West Cobb Magazine

Marietta Revisited – A Must Have New Book for Marietta History Buffs

MARIETTA – Did you know that the bronze statue of former U.S. Sen. Alexander Stephens Clay originally stood on the east side of Marietta Square as opposed to its present west side location? Did you know that the site of the Walker School at Cobb Parkway and Allgood Road used to be an oat field?

In the new book, “Marietta Revisited,” the city of Marietta’s forgotten history is revealed in a combination of historic and modern photographs. Marietta Daily Journal editorial page editor and columnist Joe Kirby, and former Journal photography chief Damien A. Guarnieri, are co-authors of the 96-page book that is published by Arcadia Publishing.

The book is available for $21.99 at bookstores, local museum gift shops, from the authors themselves and at http://www.cobbhistorybooks.com.

“Marietta Revisited” contrasts modern photographs with historic images, which together chronicle how the city has changed, or in some cases, not changed. It’s a follow-up to Kirby and Guarnieri’s previous book, “Marietta: Then & Now,” published in 2007.

Kirby, who began working at the Journal in 1987 as a city hall/general assignment reporter, said their first book was so much fun and so well received that they decided to collaborate on another. “Marietta: Then & Now” is presently in its third edition.

As a photographer for more than a decade at the Journal, Guarnieri chronicled some of Marietta’s most memorable events. For the book, he said he approached the project as a sort of photographic scavenger hunt.

“It wouldn’t have been unusual for people to see me walking all over Marietta this past spring with my camera in one hand and photocopies of old photos in the other, with me trying to line up my camera with the same angle as the old photo,” said Guarnieri, who now takes pictures for Lockheed Martin.

He said he even tried to take into account the type of lens the photographer used when taking the old photo.

“If there were people crossing the street in the old photo, I tried to get people crossing the street in the same place as the old photo,” he said. “Readers can try to find all the little details that I tried to get the same in both photos.”

There are a total of about 160 photos in the book. Photos collected from residents in a photo drive by the Marietta Museum of History form the basis of the new book. Kirby credited the museum’s founder, Dan Cox, for loaning photos, as well as Journal Publisher Otis A. Brumby Jr., Journal columnist Bill Kinney, Guy Northcutt Jr., Philip Goldstein, Dr. Tom Scott and the Manning family.

“Some pictures are real interesting, but you don’t know much about them, so you do have to scrounge around and see what you can come up with,” Kirby said about writing the book.

The Cobb County Library and local history books were among his primary sources.

In 2008, Kirby wrote, “The Bell Bomber Plant,” which tells the story of the old Bell plant where B-29 Superfortress bombers were assembled during World War II. With the publication of “Marietta Revisited” – which debuts as the city celebrates its 175th anniversary – he has been speaking about the book to various civic clubs, churches and organizations.

Damien and Joe posing with their new book

He, Guarnieri and several other authors will be signing books at the Marietta Museum of History’s Meet the Author event from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at 1 Depot St. in Marietta. The event is free to the public and features book signings. Another area book signing will be Sunday Dec 20 at the Daily Grind on Due West at 2 p.m. Kirby

 This article has been reprinted from one appearing in the Marietta Daily Journal on December 7, 2009.

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