Legendary Locals of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor By Elaine Cotsirilos Thomopoulos, PhD – A Book Review

Legendary Locals of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor

By Elaine Cotsirilos Thomopoulos, PhD

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Courageous Explorers, Pioneers, Settlers and Unsung Heroes of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Elaine Cotsirilos Thomopoulos has masterfully combined award winning photography with the skill of an accomplished writer in her book “Legendary Locals of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor.”

Choice historical highlights and biographical sketches of the early settlers, civic leaders, creative artists, and literary geniuses, bring to life the vibrancy and charisma of the individuals, who have impacted the development culture, vision, and mission of the region.

These snapshots reveal the contributions of the unsung heroes, past and present, who have transformed the natural history of the area into magical folklore, oral history, and reveal the genius of these legendary locals of the Twin Cities of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor. Thomopoulos’ impeccable research, colorful word pictures, and carefully selected photographs add a whole new dimension to the region’s intriguing history.

Well known contemporary personalities Pat Moody, Fred Upton, John E.N. Howard, Connie Yore, and others share the limelight with earlier legendary locals, Calvin Britton, Col. Worth Bean, newspaper editor Stanley Banyon, inventor F. P. Rosback, and Henry V. Tutton, M. D. I was also captivated by the flamboyant characters, Benjamin and Mary Purnell founder of the House of David and the magnitude of their leadership in the development of entertainment and recreational opportunities in the earliest twentieth century.

These biographical profiles’ of individuals, who have impacted the transformation of the natural topography of the area into the vibrant life, magic folklore, and genius of these “Legendary Locals” project life into every page

“Legendary Locals” is ideal for family time reminiscing, vision casting, to jumpstart stimulating discussion, and for the pure enjoyment  of paging through again and again.

Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, South Carolina, 978-1467125161, $21.99, 2017, 128 Pages