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Hands Across The Wall
Hands Across The Wall
Our Price: $7.95

The 50thand 75th Reunions of the Gettysburg Battle

by Stan Cohen

More than 43,000 men lost their lives at Gettysburg, one of the bloodiest battles taking place on American soil. This book commemorates - through photographs - the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the Battle of Gettysburg.  The reunions marking these anniversaries were of critical importance to both Civil War scholars and participants who survived the great conflict.  The reunions were covered by national media and did much to complete the healing of the wounds of war. Hands Across the Wall contains photographs documenting moments such as the recreation of Pickett’s Charge; President Wilson’s arrival at the 50th reunion; President Roosevelt’s arrival at the 75th anniversary reunion; and the unveiling of the Eternal Light Peace Memorial.

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Highway to History (Autographed)
Highway to History
Our Price: $17.95
Sale Price: $7.95
Savings: $10.00

A Midland Trail Scrapbook

by James E. Casto

The Midland Trail is a highway to history. In the country’s earliest years, it carried the tide of settlement westward. During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate troops marched along it. In the years before World War I, it became a link in a great transcontinental roadway. When numbered highways were introduced, it was designated U.S. 60. Today, there’s history waiting around every bend of its 180 miles.

Book Review:

BOOK REVIEW: 'Highway to History: A Midland Trail Scrapbook' Showcases West Virginia's Scenic and Historic Road

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 17:26 Reviewed by David M. Kinchen

If you want to travel across the Mountain State in a hurry, take Interstate 64, advises James E. Casto, author of "Highway to History: A Midland Trail Scrapbook" (Quarrier Press, Charleston, WV, 112 pages, $17.95, distributed by West Virginia Book Co., Charleston, www.wvbookco.com, and statewide bookstores). If you want to travel what author William Least Heat Moon calls "Blue Highways" (the title of his acclaimed 1982 philosophical travel book), take Route 60, West Virginia's beloved Midland Trail.

The Midland Trail winds from the VA-WV state line and White Sulphur Springs 180 miles to Ceredo-Kenova on the Kentucky line and its scenic and built attractions are displayed to great advantage in vintage postcards from Casto's own collection and supplementary photographs in a book every West Virginian will want to own. Casto is a retired Herald-Dispatch reporter and the author of many books on West Virginia history -- and several contributions to the invaluable West Virginia online encyclopedia.

”Actually, I-64 is wonderfully scenic in many ways, but it's dangerous to sight-see on an Interstate” – James Casto

The Midland Trail lives up to its title as a "a highway to history." In the country's earliest years, it carried the tide of settlement westward. During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate troops marched along it. In the years before World War I, it became a link in a great transcontinental roadway. When numbered highways were introduced, it was designated U.S. 60. Speaking as a former motorcyclist, I can attest to its charms as a road for people who love two-wheeled travel.

In just over 100 pages in this large-format paperback book, Casto manages to include just about everything on the Midland Trail, including many scenes of White Sulphur Springs, Lewisburg and Rainelle in Greenbrier County, the winding stretch of the road in Fayette County, Montgomery, Charleston, South Charleston, Milton, Barboursville, Guyandotte, and of course Huntington and the towns beyond. I was enthralled with the book and it made me more than a little homesick for a state where i lived (in Hinton, Summers County) from 1992 to 2008.

I've read a number of Jim Casto's books and they're all good reading by a master writer; "Highway to History" is no exception I can't think of a more scenic state than West Virginia and Casto's book captures the often subtle beauty of the Mountain State -- as well as its historic wonders like The Greenbrier resort, the State Capitol building, designed by Cass Gilbert, who was also the architect a few years later of the U.S. Supreme Court Building. (Gilbert also designed New York City's Woolworth building and the state capitol buildings of Minnesota and Arkansas). Of course, Casto describes and includes several photographs of the Keith-Albee Theater, as well as describing its history and preservation as a performing arts venue.

Book Review:

Book Review: Charleston Gazette 11/12/2011.
by Rick Steelhammer
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The route U.S. 60 follows as it traverses the breadth of Southern West Virginia has gone through a number of name changes.
Known first as the Buffalo Trail in deference to the bison that trod out a pathway between grazing grounds and watering holes in the era before pioneer settlement, the route was later used by American Indians, European settlers, Civil War supply wagons and long-haul truckers.
"It was called the Lewis Trail, after Col. Andrew Lewis used it to take his militiamen from Lewisburg to fight Chief Cornstalk in the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774," said James E. Casto, author of "Highway to History: A Midland Trail Scrapbook. "Then, in the 1820s, it became the James River & Kanawha Turnpike," after the state of Virginia converted the pathway into a 66-foot wide toll road.
Following the Civil War, when armies of both sides used the road to move personnel and supplies between Lewisburg and the Kanawha Valley, the route became the Midland Trail, an unpaved road connecting Washington, D.C., to California. The Midland Trail was equipped with signs and opened to vehicular traffic in 1913, with the West Virginia section of the road initially designated as State Route No. 3.
According to a 1916 auto guide to the Midland Trail, the West Virginia section of the route, "generally speaking, is in very good shape and gives the average traveler no trouble," if travel is postponed until after the first of July. "In other words, don't even think of tackling the drive in anything other than mid-summer," Casto said.
In the late 1930s, the Midland Trail became U.S. 60, the state's first paved and numbered road.
Today, the road is known as U.S. 60, with Midland Trail remaining its official National Scenic Byway designation.
Once the main east-west route through the southern part of the state, the Midland Trail is now largely bypassed by long-distance travelers who prefer the easier, faster ride available on nearby Interstate 64.
In an effort to encourage more drivers to discover the history, scenery and small-town charm available along the Midland Trail's slow lanes, Casto wrote "Highway to History," and used more than 200 postcard views and vintage photographs to illustrate it.
"I've been haunting estate sales, eBay and antique stores for years, collecting vintage postcards and old photos, and I've used them to illustrate some of my earlier books" Casto said. "After driving back and forth over the Midland Tail so many times over the years, I started outlining an illustrated book about it in my mind."
Many of the postcards used to illustrate the book show scenes that can no longer be found along the Midland Trail, including the Kanawha, Fleetwood and Ruffner hotels in Charleston, the J.J. Jimison Tourist Camp at Culloden, and timber booms on the Big Sandy River at Kenova.
Others show towns along the route as they appeared in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
For the few points of interest along the route not depicted in postcards or archived photos, "I got in my Buick and took my own photos," said Casto, the former editor of the Huntington Herald Dispatch.
"There's history around every bend of its 180 miles," Casto said of the highway. "Travelers willing to take their time and drive the two-lane blacktop of the Midland Trail can get a glimpse into history that's denied those who hurry along the superhighway. If you like history, scenery and roadside novelties, you need to drive it."

About the author:
James E. Casto, a Huntington native and Marshall University graduate -- with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in Engish -- is the author of a number of books on local and regional history. He was a reporter and editor at the Huntington Herald-Dispatch for more than 40 years before he retired in 2004. He makes frequent first-person presentations as railroad tycoon Collis P. Huntington. Jim retired in 2004 from The Herald-Dispatch, where he was a reporter and editor for more than 40 years. He is now senior public information specialist at the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing. Also, recently the Cabell County Public Library's genealogy research center was renamed "the James E. Casto Local History Room" to honor Casto for his many years of service to the library and his years of serving as president of the Friends of the Library. In addition, it was also in recognition of his many books and publications about the local area
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Take Me Home, Country Roads (paperback)
Take Me Home, Country Roads (paperback)
Our Price: $8.95

Adapted and Illustrated by Christoper Canyon

This brilliant picture book adaptation of the first hit song of John Denver is all about roots, family, and country. Set in Appalachia, a humorously diverse bunch of relatives and their in-laws go up, down and around the hills of West Virginia to converge by car, pickup, and motorcycle to a family reunion at Grandma and Grandpas country home. True to Appalachian style, Canyon portrays it all as if on a quilt, complete with little stitches between the fabric.

Reviews:

"...Jaunty artwork with the busy color and texture of a patchwork quilt add to the listen-while-you-look fun." -- Publishers Weekly, October 10, 2005

"Canyon has outdone himself in his second pairing with a John Denver tune...A cast of wonderfully expressive characters..." --Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2005

About the illustrator:

Christopher Canyon is the illustrator for several award winning picture books for children. His work has also appeared in many posters and national publications including "Natural History" Magazine. Although he produces a variety of work in many styles, he is most recognized by his highly detailed and colorful nature paintings. His work is true to life and yet has a magical quality that is well suited to children. Christopher received his formal art training at the Columbus College of Art & Design in central Ohio where he resides with his wife, Jeanette and their cat, Goppy. When Christopher isn't working in his studio he enjoys visiting schools, libraries, speaking at special events, and providing programs for children and adults.

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Homestead and Warm Springs Valley, Virginia
Homestead and Warm Springs Valley, Virginia
Our Price: $12.95

by Stan Cohen

For over two centuries, the springs of secluded mountain Warm Springs Valley have rejuvenated the sagging spirits and tired bodies of city dwellers. The world-class resort has a rich past, and is captured in this history and collection of photographs.

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King Coal A Pictorial Heritage of West Virginia Coal Mining
King Coal
Our Price: $15.95

A Pictorial Heritage of West Virginia Coal Mining

by Stan Cohen

King Coal is a well-illustrated overview of coal mining in the Mountain State. This book discusses and illustrates the basics of mining methods and operations, the geology of the state, life in a coal town, the unrest in the coalfields and more. King Coal describes the living conditions of the miners, and some of the state’s worst mining disasters. You’ll meet some of the more colorful and fabled characters of the industry, including Albert “Sid” Hatfield, Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, and former UMWA president William Blizzard.

About the author:

Stan Cohen was born in Charleston, West Virginia and is a graduate of Charleston High School and West Virginia University with a BS degree in geology. He has worked in the oil fields of West Virginia as a geologist with the U.S. Forest Service in Montana and Alaska. He established Pictorial Histories Publishing Company in 1976. He has since authored or coauthored 68 books and published over 250 titles. He specializes in Civil War and World War II books and has traveled the world visiting military sites and attending military reunions.

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Pictorial Guide To West Virginia's Civil War Sites
Pictorial Guide To West Virginia's Civil War Sites
Our Price: $15.95

by Stan Cohen

A classic and comprehensive collection of Civil War history--a must-have for Civil War buffs and historians alike. The book contains photographs and historical data for over 230 of the state’s Civil War sites-- ranging from historic houses, buildings, and monuments to inspiring battlefields and poignant cemeteries. The sites are organized in the book by county. Each entry contains the location of the site. Most entries also contain either a contemporary photograph of the site or a historical image, or both. A study of these sites begins to portray the harrowing period that was instrumental in West Virginia’s formation in 1863. This guidebook is a valuable tool for understanding the events that shaped West Virginia in the momentous years of our nation’s darkest days and greatest conflict, the Civil War.

Reviews:

A Pictorial Guide To West Virginia's Civil War Sites And Related Information is a guidebook to the most important as well some little-known sites that have a connection with the Civil War in West Virginia. Provided is a general description of the location of each site for those who wish to personally visit them. Supplementing this fine Civil War guidebook the traveler should also have access to a good West Virginia state roadmap and a copy of West Virginia County Maps (published by Country Maps, Lyndon Station, Wisconsin) for more precise directions. Of course, local inquiry will be needed for some, and a few are very difficult to visit without a local guide, precise directions or permission form the local land owner. A Pictorial Guide To West Virginia's Civil War Sites And Related Information also provides the casual reader with a better understanding of the events that occurred in the state during the momentous years of the Civil War through a description of sites that played a role in the conflict. With its wealth of historical photoraphs, A Pictorial Guide To West Virginia's Civil War Sites And Related Information is a unique and valuable addition to any Civil Wars reference shelf. --Midwest Book Review

About the author:

Stan Cohen was born in Charleston, West Virginia and is a graduate of Charleston High School and West Virginia University with a BS degree in geology. He has worked in the oil fields of West Virginia as a geologist with the U.S. Forest Service in Montana and Alaska. He established Pictorial Histories Publishing Company in 1976. He has since authored or coauthored 68 books and published over 250 titles. He specializes in Civil War and World War II books and has traveled the world visiting military sites and attending military reunions.

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Spring Wild Flowers of West Virginia
Spring Wild Flowers of West Virginia
Our Price: $16.95

by Earl Core
Illustrated by William Lunk

Originally published in 1948, this is the germinal text on nearly 250 species of spring wildflowers found in West Virginia. Common or English names and scientific or Latin names are given for each species. The descriptions are in two sections: The first description includes the meaning of the name of the flower, uses, habitats, and ranges in West Virginia. Secondly, the plant itself is described in deep detail to help in identification. Each description is accompanied by a facing page detailed line drawing. This book is a must have for those interested in the beauty and science of West Virginia's spring flora.

About the author:

Earl L. Core co-wrote the four-volume Flora of West Virginia. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from West Virginia University and his doctorate from Columbia. He was a biology professor at WVU where the 75-acre arboretum managed by the university bears his name.

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West Virginia: Off the Beaten Path
West Virginia: Off the Beaten Path, 8th edition
Our Price: $16.95

by Su Clauson-Wicker

This book will inspire you to get off the interstate, get on the back roads, and enjoy exploring the many spots West Virginia has to offer. West Virginia Off the Beaten Path features the things travelers and locals want to see and experience––if only they knew about them. From the best in local dining to quirky cultural tidbits to hidden attractions, unique finds, and unusual locales, West Virginia Off the Beaten Path takes the reader down the road less traveled and reveals a side of West Virginia that other guidebooks just don't offer. The state is broken down into six regions. For each region you get detailed maps and directions; great places to eat and stay; and historical, cultural, and quirky activities and sites to visit. Get this book and treat yourself to some beautiful parts of West Virginia, "off the beaten path."

About the author:

Su Clauson-Wicker is a Virginian who spends a month of weekends in West Virginia each year. She is author for 4th - 7th editions of West Virginia Off the Beaten Path, Scenic Roads & Byways West Virginia, and Inn to Inn Walking Guide for Virginia and West Virginia, which won the West Virginia's Best Book Media Award. She is also published in the Roanoke Times, Recreation News, and newspapers in Ohio and North Carolina. She is contributing editor for Blue Ridge Country.

Su's diverse career has included a decade as editor of Virginia Tech Magazine as well as positions in television, radio, medical public relations, child welfare, and a stint as a colonial wench interpreter for Smithfield Plantation.

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Civil War In West Virginia
Civil War In West Virginia
Our Price: $17.95

A Pictorial History

By Stan Cohen

Includes 250 photographs and 24 maps. An excellent overview of the war in West Virginia. Perfect for anyone curious about our state’s role in the war. Beginners and scholars alike will be fascinated with the extensive photo collection. From John Brown’s inflammatory acts in Harpers Ferry and the first land battle at Philippi, through the surrender of McNeill’s Rangers and the end of the war, The Civil War in West Virginia looks at the skirmishes, battles and politics that shaped West Virginia’s role in the Civil War. With extensive photographs, maps, and historical documents and research, this book thoroughly chronicles the major activity which took place in the “Restored Government of Virginia”, as the state was called after its secession from Virginia.

The Civil War in West Virginia describes battles in the state, as well as telling about the exploits of such major figures as Generals Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and John McCausland. Read about events such as the Battle of Droop Mountain, the Jones-Imboden Raid, and the Battle of Pigeon’s Roost. The Civil War in West Virginia offers a concise yet thorough look at West Virginia’s involvement in the War Between the States.

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Images of the Civil War in West Virginia
Images of the Civil War in West Virginia (Autographed)
Our Price: $19.95

by Terry Lowry and Stan Cohen

This amazing book has over 475 photographs, images, and drawings - all made during the Civil War or very soon thereafter, and all related to West Virginia. This is the largest collection of images ever put together on West Virginia during the war. In addition to photos, it includes broadsides, veteran reunions, and miscellaneous paper items. Many of these pictures are from private collections and have never before been published. Also includes a short chronology of battles and events, giving a reference for the images. The book is printed on high quality glossy paper. A must for all Civil War buffs.


REVIEWS

A CIVIL MATTER BOOK MAKES DEBUT AT CRAIK-PATTON HOUSE WEEKEND EVENT THAT PAINTS MANY A PICTURE OF THE CIVIL WAR IN WEST VIRGINIA

Publication: THE CHARLESTON GAZETTE
Byline: MARINA HENDRICKS

TERRY Lowry was but a junior high school student when West Virginia and the Civil War marked their respective centennials back in the 1960s.
Around the same time, the magazine Civil War Times Illustrated debuted. "I saw a copy of that floating around the school, and I was intrigued," Lowry recalled.
The more he learned about the colorful uniforms, larger-than-life personalities and the Mountain State's role in the Civil War, the more he wanted to know.
"Almost every American has an [ancestor] who fought in the Civil War. So there's that personal connection. And then the fact that the Civil War took place all over, in some places we haven't even thought of," he said.
To feed that thirst for knowledge, Lowry earned a bachelor's degree in history from West Virginia State College, pursued graduate studies in Civil War history at Marshall University, toured battlefields and built a collection of Civil War memorabilia. He also authored several books, including the 1996 release "Last Sleep: The Battle of Droop Mountain November 6, 1863."
Lowry teamed with Charleston native Stan Cohen on his most recent project, the newly released "Images of the Civil War in West Virginia." The book will make its debut as part of the second annual Col. George S. Patton Memorial Civil War Weekend, held Friday and Saturday at Craik-Patton House in Daniel Boone Park on U.S. 60.
Cohen, who operates Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., has authored or co-authored 68 books and published more than 250. Together, Lowry and Cohen set out to showcase photographs, sketches, illustrations and paintings that depicted the role West Virginia and its citizens played in the war. "That was the idea, to track down everything we could," Lowry said.
The co-authors faced a number of challenges in the five years that Lowry estimated it took to put together the book, which sells for $19.95 at all West Virginia bookstores.
During the Civil War, for example, the state's rugged, mountainous terrain made it hard for photographers to lug around the heavy equipment they then needed to practice their craft. So other than portraits, Lowry and Cohen were able to find few photographic records of that time period in West Virginia. And time itself hindered the duo's efforts, as more than a few of their discoveries were in poor physical condition.
Despite the difficulties, Lowry and Cohen unearthed some real gems, including a soldier's rough sketch of the Battle of Charleston and a photograph of several members of the 34th Ohio Regiment in their distinctive (and flamboyant by soldier standards) Zouave garb.
"It's the only known photograph we've seen of them in the particular uniform they wore," Lowry said. "Later on, they switched to regular uniforms."
The co-authors also were able to correct a mistake on a series of photographs from the state archives.
The photographs, which depict the Gauley Bridge area, originally were thought to have been taken after the war. Lowry and Cohen determined by their subject matter, however, that they did indeed date back to the war itself.
By the time they completed the book, they believed they had assembled as complete a visual history of the Civil War era in West Virginia as possible.
"It's getting thinner and thinner," Lowry said of the source network. "But even after this came out two weeks ago, some things have surfaced.
"We've already thought about [an updated version]. If it does real well, in the second printing we'll add anything new that comes in."

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