About the time this picture of me was captured in 1995, I had begun searching both the Southwest Collection and the general library at Texas Tech University (where I chaired the Animal & Food Science Department) for leads about La Charrette. But even then, my primary focus was on the genealogies and home communities of my German ancestors. It was about 1998 that I first realized that all of my ancestors came from within 25 mile radius of one another in Germany...and that all had disembarked at Marthasville Landing (a k a Charrette Landing) to eventually own much of its farmland. Only after publishing my family ethnohistory and genealogy in 1999 did La Charrette take center stage.
The title link provides a useful outline for how one self-publisher sees 'books coming to life.' My experiences include all of those items plus much, much more. Form my boyhood fascination with Daniel Boone, western exploration, Native Americans, and related topics, the interest gradually grew. By age 22 I acquired the La Charrette document of Dr. Irion's which held my interest for the next thirty years. Whenever I gained access to a new library anywhere in the world, I would search for 'La Charrette'. What I did NOT find convinced me that no one had ever published on this lost village of my birth. With a draft manuscript inhand by 2002, a contract was established with Pebble Publishing at http://www.pebblepublishing.com/index.htm but the status of the national economy scared the publisher off. Instead, he suggested iUniverse as a potential alternative. iUniiverse, Inc., another self-publisher at http://www.iuniverse.com/ , was what I needed to bring La Charrette Village to 'life'.
My plan for the next series of blogs in early 2006 is to highlight some of the events and techniques which aided in my bringing the 200-year old village history back to life. Not only had there never been a serious study on village history, but much of what was published lacked accuracy and detail on many 'facts'. Today, all this somehow seems apropriate. Not only did I just complete the preparation of my notes and references for the Warren County Historical Society Archives, but I approved the last proof copy of La Charrette a few minutes ago. Its due off the presses in January. I hope you enjoy its new content, and its new look.