Jim and Bea Remick, of Trout Run, recently published a book, "History of Lewis Township." The book, which is the first in a series of four, details the history of the region, including the areas of Bodines, Trout Run and Ralston.
The book starts with the very beginnings in 1737 when the area was still a wilderness and includes an account of Ellis Lewis, a well-known Lycoming County judge for which the township is named. Also included in the book are birth records from 1894 to 1903, census information from 1840 to 1930 and biographies of some of the residents.
In addition, Book 1 details a major fire on Valentine's Day in 1940 in which a store, apartments and a post office were burned to the ground.
"We spoke with an eyewitness who was there that day," Bea said. "All of the information is outlined in the book."
According to Bea, many of the stories come from the residents themselves. The couple visited the homes of some of the older residents and received firsthand accounts and pictures. They credit Lewis Township residents with their donations of pictures, scrapbooks and memories for this book becoming a reality.
"They were a tremendous help and we've included a lot of the conversations and interviews in the book," she said.
In 1980, the couple started compiling information after Jim stumbled across some old photographs. Curiosity got the better of the two and they started researching the history of the area and its residents.
Bea said she has always been a history buff, so delving into the past was very exciting and turned up some interesting facts.
"Every week, we would spend an entire day at the library scanning microfilm," she said. "It's amazing the information we stumbled across."
The couple said they pursued other avenues for information as well, such as the Williamsport Area School District and the Lycoming County Courthouse.
According to Bea, the second book in the series will detail accidents and tragedies that occurred in Lewis Township, profiles of doctors, election results and the oil boom in Grey's Run.
The third will include information about cemeteries, churches, fires, floods and murders, while the fourth will address recreation and schools, transportation, the building of roads and bridges and area veterans.
The Civilian Conservation Corp Camp in Lewis Township also is a topic that is covered widely in subsequent books.
Bea said people are already calling about the second book, which is expected to be released sometime in the spring.
All together, the four- book series will include more than 300 pictures.
Although gathering material and information for the books has been a painstaking but enjoyable process, Bea said organizing and compiling the data into book form only took four months to complete.
Since the couple has retired, she said it has given them the ample time they need in order to complete the project.
According to Bea, 71, the couple enjoys working together as a team. Her husband Jim, 76, does a lot of the "behind-the-scenes" investigating and gathering of the photographs, while she compiles and organizes the material.
"We work well together," she said. "And we've had a lot of fun in the process."
The books are $20 and may be ordered by calling Bea at 998-2784 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
They also may be bought at Bittner's store in Trout Run or Gustonian Gifts, corner of Fourth and Pine streets.