Photo courtesy of Heather Skaggs.
Hoover author Heather Skaggs collects photos and drawings from the Riverchase area to compile a book about its history.
Bluff Park author Heather Skaggs has begun collecting materials for a new book focused on the Riverchase community of Hoover.
It will be her third book about the Hoover area, following the 2013 publication of Images of America: Bluff Park and the 2014 Images of America: Hoover. Bluff Park is in its fifth printing and Hoover is on its second, less than a year after publication.
“Riverchase will be part of a different series called Images of Modern America,” Skaggs said. “Only two books have been previously published in this series so far in the state of Alabama. The book will cover everything that is called Riverchase, including the original land, community, business districts and more.”
Skaggs started her career in journalism at a Fox news station. She first put together a version of Bluff Park’s history in 2006. Before long, Arcadia Publishing discovered her work, and Skaggs decided to share the history and creation of Hoover through her writing.
While gathering research for Hoover, Skaggs explained that she had limited space to compile all the aspects of the city and was unable to incorporate in-depth details about Riverchase. However, she wanted to return to the idea of Riverchase as its own book and in the end decided a third book would be an appropriate addition.
“Riverchase is a passionate community and people have lived there since it was first established. The buildup of the community is very moving with the time and the story will be a journey for the readers,” Skaggs said.
As with her first two books, compiling Riverchase requires a lot of involvement from the community and longtime residents. She has already received help from the Riverchase Women’s Club, Riverchase Country Club and Riverchase Elementary in composing her books. Skaggs is requesting contributions of photographs, information and personal stories about the area from the 1960s to current day.
Generally, any pictures and information pertaining to the development of homes, the community, businesses, churches and schools are accepted. Specifically, Skaggs is searching for memorabilia or photos, scorecards and T-shirts from Riverchase Golf and Games and the Galleria Fun Country, a popular hangout in the early 1990s. She also hopes residents will contribute photographs of community events, such as local parades and the Riverchase Art Show.
Riverchase, in comparison with Bluff Park and Hoover, strays from the standard format in that the book is shorter in length, has a different page layout, and contains colored photography.
“Combined, the purpose [of the books] is to convince others in the state and beyond that [Hoover] is a place they would want to live,” Skaggs said.
The publication date of Riverchase is planned for August 2016 and it will be sold in all major bookstores and online. Though the details regarding a specific location have not been determined, Skaggs said readers should expect a fourth book to follow Riverchase in the Images of Modern America series.
Skaggs can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.