Book reveals Middletown stories, photos

MIDDLETOWN — A new book released next month reveals the history of Middletown, along with a collection of “never before seen” photographs.

As one of the sepia-hued books in the Images of America series, “Middletown” contains 128 pages of pictures of people and places and stories of the town stretching back to its founding.

Middletown was established in 1797 by Peter Senseney as a tollhouse and tavern location along the Great Wagon Road, according to the book.

Middletown Mayor Charles Harbaugh, who authored the book with Councilman Jeff Pennington, said they began working on it last winter.

Currently there are books about New Market, Stephens City, Front Royal and Winchester in the Images of America series.

“I looked at other towns that had them,” Harbaugh said, “and thought, we can’t be the last ones to have one of these things.”

He said the toughest challenge was collecting the 180 black-and-white photographs required by the publisher.

“The Handley [Library] Archives has thousands of pictures for Winchester and thousands for Stephens City, but there’s not a whole lot for Middletown,” he said.

As a result, the two authors traveled door-to-door asking for photos and stories and amassed dozens of photographs from private collections most people have never seen before, Harbaugh said, including some from the early 1900s.

Pennington said the book shares the “simpler way of life” experienced by residents in the 19th and 20th centuries.

“Images of America: Middletown” releases on Jan. 19 and retails for $21.99. It can be purchased at local bookstores and businesses as well as the Arcadia Publishing website at http://www.goo.gl/Ml0QtO.

Harbaugh said copies will be donated to the Handley Regional Library, Lord Fairfax Community College and the Middletown Town Office.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com