Franklin County historian Sue Blesi is in the final stages of writing a book to be titled “Union, Missouri.”
The book will be primarily a collection of high-quality historical photographs accompanied by descriptive text. It will be part of the Images of America series published by Arcadia Press.
Although Blesi has plenty of photographs to complete the Union project, she is missing a few she would really like to include if they can be found. They are: Ko-Ko Beach Tavern; Liberty Theatre, Liberty Dance Hall or Scenic Regional Library when it was located in the former Liberty Dance Hall; Lucas Fink’s theater; Williams Theatre; and an older photo of Sunset Nursing Home. She needs original photographs in order to obtain the highest-quality scans possible.
To ensure scan quality, she would prefer to make her own scans, but can bring her equipment to your home or business. All original photographs are returned and credit will be given to the provider. Anyone with other photographs to share is encouraged to contact her.
After writing a local history column for The Missourian for several years, Blesi has recently put together a collection of her earliest columns along with many additional photographs. That book, “Gleanings From the Past, Volume I: 1991-1996,” is now being printed and should be available within a few weeks. About four years ago, she wrote a history of Stanton, titled “Where Dead Men Still Fight, a History of Stanton, Missouri,” and it is also still available.
For her other projects, Blesi needs photos of the smaller communities in the county and of rural schools. After working on the rural school project for 25 years, she still needs information and photographs for some of the schools in order to complete the book to her satisfaction.
At one time there were over 115 rural schools in Franklin County and some of the information has been difficult to find. Unfortunately, information was not all collected in one place when reorganization and consolidation brought an end to the one-room schools.
Blesi expects to have the Union book sent to Arcadia Press by May 15, but it will not be released until fall. Both the “Union, Missouri” book by Arcadia Press and “Gleanings From the Past” will be available at the Washington Historical Society and other locations.
To contact Blesi, people may call 573-739-9201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.