Tucked into the pocket of a Union soldier, the 1861 photo of a Cherry Street fire station served as a reminder of home for nearly five years for Toledoan William P. Scott.
As the 25th Ohio Volunteer Infantry moved through faraway places and fierce battles - Bull Run, Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, Statesburg - he'd pull out the picture, look at it, and feel a stab of homesickness.
Twice wounded in action, Scott came home in June, 1866, and joined the city's first full-time police force.
The picture came with him, but its travels didn't end.
Donated by Scott's great-great granddaughter to the Toledo Firefighters Museum, the photo and its story now appears on Page 1 of The Blade's new pictorial local history, Toledo, Our Life, Our Times, Our Town, available starting this week.
"We're billing this as 'our readers' book,'●" said John Husman, manager of human resources and editor of the 160-page book of photos that came from the collections of hundreds of individuals, businesses, and organizations.
Blade employees Sara Welborn and Kelly Norwood also worked on the project - Welborn as creative director/graphic designer and Norwood as project manager.
When the newspaper invited the community in May to submit photos for the book, the response was overwhelming, Husman said. "It was much more than we expected. We actually took in 800 photographs and had to pare it down to 300."
The published photos run from the 1800s through 1950. They are arranged chronologically, with captions based on information provided by the donors and, in some cases, additional research.
The book is expected to be shipped by Friday to stores and individuals who pre-ordered copies. It will be sold at The Blade, Fireside Books, Borders Books & Music, Leo's Book Shop, Toledo Museum of Art gift shop, Toledo Coin Exchange, Santa Fe Way, and Classics, the book store operated by the Friends of the Library at the Main Library. The list price is $39.95, plus a $4 shipping charge if ordered from The Blade.
In addition, copies will be available for purchase and pickup at The Blade, 541 North Superior St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Nov. 19. Photos also will be available for donors to pick up at those times.
A "book unveiling" program and sale is scheduled from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Main Library. The free public event will feature guest speakers James Marshall, manager of the library's local history and genealogy department; Joe Zerbey, vice president and general manager of The Blade; and Husman. (Information: 419-724-6208.)
The Blade plans to publish two more volumes of historical photos. Work on the second book is expected to start next year.
Contact Ann Weber at: firstname.lastname@example.org