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Greenwood, MS (Postcard History Series)
     

Greenwood, MS (Postcard History Series)

by Donny Whitehead
 

Greenwood grew from a ramshackle cotton-shipping outpost on the edge of the untamed Delta into the "Cotton Capital of the World." The saloons and shops along Front Street gave way to a vibrant downtown and fine residential districts. As cotton's post-Civil War resurgence gained steam, the burgeoning economy of Greenwood was reflected in such architectural

Overview


Greenwood grew from a ramshackle cotton-shipping outpost on the edge of the untamed Delta into the "Cotton Capital of the World." The saloons and shops along Front Street gave way to a vibrant downtown and fine residential districts. As cotton's post-Civil War resurgence gained steam, the burgeoning economy of Greenwood was reflected in such architectural masterpieces as the Leflore County Courthouse, the First Methodist Church, the old Greenwood High School, Fountain's Store, and the Keesler Bridge. Postcard photographers set up their cameras to capture the buildings and activities of this fascinating Yazoo River town for posterity. Many long-vanished structures and old favorites that have been revitalized come to life in Postcard History Series: Greenwood.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Title: Postcards illustrate history of Greenwood

Author: Charlie Smith

Publisher: Greenwood Commonwealth

Date: 9/7/09

Postcards tell the story of Greenwood's development from a stopping place on the Yazoo River to the "Cotton Capital of the World" in a new book by Donny Whitehead and Mary Carol Miller.

Greenwood is a 128-page history of the city based on Whitehead's collection of 180 postcards and photos dating from 1900 and his extensive research of the town's past.

Miller, already the author of several books about Mississippi, wrote descriptions of the pictures.

It goes on sale Friday.

Whitehead, 63, and Miller, 55, are Greenwood natives with a love for their hometown, its buildings and its people.

Chapters in the book cover the Yazoo River, the growth of downtown, public buildings, historic homes, churches and schools, businesses, cotton and recreation.

The duo had discussed doing the project for several years and started in earnest working on it during January.

Miller credits Whitehead for his tireless work over the past 20 years combing through newspaper archives to find facts about buildings, some of which were destroyed decades ago.

Looking at microfiche at the Greenwood-Leflore Public Library, Whitehead has made it through decades of issues of the Greenwood Commonwealth newspaper.

"If you want to find a needle in a haystack, this is your man," Miller said.

His postcard collection began with a gift from a friend in Washington state who came upon two classic Greenwood scenes: looking south across the Yazoo bridge and a view down Howard Street.

After about 20 years of gathering, he continues to search and adds about one postcard a year to his collection of more than 100.

Many of them can be seen at his Web site, www.aboutgreenwoodms.com.

Miller's favorites are the aerial shots, which were probably taken from the water tower on the utility building. She enjoys piecing together the puzzle of when the shots were taken.

Postcards were a popular medium during Greenwood's turn-of-the-century boom. Along with stately government buildings and the Yazoo, ordinary street scenes are featured.

Whitehead, computer operations manager for Staplcotn, said he was motivated to write the book so Greenwood's history won't be forgotten in 50 years.

Greenwood is part of the Postcard History Series by Arcadia Publishing, a publisher of regional histories.

Arcadia uses a standardized format.

"Any town could do this," Whitehead said.

Title: Greenwood history told in postcards

Author: Charlie Smith

Publisher: Sun Herald

Date: 9/6/09

Postcards tell the story of Greenwood's development from a stopping place on the Yazoo River to the "Cotton Capital of the World" in a new book by Donny Whitehead and Mary Carol Miller.

"Greenwood" is a 128-page history of the city based on Whitehead's collection of 180 postcards and photos dating from 1900 and his extensive research of the town's past. Miller, already the author of several books about Mississippi, wrote descriptions of the pictures.

It goes on sale Friday.

Whitehead, 63, and Miller, 55, are Greenwood natives with a love for their hometown, its buildings and its people.

Chapters in the book cover the Yazoo River, the growth of downtown, public buildings, historic homes, churches and schools, businesses, cotton and recreation.

The duo had discussed doing the project for several years and started in earnest working on it during January.

Miller credits Whitehead for his tireless work over the past 20 years combing through newspaper archives to find facts about buildings, some of which were destroyed decades ago. Looking at microfiche at the Greenwood-Leflore Public Library, Whitehead has made it through every issue of the Greenwood Commonwealth from 1900 to 1924, save 1922. The library doesn't have records of that year.

"If you want to find a needle in a haystack, this is your man," Miller said.

His postcard collection began with a gift from a friend in Washington state who came upon two classic Greenwood scenes: looking south across the Yazoo bridge and a view down Howard Street.

After about 20 years of gathering, he continues to search on eBay and adds about one postcard a year to his collection of more than 100. Many of them can be seen at his Web site, http://www.aboutgreenwoodms.com.

Miller's favorites are the aerial shots, which were probably taken from the water tower on the utility building. She enjoys piecing together the puzzle of when the shots were taken through the existence and architectural states of various downtown buildings.

Postcards were a popular medium during Greenwood's turn-of-the-century boom. Along with stately government buildings and the Yazoo, ordinary street scenes of residential neighborhood's are featured.

Miller figures those shots must have come from a service Kodak offered around 1900. The company would send a camera pre-loaded with film. After taking shots, the photographer would mail it back, and Kodak would produce custom postcards.

In those cases, Whitehead probably owns the only extant copy, Miller said.

Whitehead, computer operations manager for Staplcotn, said he was motivated to write the book so Greenwood's history won't be forgotten in 50 years.

"It's just a fun project for me," he said.

"Greenwood" is part of the Postcard History Series by Arcadia Publishing, a publisher of regional histories.

Miller did their first Mississippi book in 1998 and compares the process to putting together an annual.

Arcadia uses a standardized format - every book is 128 pages, softcover, black and white - that makes it easy for someone who knows an area's history but not the ins and outs of the book publishing industry.

"Any town could do this," Whitehead said.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738567860
Publisher:
Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date:
09/14/2009
Series:
Postcard History Series
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
1,355,058
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author


Author Donny Whitehead, a native of Greenwood, has been researching the town's history and collecting vintage postcards for many years. Coauthor Mary Carol Miller, also a Greenwood native, has written several books on Mississippi's historic architecture.

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