Photo book documents history of life around Cape

Saturday, July 6, 2002

FROM 1800 TO 1950SBy Jeremy Joffray

Southeast Missourian

Pat Zellmer has turned her passion for history into a project that all Cape Girardeau residents can enjoy.

Under the direction of Zellmer and Gretchen Griggs, the Southeast Missourian will release a pictorial history book of Cape Girardeau showing a chronology from 1800 to the 1950s.

Zellmer has spent her summer sorting through black-and- white photos of historic Cape Girardeau, and listening to story after story about the way things were.

The book, titled "Cape Girardeau Faces and Places," will contain around 300 photos and be close to 150 pages.

For Zellmer, who recently retired from the advertising department of the Southeast Missourian, the regular, almost daily phone calls she receives from Cape Girardeau residents regarding the city's history helped bring about the book.

"There's such a resurgence in interest of history," Zellmer said. "People are concerned the past will slip away."

Photos and stories

With every picture comes a story, such as those of Judy Cureton's grandfather.

Looking at a portrait of Joseph Mapel Wilson, Cureton smiles as she talks about her grandfather's short, 5-foot stature and his very dapper and precise demeanor.

Zellmer said these simple, everyday stories make the book special. What some may lack in professional photographic quality they make up for in journalistic character.

Zellmer will continue to collect photos throughout the summer, and said she has been very happy with the amount of photos that she has received from people around the community. Each photo displayed in the book will have a brief story behind it, along with the person's name who submitted the photo.

An important contributor to the project has been Jane Randol Jackson, director of the Cape Girardeau County Archive.

Jackson said she was excited about the book, and she feels it will go a long way toward preserving some of the images of this city for future generations.

"The book is going to keep a lot of these memories alive," she said.

Concord Publishing is printing the books, which should be ready for delivery by November. The books will be hardbound with glossy pages, and can be pre-ordered for $29.95 until Sept. 13. The book will cost $39.95 for any orders taken after that date.

335-6611, extension 226

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