“Neenah and Menasha: Twin Cities of the Fox Valley” pays tribute to the cities as they were portrayed during the “Golden Age of Postcards” from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The book showcases 200 vintage postcards from Galassie’s own collection, depicting local landmarks past and present such as Riverside and Smith Parks, flour mills and factories.
Galassie’s previous book, “Menasha,” was published by Arcadia Publishing in 2012. This time around, his work focuses on the intertwined histories of both Neenah and Menasha.
“The fact that they are twin cities is unique,” he says. “There’s been constant talk about consolidating the two towns and it went to the ballot box several times, but every time it was rejected. Each city managed to retain their identify.”
The new title touches on local examples of the American success story, Galassie says, highlighting the flour, wood and paper industries for which the area is known.
“The book is not just a nostalgic look back, but it might act like a stepping stone for people to learn about their hometown’s rich and exciting history,” says Galassie, who currently resides in South Carolina, though his heart remains in the Fox Valley. He was born in Menasha and lived there until age 22.
“In a way I’ve always been nostalgic for the town,” he says. “By writing the book, I felt I was paying back the town for the great childhood and upbringing it gave me. Even though I’m 1,000 miles away, it hasn’t left me.”
Galassie will be hosting a book discussion on April 29 from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Elisha D. Smith Public Library in Menasha. He will also make an appearance via Skype at the Menasha History Rally on April 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Your Daily Grind in Menasha.
Read more at Galassie’s blog, menashabook.blogspot.com.