Hidden away in a warehouse in the heart of Statesboro for 45 years, a treasure lay forgotten — until recently.
A conversation about “Statesboro Through Our Eyes, Celebrating 75 Years,” a publication planned as part of the Statesboro Herald’s 75th anniversary celebration, prompted one man to remember where hundreds of copies of “Statesboro: A Century of Progress” were stored.
The book was believed to be out of circulation, but now, citizens will be able to purchase copies of the now-antique publication in spite of previous beliefs that the books were long gone.
Statesboro Herald Publisher Randy Morton and fellow Statesboro Rotary Club member Bobby Smith were discussing the upcoming celebration and the conversation turned to the 45-year-old book filled with Statesboro and Bulloch County history spanning from 1866 to 1966.
When Morton mentioned the publication being scarce, Smith suddenly remembered where he had stored boxes and boxes of the books for G.C. and Leodel Coleman, years ago.
The Colemans once owned the Statesboro Herald, now owned by Morris Multimedia.
“The Colemans asked me to store them,” Smith said. “They’ve been there ever since.”
While people have been seeking copies for years, several hundred copies were lying in boxes in an East Vine Street warehouse. When Smith took Morton to see the stacks, he was immediately interested.
“We were very fortunate to find some books stored away for years,” Morton said. “We didn’t know about them. It was a real eyebrow raiser for me.”
An offer to Mrs. Martha Wilma Coleman was considered, then accepted, and the copies of “Statesboro: A Century of Progress” became property of the Statesboro Herald.
“I’m delighted to see these books go into circulation,” Smith said.”It will mean a lot to citizens who lived through those years and to young people, to give them an appreciation for the history.”
“They have been sitting there since 1966,” Morton said. “They are in warehouse condition” with some of the newspaper print pages possibly yellowed with age, but otherwise on very good shape, he said.
“I think everybody’s going to benefit from this,” Smith said.
The newly discovered copies will be sold for $19.95 each and can be purchased at the Statesboro Herald office at 1 Proctor Street in Statesboro.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.