A Century and Counting
“It was definitely a passion project for her,” says Cindi of her mother. “I’m not sure we even realized the scope of what she was putting together until that Christmas morning. I think my mom just had a really happy childhood in Craigville. She was very close with her dad, and the house was such a part of him as well—his roses still grow along the fence. It was their happy place.”
The reissue of “The Cottage” includes what Cindi refers to as a “treasure trove” of old family photos from the 1920s onward that she discovered in the back of a closet (where all the best treasures tend to hide). “That was a fun moment,” she says of unearthing the photos. “I spent weeks going through boxes and boxes of photos. It took on a life of its own, and now I have everything organized by generation. It was an incredible find, and I felt so close to my mother, matching 80-year-old photos to her anecdotes and piecing everything together the same way Mom did when she first wrote the book.” In addition, Cindi combed the internet and eBay to amass an incredible array of old photos of Craigville. Horse drawn carriages traversing the streets of Craigville, antique post cards showing the beauty of Lake Elizabeth, old photos of lifeguards and the Craigville Beach Association, historic news clippings, and more bring Merrilee’s words to life. Cindi explains that since the book has come out, neighbors have come forward with even more photos to accompany the stories they read in the pages of “The Cottage.” The book has become a cherished relic amongst the Craigville community, and Cindi has recently discovered that her family is now, fittingly, the oldest family in Craigville.
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