"A Pictorial History of Commerce" on display this weekend

Commerce – The Friends of the Commerce Public Library have announced the publication and release of "A Pictorial History of Commerce," a never-before-seen collection of photographs from the archives of the Commerce Public Library and Texas A&M University - Commerce, which commemorates the 125th year of incorporation of the City of Commerce, Texas.

The book will first become available in Commerce at the Bois d'Arc Bash, to be held on the square in downtown Commerce on Saturday, September 25, 2010, and will be sold tax-free on that day in accordance with state regulations for 501c3 organizations.

"Recent Commerce residents will learn about the people and events that make their new home unique, and long-time citizens will enjoy a trip down memory lane," said Isabel Davis, Friends' president.

The 9"x6" soft cover, 136-page volume features over 225 photographic images -- from the 1870s through 2010 -- related to Commerce, with more than 850 individuals and places identified in the index. Photos depict the history of local business, agriculture, public schools, churches, clubs, the Norris community, civic leaders, and Texas A&M University - Commerce, among other subject matter. Extensive captions tell in narrative form the history of Commerce from its incorporation in 1885 -- 125 years ago -- to the present.

The commemorative book is published by the Friends of the Commerce Public Library, and compiled by Cheryl Westhafer and Dr. Jim Conrad, with the layout and design created by Carolyn Thompson. One-hundred-percent of the proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the Commerce Public Library. Additional underwriting from generous supporters, and financial collaboration with Texas A&M University - Commerce, helped to make the publication possible.

Above, hear KETR News Director Scott Harvey's conversation with Cheryl Westhafer and Dr. Jim Conrad during the September 24 episode of The Lead.

"This publication is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the public library's local history photograph collection. Through the years, the library has acquired literally hundreds of photographs depicting Commerce from its earliest years to the present. Many are very rare, such as those from the early railroading days in Commerce. We are also very fortunate that Texas A&M University - Commerce joined us in this endeavor and contributed photographs depicting the history of the university and its presidents. Both Dr. Conrad and I are excited about the wide range of subjects covered throughout the book and hope everyone will enjoy the rich history of Commerce represented in the photographs," said co-author Cheryl Westhafer.

The list price of the book is $19.95, plus tax ($21.60 total). To order, contact the Commerce Public Library at 903.886.6858 or send ordering information with payment by check or Money Order to: P.O. Box 308, Commerce, TX 75429. Shipping and handling charges are an additional $4.50. More information is available at