When Sergio Mendoza became Hobart’s city planner in 2003, he wanted to find out as much about the city as he could.
He found a series of books by Arcadia Publishing featuring different communities, but nothing about Hobart.
Tiffany Tolbert, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Northwest Field Office, suggested he be the one to write that book.
So he did, and this month, “Hobart,” which covers the city’s history from 1847-2007 and includes more than 200 historic images, was published by Arcadia as part of its “Images of America” series.
It will be available online through amazon.com and will be available in a variety of bookstores and other independent retailers.
A book-launching event will be Feb. 18 from 8:30 a.m. until noon at the Marian Reiner Center, 705 E. Fourth Street, Hobart.
Proceeds from the book will go to the Hobart Historical Society and the City of Hobart Preservation Commission.
“I think it’s important for humanity to learn about our past because it helps us shape our future, and if I can support these two organizations, I will,” he said. “The book royalties may not be much since it’s a niche product which will probably saturate the target market, but hopefully it will help these two organizations to do something they feel will help their cause.”
Although he had thought about the book off and on for several years, Mendoza didn’t contact the publishing company about the book until 2012. He spent the first half of last year working on the book.
Although the Hobart Historical Society had much research and printed material on Hobart history, none of the manuscripts covered the city’s history in chronological format over a 160-year period.
He wanted to include photos that told a story about the city’s history.
“I looked for photos that could tell a story just by looking at them, or photos which had plenty of information and would fit within a chronological format,” he said.
Over the course of his research, Mendoza said he learned how innovative the city had always been, from the way they recorded early plants to the passion people had for advancing the community.
“Just by reading the old newspapers, you get a sense of the fortitude early settlers had to have and the celebrations they held over the years to form a community,” he said. “Some of the stories are inspiring and others are sad. You read about early residents and the families for years in the paper, and then you come across how they died, (and) it makes me sad.”
Mendoza said he hopes the book inspires people with some of the city’s amazing stories.
“It’s not just one person or event that made the community what it is today,” he said. “I hope people understand that it’s the innovative thoughts, risk and passion from previous generations that make Hobart today a desired community to be a part of. I hope it inspires people to give back to their community. I hope it gives people the humility to recognize that in the overall life of this city, we are a small moment that sets the stage for the next.”