10/25/11 — Having roots: Community should take an interest in its history

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Having roots: Community should take an interest in its history

This is not Emily Weil's first foray into the wonders of the history of her community.

The author of seven books about historical subjects understands just how fascinating stories about a community's past can be -- and how important they are to know for those who are planning its future.

She and other historians, like the famous Charles Ellis, who was considered a treasure trove of all things Wayne County, know that if these stories are not written down and shared with others, they will be forgotten.

And that would be a tragedy.

Wayne County is a busy place. Families scurry from here to there, trying to keep up with their own lives. And sometimes, when they do, they forget to take the time to look back and to explore their history.

They don't ask a grandfather to share tales about the early days and they don't wonder why agriculture is so important here.

Places like the Wayne County Museum and books like Mrs. Weil's newest release, which will benefit the museum, offer community members a chance to connect back to the days when Wayne County was brand new, and generations of families picked this area to start their lives.

In this day of shrinking budgets, money is sometimes lost for causes considered "extras." It would be a shame if, because money is tight, we lost some of the stories from those who helped build this region.

Taking the time to remember them -- and to preserve them for future generations -- is a responsibility we should not shirk.

Published in Editorials on October 25, 2011 11:00 AM