Book traces Mineola’s history in pictures

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"Mineola (Images of America)" will be published Nov. 6. The cover shows a 1956 parade celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mineola's incorporation as a village. (Image from Arcadia Publishing)

With new high-end apartment buildings, a state-of-the-art medical research center and other changes, Mineola looks much different today than it did a decade ago.

But residents new and old will soon be able to look even further back in time with a forthcoming book by two village librarians.

Mineola’s entry in the “Images of America” series from Arcadia Publishing traces the village’s development from the late 1800s to the present in more than 190 photos, collected and annotated by Margaret-Ann Farmer and Cathy Sagevick. The book will be published Nov. 6.

“Mineola has always been a draw for people to come and raise a family and to stay here, so I think for especially a lot of those families who have seen some of the changes, they’ll also be surprised at the very different landscape,” Farmer, a lifelong Mineola resident, said.

Farmer and Sagevick have worked together at the Mineola Memorial Library for the past 15 years. They started assembling the book last August, pulling photos from the archives at the Mineola Historical Society and other places, Farmer said.

Their volume is among more than 7,000 in the “Images of America” series. Arcadia Publishing works with local historians to publish the books, which aim to explore local and regional histories through pictures.

In six chapters, Farmer and Sagevick’s book — the first known pictorial history of Mineola — explains the village’s growth from a farming community into the “heart of Nassau [County],” serving as a center for commerce, transportation and culture, Farmer said.

Assembling the photos was a “labor of love,” Farmer said, made easier by the recent digitization of many local archives.

Included are images of local landmarks that have since disappeared, such as the Mineola Theatre and the Mineola Fair Grounds, Farmer said.

“I just feel that you can’t save everything, but you can save it in a photo, and you can say, ‘I remember that, I remember this,'” said Michael Marinak, the Mineola Historical Society’s treasurer, who helped Farmer and Sagevick with their research.

The book’s last chapter addresses the village’s “more recent progress,” including its centennial celebration in 2006, Farmer said.

The book will help preserve images of Mineola’s past as the village moves forward, with a focus on newer, larger buildings and developing new businesses, Farmer said.

“Mineola has always been very progressive or forward looking, so always kind of with an eye to the future,” she said. “In some cases, that meant that some of the history really was not preserved because of some of the buildings that they chose to tear down for various reasons, but then also they’re looking toward the growth as well.”

Marinak said he hopes the book will encourage more residents to search through their own archives for photos that might help future generations trace changes in the village.

“I hope more people take an interest in it,” Marinak said.

“Mineola (Images of America)” is now available for pre-order on Amazon in advance of its Nov. 6 release.

Farmer said the Mineola Memorial Library and Mineola Historical Society will likely have copies for sale. She and Sagevick also plan to do book signings and other events after it’s released.

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