The Eel River Valley is too small and inconsequential to have had any books written about it, much less a book that follows the Eel from the last Ice Age to the day before yesterday. So while there are many sources that contribute bits and pieces to the story of the Eel River, this book pulls all the pieces together into a coherent narrative. Equal parts history and memoir, the book describes the formation of the Eel (and the Indiana river system) in the last (Wisconsin) glaciation, traces the archaeology of the native inhabitants, discusses the cultures in place at the first encounter with white Europeans, then follows the development of the Valley and its cities and towns through the 19th and 20th centuries and into the 21st.
Although small and largely inconsequential, the Eel River winds its way through my early life as certainly as it winds through nondescript Indiana farmland. I was born in Logansport in 1947 and to me, the Eel (and its bigger companion the Wabash) were always a significant part of my life, a source of fun and companionship, a geographical marker, a place to cool off on hot Indiana afternoons, a place to fish for bass, blue gills and catfish, to skip rocks across the broad flat waters, to shoot squirrels and snakes – in short, a perfect stage where being a small-town Hoosier kid could be enacted. Thus, the book also recounts a bygone time – the time of mid-century, mid-continent, middle America.
Current Status: Complete to first draft stage and revised once. 69,000 words; 140 single spaced pages. To review the manuscript or converse with me, be in touch.