A peek into the past has never been easier with the Images of America series printed by Arcadia Publishing. This collection of books is known for spreading knowledge of local histories through photographs collected by local historians with captions written by the same, and then printed locally. The Grand Strand area is no exception to the rule, and one of the newest additions to the series is “Conway” by Susan Hoffer McMillan.
McMillan’s research and passion for Conway and the local area really shows in this small photography book with her enthusiastic captions and attention to detail. The pictures she has collected are a fantastic showcase of Conway’s story and the people that built it up.
The book is separated into five chapters, each one with a different theme. The first is dedicated to railways and waterways, the main means of transportation during the time the area was growing. The second chapter explores the different areas of Conway during its growth. The third is all about churches and schools, which mean pictures of buildings dominate this chapter. In the fourth, McMillan expounds on persons and homes in Conway, and the fifth ends the book with photographs of neighboring areas.
Although separated by category, it would have been nice to see all the pictures arranged chronologically. If the reader is actually looking at all the pictures and reading the captions in order, it is quickly noticeable that the pictures jump around to different times. It can be a little disorienting, and it would have been fun to see Conway develop through a set of chronological pictures.
An aspect of McMillan’s collection of historical pictures that really stands out is her dedication to details. There are many pictures where she has discovered the identity of the locals, an impressive feat, especially since some of the subjects are from a century past. McMillan also did a good job giving the locations of the pictures, so it is easy for readers to associate a familiar location with a black and white photo.
All of the books in the Images of America series are the same size, but when sitting down and really looking at the photographs, I was left distinctly wishing for a larger book to better see the details in the pictures. Granted, quality in some photos would not be improved no matter how much larger they could be made, but some could definitely be a bit bigger.
For Conway citizens and visitors alike, “Conway” is a wonderful and fascinating dive into the town’s history. McMillan’s extensive research is impressive, and her writing is personable. One can only hope the rest of the Images of America series is just as interesting.
Emily Smith, For The Sun News
Dorothea Benton Frank to sign books at N.C. winery
New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank will have a book-signing for her new book, “All the Single Ladies,” June 8, 4 p.m., at Silver Coast Winery, 6680 Barbeque Road, Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. The book, set in the S.C. Lowcountry, is about three middle-aged women who bond over another woman’s death.
The book goes on sale to the public June 9. The event will cost $7.50, which includes a glass of wine, and is sponsored by Pelican Books.
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At a glance
Title | “Conway”
Author | Susan Hoffer McMillan
Publisher | Arcadia Publishing
Length | 127 pages
Cost | $21.99