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Shoreham: Life at the Lakes is history as told by residents

It may technically be considered a history book, but the recently published Shoreham: Life at the Lakes is more than just a dry compilation of facts and figures from Shoreham's past.

The book was unveiled at a July 29 open house held, appropriately enough, at the Hotel Shoreham. According to Hallie Larsen and Jane Gillam, two of the committee members who helped put it together, what makes it unique in comparison to most history books is that it is history told in the words of Shoreham's residents.

As it says in the book's foreword, "This book is a compilation of the writings of more than 250 people who wanted to be part of the permanent and continuing history of Shoreham and the Lakes."

"There are 273 stories in all -- and over 350 photographs," Gillam said.

"We collected stories until March 2006, and printed them all -- with little to no editing," Larsen added.

As the foreword states, "With the volume of material to be considered and the great variety involved, the committee's volunteer editors elected to preserve the integrity of each story and minimize any editing. We placed a premium on originality, and strove to give each writer's voice its freedom."

As a result, the book does contain a few misspellings, inconsistencies and inaccuracies, but the committee, which also included Greg Randgaard and Bob Hatlestad, checked and re-checked its material "to the best of its ability."

As for the photographs, Gillam said, "The pictures were chosen to portray the universal feelings of being at the lake -- everyone should be able to relate to what is pictured here, whether the people (in the photographs) or not.

"There are no captions on the photos -- some of them are so old we had no way of tracking down (who was in them)," Gillam added.

"It's less important who it is (in the photos) -- it's just about having fun at the lakes," Larsen said. "The book spans over 100 years. Shoreham has such a rich history -- it makes this book extra special.

"But it's not a textbook -- it's a collection of memories from the people who have lived here over the last 100 years."

"We had a lot of input from the community, once they realized we were serious (about putting the book together)," Gillam said. "And making the community stronger is what this was all about."

Books are available at the Hotel Shoreham daily from 5-7 p.m. through Aug 23, and selected nights thereafter. The Detroit Country Club Pro Shop and the Peggary at Shady Hollow Flea Market are also currently offering the book for sale during regular business hours. For questions, contact Hallie Larsen at 847-5583 or by e-mail,

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454