All ages have an opportunity to learn new information about the community through two new volumes recently released by Walden's Ridge historian and genealogist James Douthat.
He will be at Wild Hare Books signing copies of his book on the history of the W Road for adults, as well as his coloring book featuring the sketches and writings of Emma Bell Miles for children Saturday, Nov. 12 from 2 to 4 p.m.
The volume featuring the W Road is Douthat's fifth publication concentrating on Walden's Ridge, preceded by "Signal Mountain Hotel," "Signal Mountain Trolley," "Early Residents of the Town of Signal Mountain" and "Timesville: The Town that Almost Was."
"The W for the mountain is kind of our claim to fame," said Douthat, explaining his choice in topic. "Everyone has a fear of the W the first time they go up and down."
In the book he follows the road's history from its creation in 1893 to the present day, covering the many changes it has undergone and sharing the experiences of residents over the years.
"You can always spot a first-time driver," said Douthat. "They try to stay in their lane, which is impossible."
Sketches by the late Emma Bell Miles, former Signal Mountain author, artist and Chattanooga Times newspaper columnist who was the subject of a September symposium at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, will become new collaborative works of art with local children using Douthat's coloring book.
Many of the sketches are taken from Miles' book "Our Southern Birds," which is based on her observations of birds in the woods of Walden's Ridge.
"I hope children will gain an appreciation of the wildlife up here," Douthat said.
Intertwined with her sketches are excerpts of Miles' writing, including poetry from her book "Strands of the Dulcimore" and observations on mountain life from "Spirit of the Mountain."
"She was a very astute observer of people," said Douthat, adding that her newspaper column was always written from the point of view of a bird sitting on the fireman fountain downtown across from what is now Jefferson's restaurant.
"I thought the birds in particular were of interest to children," said Douthat. "By introducing them to the drawings with her writings, I thought it would give children a chance to get acquainted with the depth of her thinking and writing."
The cost of "The W Road" is $15, and "The Sketches of Emma Bell Miles Coloring Book" is available for $10 at Wild Hare.
Wild Hare Books is at 1219 Taft Highway and can be reached at 886-1360. Contact James Douthat at Mountain Press at 886-6369 or visit here.