Carthage appreciators turned out to get their hands on a brand new book on Saturday.

Carthage appreciators turned out to get their hands on a brand new book on Saturday.

A shipment of “Carthage 1940-1990” books were signed and released to the public on Saturday at the Powers Museum. Michele Hansford, director of the museum, and Wade Utter, Carthaginian, held a book signing with many in attendance. “Carthage 1940-1990” takes a look at the local businesses as well as an age when when many schools, churches and industries expanded or moved to new quarters. Stores and businesses around the Jasper County Courthouse modernized and competed with new commercial centers developed in other sections of the expanding town.

“It went very well,” Utter said. “And I love how the book turned out. People may notice, the way Michele takes readers through Route 66 in Carthage by the chapters is really cool. She follows the strip from far east on Highway 96 clear through town, and out on Oak Street, which is Historic Route 66. Then, she goes into how 71 Highway comes in from the north … you could drive as you follow this book.”

Utter, who spent two years writing a well-researched column called “Zooming In,” for The Carthage Press, has always had a deep appreciation for his hometown history and architecture.
“One of the things that just floors me is that some of these stations were open 24/7 – that's how busy they were,” he said, turning to a page in the book. “Look, even some of the cafes up on the Square were open 24/7. It's sad to see some of the places are gone, but a lot of places still look the same.”

An index of the book can be found online, and in October, Hansford said more pictures and extended cut-lines will be available for viewing.

“Carthage: 1940-1990” is available at the museum, Oldies and Oddities, Mother Road Coffee, All Things Grand, Civil War Museum, Grace Church's book store. Or, by calling Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665.