Book Signing at Champion Hill

Grady Howell, Jr.

On May 16th, 2009, Grady Howell Jr., a popular Mississippi author, will be on site with his new book, Chimneyville, “Likenesses” of Early Days in Jackson, Mississippi,” published in 2007.

Chimneyville is the ultimate “coffee table” book for history lovers. The 198-page book consists of hundreds of priceless old photographs, postcards, newspaper clippings, and drawings – all related to the first one-hundred years of the history of Jackson.

Howell sets the stage for Chimneyville in his introductory remarks: “Remember when you were a child and electrical devices did not dominate your life? Heaven was a sudden thunderstorm that sent you excitedly scurrying into the house from play to find warm, fresh home-baked, buttered bread or cookies and cold milk loving provided. As the rain pattered down outside you were warm and cozy indoors flipping through pages and years as you traveled far away in time into the wonderful world of imagination. Well, I hope that this book will provide you with just such an adventure. The book is designed somewhat as a scrapbook. The images are arranged, more-or-less, in chronological order. The idea being that these “Likenesses,” as old pictures were once termed casually reveal the patch-work story of roughly the first one hundred years of development of a Southern city-state, Jackson, Mississippi.”

The front cover of Chimneyville features the ruins of the Bowman House, a popular Jackson hotel once located on State Street near the Capitol Building. The Bowman House was one of many structures burned to the ground when Sherman’s army occupied the city in 1863-1864. A Union soldier described the ruins, “The Jackson of February, 1864, was not the Jackson of May, 1863. Then it was a beautiful city; now it is a heap of ruins. Some of the citizens called it ‘Chimneyville’ from the great number of standing chimneys from which the buildings have been burned.” The back cover of the book features a beautiful painting, Chimneyville, by Jerry McWilliams, artist from Terry. The painting depicts a carriage of refugees leaving Jackson while, in the background, the city burns.

"Chimneyville", an oil painting by  Mississippi artist,
Jerry McWilliams, is depicted on the back cover. The painting beautifully illustrates refugees as they flee from 
the burning of Jackson at the hands of General Sherman. 

Without doubt, Chimneyville, will be recognized as one of the most attractive and historically accurate books related to the history of Jackson. Once you start thumbing through the pages you won’t want to put it down. Every page, including the introduction, is a work of art. At the conclusion of the introduction Howell states, “I hope that you enjoy this journey back in time and I appreciate your “letting go,” even if for a moment, of those life-robbing electrified devices (that we all love!). Oh yes! Please try not to spill any crumbs or milk onto the pages.” Everyone who knows Grady Howell recognizes his data-perfect books as well as his wonderful ‘down home’ sense of humor.

Bring your camera, comfortable shoes for the battlefield stroll and a lawn chair to sit back and enjoy the atmosphere of the day as you thumb through your new book by Grady Howell! The event is sponsored by The Champion Heritage Foundation.


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