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Book guides you into Zephyrhills' past

ZEPHYRHILLS — In Zephyrhills From A to Z, A is for Abbott, the city's original name. Z is for, well, you guessed it.

But good luck finding anything else out about the book before it's official release on Dec. 19.

"You'll just have to read it," said Kathleen Burnside, the city's director of library and museum services and a driving force behind Zephyrhills From A to Z.

Here's what we do know:

The book was started in 1999. Burnside and other collaborators hoped to finish it in two years.

"I guess we were a little naive," said Vicki Elkins, assistant director of library and museum services and an editor of the book.

Contributors interviewed numerous Zephyrhills' families and sifted through stacks of newspaper clippings to compile an alphabetical list of the city's most noteworthy people and places.

The book picks up the city's history in the early 1900s, where the late Rosemary Trottman's well-regarded Zephyrhills book left off.

"People asked all the time, 'Where's the sequel?' " Burnside said.

But the 297-page A to Z guide isn't meant as a sequel or continuation of Trottman's book. Nor is it the definitive history of the city. Organizers behind the guide are sure there will be a second volume down the road.

"History is always changing," Burnside said.

Since the book was written on Zephyrhills' time and dime (the general fund picked up the $12,000 publishing tab) the city is credited as the author.

Elkins and Margaret Seppanen, from the Zephyrhills Historical Association, are listed as the book's editors.

When City Manager Steve Spina was asked what his favorite parts of the book were, he accidentally leaked some of the pages' contents.

"I liked reading about the city's political figures," he said. "There are some good chapters in there about former mayors and council members."

When pressed to reveal whether there were any scandals on those political figures' parts, he clammed up.

Spina must be on the collaborators' side.

"You'll have to read it," he said.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (813) 435-7312.

if you go

Book release set

Zephyrhills A to Z will be unveiled Dec. 19 at the Zephyrhills Depot Museum, 39110 South Ave. A celebration will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. The book costs $29.95 plus tax.

Book guides you into Zephyrhills' past 11/26/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 7:36pm]
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