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LEGENDARY LOCALS OF HUNTINGTON is the latest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s new Legendary Locals imprint. Filled with an average of 180 images, this people-centric imprint focuses on newsworthy and noteworthy individuals and groups who have built and shaped their communities. Founded in 1871 by Collis P. Huntington, the rail legendarytycoon’s namesake city thrived as a gateway to the coalfields of southern West Virginia. The city’s earliest leaders included individuals like Mayor Rufus Switzer, who created one of the community’s true jewels, Ritter Park, and John Hooe Russel, who opened the city’s first bank and, when it was robbed, jumped on his horse and gave chase to the bandits. Over the years, Huntington has been home to such varied individuals as Carter Woodson, the father of Black History Month; Dr. Henry D. Hatfield, who was West Virginia governor but said he would rather be known as a“country doctor;” Dagmar, the blonde bombshell of 1950s television; basketball star Hal Greer; golfing great Bill Campbell; Stella Fuller, who spent her life ministering to Huntington’s poor, and the spectacularly generous Joan Edwards, who gave away $65 million. Legendary Locals of Huntington captures their stories and many others in a striking panorama of a remarkable community.

Join the author for one of these Book Signings:

-- Saturday, January 12, 2013 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Empire Books & News, 30 Pullman Square, Huntington, WV 25701.

-- Thursday, January 17, 2013, from 5 to 8 p.m. at The Red Caboose, Heritage Station, Huntington WV 25701.

Can’t make it to a Book Signing? You can order an autographed copy by sending your check for $27 (includes postage and handling) to:

James E. Casto
6233 Highland Drive
Huntington, WV 25705

HIGHWAY TO HISTORY:  A MIDLAND TRAIL SCRAPBOOK (Quarrier Press, 2011) -- The Midland Trail is a highway to history. HighwayIn the country’s earliest years, it carried the tide of settlement westward. During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate troops marched along it.  In the years before World War I, it became a link in a great transcontinental roadway. When numbered highways were introduced, it was designated U.S. 60. Today, there’s history waiting around every bend of its 180 miles. This 112-page softback volume is a colorful word and picture look at the historic highway which stretches across West Virginia from White Sulphur Springs to Kenova. Click here to reach Jim.

THE GREAT OHIO RIVER FLOOD OF 1937 (Arcadia Publishing, 2009) -- From the time the first settlers made their way into the floodOhio River Valley, floods were an accepted fact of life in the communities they built. After each flood, people would shovel the mud from their doors and set about rebuilding their towns and their lives. In 1884, the Ohio River washed away 2,000 homes along its length. In 1913, an even worse flood swept down the river. People labeled it the “granddaddy” of all floods. Little did they know there was far worse to come. The Ohio Valley has never seen anything to match the devastating 1937 flood. The raging floodwaters inundated thousands of houses and businesses, factories and farms in a half dozen states, drove a million people from their homes, claimed nearly 400 lives and recorded more than $500 million in damages. Adding to the misery was the fact that the disaster came during the depths of the Great Depression, when so many families already were struggling simply to put food on their tables. “Images of America: The Great Ohio River Flood of 1937” brings together 200 vintage images that offer readers a look back at one of the darkest chapters in the region’s history. Click here to reach Jim.

THE CHESAPEAKE AND OHIO RAILWAY (Arcadia Publishing, 2006) -- Part of Arcadia's Images of Rail Series, this volume traces the history of the C&O from the laying of its first tracks in the 1860s to its role as part of the CSX Transportation giant of today. Jim has gathered some 200 photographs that chronicle the C&O story. Here is a fond look back at the railroad's mammoth steam locomotives and the diesels that replaced them, its bustling passenger stations and much more. Included is the story of the legendary John Henry, who beat that steam drill, and Chessie, the sleeping kitten that was the C&O's much-loved trademark. The Images of Rail series celebrates the history of rail, trolley, streetcar and subway transportation across the country, Using archival photos, this book, like all in the series, presents the people, places, and events that helped revoluntionize transportation and commerce in the 19th and 20th century America. Copies of this new volume are available from Jim for $20 plus shipping and handling. Click here to reach Jim.

50 YEARS OF CARING -- For a "coffeetable book" written to celebrate the first 50 years of Cabell-Huntington Hospital, Jim spent hours searching through local newspaper articles, hospital archives and newsletters and also conducted relevant interviews. Speaking with The Herald-Dispatch about the project, Jim said, "I am not a trained historian and I don't claim to be. I'm a storyteller, and the hospital clearly had a story to tell. I appreciate the opportunity that the hospital gave me. I am very pleased with the results and I hope the hospital is pleased, too." Adds Doug Sheils, the hospital's director of marketing who served as the book's editor, "We have a really proud history. Cabell Huntington Hospital was created to care for the community, and that's the whole theme of the book. The community really was responsible for building this hospital." Complimentary copies have been presented to Cabell Huntington's employees, doctors, volunteers and contributors. Copies may be purchased at the hospital gift shop ($15) or from the author. Click here to reach Jim.

MARSHALL UNIVERSITY (Arcadia Publishing, 2005) -- Part of Arcadia's Campus History Series,this remarkable volume features more than 200 historic photographs from the Marshall archives and chronicles the dramatic Marshall saga. It offers glimpses of Marshall students at work and play, records the proud accomplishments of those who guided the school to its destiny, and provides an informative look at the steady growth of the campus over the years. It also captures the triumph of that 1961 day when Marshall at last became a university, the despair of the 1970 plane crash that plunged the campus and community into mourning, and the inspiring story of Marshall’s comeback from that tragedy. Copies of this new volume are available from Jim for $20 plus shipping and handling. Click here to reach Jim.

SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA: COAL COUNTRY (Arcadia Publishing, 2004) -- This collection of 200 vintage postcards offers a look back at coal mining and the way of life it spawned in southern West Virginia. The book traces how overnight the nation's demand for coal turned sleepy little places into boomtowns and helped cities like Charleston and Huntington prosper as gateways to and from the coalfields. Click here for a closeup of the front and back covers of this new book, available for $20 from fine bookstores, or from the author.

CABELL COUNTY (Arcadia Publishing, 2001) This lively photo history of Cabell County, West Virginia, begins with the arrival of the area's first settlers and continues into the 21st century. Some 200 vintage photographs recall key historical events and the people and places that made Cabell County the thriving place it is today. Reprinted in 2003, the book is available in bookstores or from the author ($20, plus postage and handling).

HUNTINGTON: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY -THE MARSHALL UNIVERSITY EDITION (Marshall University Foundation, 1997) -- This softbound edition not only reproduces the text and photographs of the original, out-of-print hardback volume published in 1985, it adds much new material to bring the community's story up to date. In addition, a special section of photographs offers a colorful look at the Marshall campus. A limited number of copies are available for sale ($20, plus postage and handling) by the author.

WEST VIRGINIA: MOUNTAIN MAJESTY (West Virginia Division of Culture and History, 1996) -- "This is not a history book," advises the Introduction, "although there's a great deal of West Virginia's remarkable history in it. Nor is it a travel guide, although we hope some readers, after taking an armchair tour in these pages, will be encouraged to hit the road, exploring our state firsthand." Lavishly illustrated, this handsome coffee-table book isn't a history or a travel guide but instead, to again quote the Introduction, "a celebration of the people, places things and events that have made West Virginia the special place it is." A limited number of copies are available for sale ($40, plus postage and handling) by the author. READ EXCERPT from chapter 9. (Note: The files used in this section are quite large, so allow a few moments for loading the graphics on each of the 13 pages in the excerpt.)

TOWBOAT ON THE OHIO (University Press of Kentucky, 1995) - To get a personal look at what it's like to live and work on the Ohio River, newspaperman Casto spent eight days aboard a commercial towboat, the Paul G. Blazer, as it traveled the Ohio from Huntington, West Virginia, to Pittsburgh, up the Allegheny and the Monongahela rivers, then back downriver to Huntington. In his book, Casto introduces readers to the Blazer's crew and to the river itself, while offering a look back at the history of commerce on the busy, hardworking Ohio. The book is out of print.

HUNTINGTON: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY (Windsor Publications, Inc., 1985) -- This is the story of Huntington, West Virginia - a city born of the Ohio River and the railroad and nurtured by the industrious men and women who have lived and worked there since rail tycoon Collis P. Huntington founded the town in 1870. The narrative is illustrated with more than 100 period black-and-white photographs and a section of color photographs offering a contemporary view of the city. The book, long out of print, is today eagerly sought by collectors.




They Came by the Thousands ... West Virginia's Immigrants, Wonderful West Virginia, March 2007, reporting on the waves of settlers who crossed the mountains to make West Virginia their homes.

Saying Goodbye to Fairfield Stadium, Wonderful West Virginia, June 2004, reporting the glorious birth and the sad decline of Huntington's 75-year-old Fairfield Stadium, where Marshall University used to play.

Saved from the Scrap Yard, Wonderful West Virginia, February 2004, telling the tale of former Chesapeake & Ohio Railway steam locomotive 1308, on display in Huntington's West End and maintained by the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society.

The Legacy of Cameo Glass, Wonderful West Virginia, November 2003, the story of Pilgrim Glass's legacy to the art world.


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