Nearly 150 copies of the book about North Platte’s history, City Bones, were signed and sold Saturday in about an hour at A to Z Books on the first day the book arrived. The full-size book contains histories and enlarged photographs of downtown buildings. Several of the buildings tell stories of the "Little Chicago" times of North Platte, when gambling and prostitution were relatively common.
The long-awaited book was put together by Kaycee Anderson of the North Platte Public Library and collaborator, long-time North Platte resident and historian Steve Olson. The book is an update of the first edition of City Bones, written in 2005 and often excerpted in the Bulletin's profiles of downtown history.
This edition is a 112-page book with histories of 39 buildings. Anderson and Olson read microfilms, combed courthouse records and looked through historical city business directories to create the revised second edition of a book first created in 2005.
North Platte Bulletin Editor George Lauby made layout and text changes to the first proofs. Shirai Armstrong, a graphic artist for the North Platte Public Library, designed the cover and laid out the pages. Armstrong also took new photographs of each building so readers can compare the times, then and now, and she put together an index.
Carolyn Clark, the North Platte Public Library’s web page designer, helped with editing and proof reading.
Lauby created a power point program about the book. On Saturday, he and Anderson, joined by Olson, talked at length with North Platte residents about the book and the times it represents as they waited together for the books to arrive from western Iowa. Lincoln County Museum Director Jim Griffin personally picked the books up from the printer and delivered them to A to Z at 2:15 p.m.
The Lincoln County Historical Society and Museum paid for the publishing and will receive the proceeds.
Lauby and Anderson will present City Bones on Friday, Dec. 7 to the North Platte Living History group at 9:30 a.m. at the McKinley Education Center. And, they will also present the program at a brown bag luncheon at noon Thursday, Dec. 13 at the North Platte Public Library. The public is invited. Questions and memories are welcome.
To arrange for a presentation, contact George at the Bulletin at 308-696-0052 or Anderson at the library, 535-8036.
Copies are on sale at the museum's gift shop, the Fort Cody Trading Post and A to Z Books.