Title: Get Betty Higbee's book on Fortescue this weekend
Author: Jean Jones
Publisher: The Bridgeton News
"Around Fortescue" is just that, a trip around the island, past and present, through a collection of photographs compiled by Betty and Clarence "Bunky" Higbee.
"Around Fortescue" is part of the Images of America series produced by Arcadia Publishing.
It covers all aspects of life in Fortescue, then and now, from the era of big bayfront homes, almost a mile of boardwalk, many businesses, movies, concerts and dances, to today's much-more scaled-down version of life on the bay.
Time, tides and fires have reduced the size and grandeur of the community, but it still offers some of the best fishing around, a sandy beach, fresh salt air, sunrises over the marsh and magnificent sunsets over the bay, all things that keep people coming back.
The photographs are a window into those grand earlier times, an eye-opener for those visiting them for the first time through the book, and a trip down memory lane for those who still remember Fortescue's heyday.
The book was no easy task, and Betty Higbee said she almost gave up on it once.
"I worked on it for three years. I have a sick husband and the restaurant and the marina to take care of. I work from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. At 4 p.m., I would go home, drink a whole pot of coffee, and sleep for a little while. Then I'd get up at 1 a.m. and write until 3 a.m., then come to work again," she said.
Her husband was born in Fortescue and has lived there for 73 years. Betty was born in Cedarville, but has been here for 52 years, raising a family here and working in the family businesses.
In spite of all the work, she said she enjoyed doing the book, collecting the photos and writing the captions.
"I wanted to do it to save the pictures and the knowledge," she said.
The book doesn't stop at Fortescue. There are pictures of the area lighthouses and from adjoining areas of Newport and Dividing Creek.
Ships and their captains are well represented, as well as photos from the many disasters of fire and flood that ate away at the island over the years.
There will be two great opportunities to buy the book and get it signed this weekend.
Betty will be at Fortescue Day, on Saturday, adjoining the Fortescue Chapel, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and, on Sunday, at the Charlesworth Hotel and Restaurant, on New Jersey Avenue, from 2 to 7 p.m.