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If you want to know the latest “latest” news, then visit my blog QuillScripts.  I update regularly so you can read about book signings and art events.

For those who want to read some samples of my writing (including features about Andrew Wyeth), visit my bio web site. Click here

Of all my book  projects (yes there are many),  one  that had been set way back on the back-burner (behind that canning task) is now in being considered by an university press.   I hope to publish by 2018.  What is the book?  It is the revised edition of my popular book, The Story Of Milford Mills, is now in the editing/production stage.

Please follow QuillScripts for updates about the book’s progress.  I will be posting photos like the one showed below.  When I first published the book in 1987, I obtained many of the photos from local residents who had lived through Milford Mill’s demise, caused by the building of Marsh Creek dam project in the early 1970s.  Here’s a wiki account of it:,_Pennsylvania

I’m so glad we were able to interview those residents so many years ago, but I’m also fortunate to uncover more photos at the Chester County Historical Society (CCHS), within walking distance of my home in West Chester, Pa.

James Samuel White's home, between Eagle and Cornog, PA, ca. 1900.
James Samuel White’s home, between Eagle and Cornog, PA, ca. 1900.

Here  is one of my favorite photos I uncovered for the new edition. Little Conestoga is just over the “hill.”  The house still stands near a small bridge but the barn is gone.

From the book coverFormerly long out of print, this fascinating illustrated history tells the story of a town taken by eminent domain to create Marsh Creek State Park near Downingtown, Pa. 

Today thousands of people come to the park,  but see no traces of a valley that was once home to  19th-century industrialists, paper makers, mill owners and even a gangster.  However,  there are few remains including the ruins of a mansion once used as hideout and summer retreat  by  Max “Boo-Boo” Hoff, Al Capone’s Philadelphia “connection.”

In the Works : 

frog book cover

The “Frog Leg Dinner” Book

I am working on illustrated book on the early community of Johnsontown – no, not the Pennsylvania town famous for its 19th century floods.

My subject  – Johnsontown  –  is the historic Italian-American community in East Downingtown, Pa.

My working cover, shown here, focuses on the illustrated history of  an annual event that put Johnsontown on the proverbial map – the Amphibious Order of Frogs’ annual frog dinner.

Here’s a link to some of the coverage the event has received over the years:

The book will include photos of the 80th anniversary of the frog dinner as well as old photos and a detailed  history of the neighborhood (it was first settled by the Irish) including St. Joseph Parish and St. Anthony’s Lodge.

Publication date: December 2018   Questions or to reserve your book:  Please email me.

uptown cover 2

The Latest Walking Tour:

From the press release:

Announcing the publication of the second of three walking tour booklets featuring historic African-American  and Civil War era  sites in West Chester, Pa.

Local author, Catherine Quillman, has spent the last three years giving walking tours of historic sites in West Chester, Pa.  Based on her research, the second of three planned books was recently published  with the help  of a grant from the Leeway Foundation in Philadelphia.

The 91-page illustrated book,  “Walking the “Uptown”:  the historic African-American community of West Chester, Pa.”   offers a rare glimpse into the lives of early black entrepreneurs who operated oyster bars and other small businesses alongside white-owned establishments.

Although it is  designed as a walking tour, comprised of 23 sites, each illustrated with old postcards, vintage photographs and early advertisements, the book can also be used as a scholarly resource.  The book includes an introduction describing such cultural topics as the large number of black “transplants” from the South, their legal battles and their eventual “withdrawing from increasingly hostile social institutions and community,” to quote from the book.

An extensive appendix includes numerous lists of early black residents such as prominent landowners and those involved in West Chester’s anti-slavery activities prior to the Civil War.

The book also documents the childhood homes and related sites of Bayard Rustin, chief organizer of the “I Have A Dream” 1963 march on Washington, DC.


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