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Passion for History Leads to Published Work

Mar 22, 2010
by Carrie Pack Chowske, '00

Alumna Summer Bozeman writes book on St. Augustine

Alumna Summer Bozeman’s passion for St. Augustine’s past turned into a paying gig when she was tapped to author a pictorial book on the Nation’s Oldest City.

When Bozeman graduated from Flagler in 2007, she bought several books on St. Augustine history and found herself fascinated by many of the historic photos.

One of the books the communication major bought was “St. Augustine in the Gilded Age,” from Arcadia Publishing. The book was chock full of Flagler-era photographs featuring St. Augustine landmarks and landscape. Bozeman began walking around the downtown area comparing the old pictures to what’s currently in those spots.

“I thought it would be really cool to make myself a scrapbook with old pictures and then the new pictures,” she said. “And maybe someone else would want that, too.”

Aracdia’s “Then & Now” series fit the bill. When Bozeman called the publisher, she found they had already been looking for someone to take on the project. Within a month she was digging through old photos and papers.

Bozeman did all the research for the book — searching archives and selecting photographs. Then she went out and recaptured the locations in her own photos. She climbed walls, moved branches, and even once had to lie down on top of a wall to get the shots. She says a lot of the shots were hard to get because the landscape has changed so much.

“In the past 100 years, a lot of people have planted a lot of trees,” Bozeman said. “No matter what shot I wanted, there was a big tree in the shot.”

She spent many hours working with the St. Augustine Historical Society and the Florida Archive in late 2008. With just four months to complete the book, Bozeman found it was the passion for the work – and a little help from her mother – that helped her stay on track.

“I really love the old photos,” she said, “… seeing how St. Augustine was different in so many ways, and how it’s the same in so many ways. It has such unique architecture and really its own personality.”

Bozeman currently works as an intern for the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau in Macon, Ga., but she says she wouldn’t rule out working on another project like her St. Augustine book in the future. In fact, she recently helped her mother with a “Then & Now” book on Macon.

“I loved going through archives … putting my hands in all those letters and newspaper clippings, and the research was so much fun,” she said.

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