A labor of love more than a year in the making came to fruition last month, as local historian Lisa Robinson’s book “Images of America: The San Lorenzo Valley” hit bookshelves.
Designed as a companion piece to the San Lorenzo Valley Museum’s collection, Robinson’s book showcases photos and stories from the early days of the valley — from the days of the Spanish and Mexican ranchos through the logging days to the 1920s.
“It really tries to tell the story of how the valley grew from a very few families to the towns they are today,” she said. “It’s not based on an individual town — it’s about the community.”
The different chapters describe the rise and decline of the logging industry, as well as the rise of the tourist industry with the opening of state parks such asBigBasin.
“It looks at the hotels, the schools, the churches, and the clubs,” Robinson said.
Robinson, the president of the Boulder Creek Historical Society, said she wrote the book to educate residents about the history of their towns and to promote the museum.
“I wanted the book to showcase the collection of the museum,” Robinson said. “We have artifacts that relate to those images”
Offered through Arcadia Publishing, the book uses photos of the valley communities, most of which were drawn from the museum’s extensive collection.
“About 90 percent of the photos are from the museum,” she said.
The royalties for the book — which costs $21.99 at theSLVMuseum, 12547 Highway 9 in Boulder Creek, and at local bookstores and on Amazon.com — will all be funneled to the museum.
“One of our strategic goals was to diversify the museum’s income,” Robinson said. “All of the royalties benefit the museum.”
History has never been far from Robinson’s mind. A resident of theSan LorenzoValleyfor 21 years, she worked in the high-tech industry before enrolling in a slew of history courses and taking on roles at theLos AltosHistoryMuseum,SLVMuseumand others.
“I’ve been drawn to historic preservation for a long time,” she said. “My original degree is in astrophysics.”
She said that she enjoyed the deeper connection to a community that grows from knowing the back story.
“It’s a wonderful sense of community,” she said. “When people understand the history, they feel closer to their community.”
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