull reading.

In this newest installment in the series, Doris takes a look at her home town of Groveland, Florida. According to the book, the city is located, "in the heart of Florida, halfway between the Atlantic ocean and the Gulf of Mexico". (In other words, it's about 40 minutes from where I live.) For those of you who are out-of-state, it's just west of Orlando. Today Groveland is the second fastest growing city in Lake County. According to the city's Web site, that means a population of 6,500. The city has a rich heritage, as is shown in the pictures throughout the book. As it's Web site says, "We may be a developing community, but Groveland still maintains that old southern small town appeal." The Orange Blossom Special used to have a stop in the town, thanks to the thriving farming and cattle industry that once surrounded the city

The 200+ pictures in the book encompass the city's history from the 1860s to the present day. Given the state of photography back then, these are excellent pictures, with great clarity. The book's cover, for instance, is a splendid picture of Stephen Carter and his family standing in front of their home c. 1890. Each picture includes a note explaining its historical background and other pertinent information. And these aren't all family portraits. As I mentioned earlier, these pictures depict a much simpler time. One of the pictures shows a young man sitting on top of a dead 10-foot alligator while his friend watches ... from a distance. Many other pictures show the boom era of the town, including the large lumber mill and the citrus groves.

Doris moved with her family to the city in 1959. She has worked for the Wall Street Journal and the Orlando Sentinel. Today she is the president and founder of Crosswords Communications. She is also a co-founder of the Groveland Historical Society and Museum.

If you're looking to learn more about the history of Florida, or maybe you just want to return to what seemed like a much simpler time, then be sure to check out Doris Bloodsworth's Images of America: Groveland. You'll love this pictorial trip through history.

Posted: June 22, 2009

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