Michelle Braunscheidel

Where to buy the book

NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 3-15-06, By Julie A. Short

[Michelle will autograph "Images of America: Avon" on Wednesday, 4-5-06, from 7 to 9 pm at the meeting of the Avon Historical Society in the Old Town Hall of 1871 on the corner of Stoney Ridge and Detroit.]

``AVON -- Soon the entire country will be able to know what area residents have known for a long time: Avon is a beautiful place to live.

The much-anticipated "Images of Avon" picture book depicting the city, past and present, is now available. "Avon" is from local author Michelle Budzinski-Braunscheidel, with assistance from the French Creek Development Association (FCDA) and Avon Historical Society. Budzinski-Braunscheidel is a past-president of FCDA.

"I came up with the idea for 'Avon' while attending the 2002 National Preservation Conference held in Cleveland," Budzinski-Braunscheidel said. "One of the vendors there was Arcadia Publishing. They asked me what city I lived in and looked it up and said we don't have a book on Avon. I presented the information to the French Creek Development Association and the Historical Society and we all thought it would be a good idea to create a book."

Arcadia Publishing is a leading publisher of regional and local history in the United States. Its mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of high-quality books on the heritage of America's people and places. The Avon book will be part of its Images of America series. Each title records a town or city's unique story through more than 200 historic images.

"The book took three years to complete," Budzinski-Braunscheidel said. "Some of the things I learned while researching the book was that some of the residents pictured in the book are still living and are now in their '90s. They were able to tell me their stories. I even met one 102-year-old resident. I learned about natural disasters, city amenities and types of stores in the late 1800s-1900s."

Highlights in the book include past and current events, vintage photographs of affluent members in the community and commentary from locals who live and breathe the history. All proceeds contribute to the FCDA and the Avon Historical Society.

The books description includes: In 1814, Wilbur Cahoon led a group of pioneers to the French Creek, near Lake Erie. They decided to settle at this spot, as the creek could provide them with fresh water and power their sawmills and gristmills. Other businesses began to develop, and a town was born. At first called Xeuma, and later Troy, the town blossomed into an agricultural center. In 1824, Lorain County was created, and the town's name was changed to Avon.

Prosperous citizens of the 1850s and 1860s built beautiful homes and buildings. In later years, Avon survived the creation and demise of the trolley and interurban line, the closure of the wineries during prohibition, the draining effects of the Great Depression and the loss of life in the World Wars. Today, Avon remains strong and continues to grow. Many of her century-old homes still stand in the midst of new developments, as a reminder of Avonites' ongoing tradition of hard work and perseverance, which has made Avon the great place to live that it is today.

"Many of the pictures presented in 'Avon' have been recognized as either nominees or award recipients of the annual Lorain County Beautiful Awards and other various nationally recognized awards," Budzinski-Braunscheidel said.

Budzinski-Braunscheidel, 43, is a native of Michigan. Her interest in local history comes from receiving a Leadership Scholarship form the National Preservation Society in 2002. As Avon continues to develop, she wanted to capture as much history as possible for newcomers to appreciate and current residents to cherish "the way it was."

A registered nurse for over 20 years, Budzinski-Braunscheidel actively participates in various community and school events including being a Girl Scout leader for her daughter, Nicole's Brownie Troop. "I hope this book will bring fond memories and inspire the telling of more colorful stories," Budzinski-Braunscheidel said. "This book is a gift to the citizens of Avon."

Also included in the book are several photos that graced the pages of The Press newspaper taken by Press reporters.

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Arcadia book
Cover of "Images of America: Avon" -- The book is on sale here at 2536 Stoney Ridge in The Country Store, which is shown on the cover when the store was May Webber's Millinery Shop. Call 934-6119 to make sure books are in stock before visiting The Country Store.

The 128-page book retails for $19.99 and will be available March 20 at area bookstores, independent retailers, on-line bookstores or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or 888-313-2665. Residents can get an advance copy of the book at the Heart of Avon Antique Show at Avon High School on March 19 [2006]. Budzinski-Braunscheidel will be available to sign copies.''

Michelle will autograph the book on Wednesday, 4-5-06, from 7 to 9 pm at the meeting of the Avon Historical Society in the Old Town Hall of 1871 on the corner of Stoney Ridge and Detroit. The book is also on sale across the street at 2536 Stoney Ridge in Shinko's Country Store, which is shown on the cover of the book when the store was May Webber's Millinery Shop. Call 934-6119 to make sure books are in stock before visiting The Country Store.

Michelle will also autograph the book on Tuesday, 4-4-06, from 7:30 to 9 pm at the meeting of the French Creek Development Association at 7:30 PM at the Avon Lion's Community Center on Eaton Road just off Colorado and across from Northgate Park, 2155 Eaton Drive.

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