Did you know that only do I write books that I also take the majority of the pictures? At first, this was purely out of necessity because I cannot afford to pay for photographs. But now I also prefer to take the pictures for story telling purposes. Photographs are “due” first. Although I did make some suggestions on pictures that might work well for the cover, ultimately a designer creates the cover for the History Press. I am thrilled with what they came up with for the cover.  While I do talk about all of these places in the book, I thought you all might enjoy knowing the “front cover” stories behind each one of these pictures.

Front Cover Stories

 A History Lover's Guide to Lincoln front cover storiesPicture 1 is of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia Museum. Because this was probably Lincoln’s largest group of early immigrants, I am glad to highlight this cultural center. The artwork on the right is a part of the Campus Life “Serving Hands” public sculptures that could be found around Lincoln during the spring, summer and early fall of 2019.

A History Lover's Guide to Lincoln front cover storiesIf you will notice closely on my cover image, due to editing, the American flag disappeared. Perhaps I am the first person ever to write a book about Nebraska that features the Canadian flag. I decided pointing this fact out to you on July 1st (Canada Day!) was certainly fitting. At least the sculpture reflects United States patriotism.
Jill Mulligan designed and executed “The Mark of a Great Nation.” Her “Serving Hands” sculpture was a part of the 50 year anniversary celebration for Campus Life. You can see all of the sculptures on my post from last fall.

Until I started writing my book, I was unaware that the capital city of Nebraska has a church with a stained glass window featuring President Abraham Lincoln. I must say that the image looks much more like Abraham Lincoln from a distance. Thanks to a great telephoto lens and taking my picture while being flat on my back on a pew, I was able to take this picture.  Actually this positive result did not happen until my second attempt to get pictures at the church. I did not use proper lighting the first go around.  This is a beautiful church. Sometime I will write a separate post featuring more pictures!

A History Lover's Guide to Lincoln front cover storiesWelcome to the place of my birth and where I lived for almost the first year of my life. Okay, so Fairview was not my home. But the nearby parking lot was as once there was an apartment building that was found near William Jennings Bryan’s “country” home.  My Dad was a resident doctor at Bryan Hospital. Living nearby must have beneficial.  I am not sure if it is because I once lived near his house, but I have always been a fan of William Jennings Bryan and his wife, Mary Baird Bryan. Someday I hope to provide all of you with a lengthier introduction to that family.

A History Lover's Guide to Lincoln front cover storiesOf all of the pictures on the front cover, the capitol one provides the best memory. That January 2019 afternoon was beautiful.  (In fact, I recall wearing sandals!) My friend, Laura, drove down from Council Bluffs, so we could attend our mutual friend, Michelle deRusha’s book signing.  She brought along her camera, so afterward we wandered around downtown taking all sorts of pictures.

Laura has an incredible eye for images. In fact, you definitely should follow her on Instagram.  Since it was winter, the golden hour came early. The capitol picture provides proof!  All of this happened before I even knew I would be writing a book about Lincoln. So I love the fact that this cover picture reflects an enjoyable carefree afternoon.

My July 1st Blogiversary!

Today also happens to be the 7th anniversary of Odyssey Through Nebraska.  When I started this blog, my youngest was four, and now he will be in middle school!  And my oldest will be a senior!  I have definitely loved getting to share my state with all of you.  And I am so thankful that the stories are now contained in books!

To celebrate the upcoming release of A History Lover’s Guide to LincolnI am planning on posting different behind the scenes notes about the book all throughout July.  (I really enjoyed doing that with Detour Nebraska – you can check out that series here).   On my @NebraskaOdyssey Instagram, I also decided to have a little fun. Every day throughout July, I am going to share an image from a “mystery” Lincoln location.  I would love for you to see if you can figure out where I enjoyed taking pictures during the research process.

Thank you again for all of your support!



Author: neodyssey

My name is Gretchen Garrison. I started this blog about Nebraska in 2013. So far, I have written three books about Nebraska and Lincoln.