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The Town and the Troublesome Strangers, 1880-1980

  • Also available as: E-Book, Perfect Bound Softcover
  • Published: November 2015
  • Format: Dust Jacket Hardcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 400
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781514413241
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Before I started this book in 2002, I had had a persistent urge for years to write a story about a small New England town—namely, Northfield, Massachusetts—that I loved and knew well. Six generations of my family have gone there. The first ancestor of mine arrived in 1890, and for more than one hundred years afterward, family members returned in the spring, summer, and fall seasons. As a child, I remember overhearing my parents telling of the rich historical past of Northfield and also discussing the present-day activities of the hardworking, firm, established New Englanders who lived there. The main theme of this book is the recurring interaction between the permanent townspeople, some of whose family names date back to 1672, and the different and often troublesome groups of people that made their way to Northfield and settled down, less for farming than for other reasons, throughout the years 1880–1980. Many stayed for a long time, but eventually the groups broke up and moved away, all except for a few. The story also includes the travels of young people from Northfield to U.S. cities such as NYC; Corona, Long Island, New York; Washington, DC; and the world, such as France, Germany (1939), and the South Pacific during World War II, but most returned to Northfield to familiar sights. The tall trees still line the wide Main Street in front of the colonial-style houses, and the Connecticut River still flows south, and Northfield Mountain rose high above the town. I hope this book proves interesting and highlights the puzzle of human nature compared to the pleasantness of natural scenery.

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