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 Your Guide to Fun & Adventure!

Cindy Sue and Tom's
 Lifestyle Mag

Enjoy food history, discover tasty recipes, find nutrition tips, learn inner peace through food, tap into your creativity or read inspiring biographies.

Historic Towns & Specialty Shopping
Missouri & Illinois


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throughout the Midwest Region




Featured Event
Call any event or shop before traveling due to the pandemic.

The calendar below has multiple event cancellations. Please call any event or shop before traveling as there may be last-minute cancellations.



Featured Shop
Manhattan Antique Marketplace
. Over 40,000 square feet of space modeled after New York City!  Manhattan Antique Marketplace, also known as MAM (pronounced like ma’am), will be a one-stop shopping destination experience for all ages. Comprised of an antique mall, special events space, artist workshop, café, and microbrewery, MAM is more than just a mall…it’s a city!   Located at 10431 St. Charles Rock Rd., St.Ann, MO 63074
The Asheford Program is an internationally recognized, professional-level "Profit & Pleasure" Course on the study of antiques, collectibles and appraising. Click here for more information.







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Midwest Authors

Authors are listed in alphabetical order in the following chart.

Click on author name to view more information.

Author Title

Aton, Rusty


Belleville, Judy

BELLEVILLE 1814 - 1914

Collinsville Historical Museum


DeSoto Historical Society


Deuchler, Douglas


Fietsam Jr.,Robert

BELLEVILLE 1814 - 1914

Gorr, Beth


Heller, David Alan


Kruse, Karen


Le Chien, Jack

BELLEVILLE 1814 - 1914

McNew, Monte


Taylor, Elaine J.


Thomas, Joan M.


Weaver, H. Dwight


Karen Kruse
By Karen Kruse
Foreword by: Mike Ditka
Preface by: Chicago Fire Commissioner James T. Joyce

A Chicago Firehouse: Stories of Wrigleyville's Engine 78 is the story of Chicago's firehouse across from Wrigley Field, and the diverse neighborhood she serves.

From its humble beginnings in 1884 as a one-story frame building with one bay to house Hose Co. 4 and its team of horses, Eng. Co. 78 has been the firefighting sentinel at the end of Waveland Avenue, sitting in the shadow of Wrigley Field. Using vintage photographs and moving stories from firefighters themselves, Karen Kruse captures the spirit and heroism of this historic Chicago landmark.

Capt. Robert F. Kruse served the Chicago Fire Dept. for 30 years, half of those at Wrigleyville's Eng. 78. Growing up within the close-knit firefighting community, Ms. Kruse records the dramatic and touching stories from her father's and his peers' experiences, and combines them in this volume exploring the unique history of Lakeview's firehouse, including a foreword by Mike Ditka, and preface by Fire Commissioner James Joyce.

With details about little known historic districts and a brief guide to Chicago's cemeteries and their relations to firefighters, A Chicago Firehouse: Stories of Wrigleyville's Engine 78 relays in first-hand accounts some of Chicago's most fiery tragedies, the brave men who battled them, and the diversity of the neighborhood that housed them.

A Chicago Firehouse: Stories of Wrigleyville's Engine 78 is a tribute to ALL firefighters everywhere! It makes a great gift for every firefighter on your list! Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in History!
Author Karen Kruse, a descendant of three generations of Chicago firefighters, is a member of Mensa and the author of several articles on Chicago cemeteries.

A Chicago Firehouse: Stories of Wrigleyville's Engine 78, ISBN #0-7385-1857-3, has gone to its 7th printing!!!

Copyright © 2007 Karen Kruse


Book Description: It has been more than half a century since Springfield last hosted minor league baseball. That draught will end at downtown’s newly constructed Hammons Field in the spring of 2005, when the Springfield Cardinals of the AA Texas League bring professional baseball back to the Queen City of the Ozarks. The new team will have quite a legacy to fulfill, as the Springfield Cardinals of the Western Association won several pennants those many years ago, and brought to town such legendary baseball names as Branch Rickey, Joe Garagiola, and Stan Musial. Before the Cardinals came teams like the Midgets, Reds, and Merchants, and a rich tradition of professional and semi-pro baseball dating back to the mid-1880s. Drawing from a wide range of primary sources and complimented by over 100 vintage images, Baseball in Springfield is must-have for those ready to discover the historic connection this city has to the national pastime.

Author Bio: Rusty Aton earned his master’s degree in history from Southwest Missouri State University, is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, and the General Manager of the Springfield Generals semi-pro baseball club. His knowledge of local baseball history is rivaled only by his love for the game, which comes through page after page in Baseball in Springfield.

ISBN: 0738533599
# of Pages: 128
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
Publication Date: 04/13/2005

Available through on-line bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing. To contact Arcadia, call toll free 1-888-313-2665 or visit

Book Description: World War II threatened to ruin Major League Baseball. By 1945, over 500 major leaguers and 3,000 minor league prospects had been enlisted for the war effort, leaving a dearth of talent for the Big Leagues. The St. Louis Browns, like other AL and NL clubs, would be forced to fill holes in their roster with scrubs-4-F players (those dismissed from the military due to physical ailments), retired major leaguers, and youngsters not yet ready to leave the minors. But there were still some top level players to be had, and 1944 Browns manager Luke Sewell assembled the franchise's most successful team ever, taking the St. Louis ball club to its first and only Fall Classic.

Author Bio: As Good as it Got is the story of that unique and memorable season. Author David Heller champions the '44 Browns as legitimate pennant winners, worthy of the same respect given to the '43 Yankees and '45 Cubs of the same era, and offers a wealth of biographical info on the team's colorful cast of characters. He recounts the entire season-from spring training woes through one of the most exciting pennant races of any decade to the all-St. Louis World Series versus the cross-town rival Cardinals. Over 50 vintage photographs highlight the book. Heller has been published in the Washington Post, Philadelphia Daily News, and Detroit Free Press.

Available through on-line bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing. To contact Arcadia, call toll free 1-888-313-2665 or visit ISBN: 0738531995


DeSoto Historical Society DE SOTO
Book Description: DeSoto was settled in the early 1800s by pioneers who were interested in mining and farming. It became famous for the many artesian wells in the area and was named Fountain City. For many years, it remained a small country community, with a population of about 200 people in 1850. The railroad came to DeSoto in 1857, when the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad established car shops here. This business, which employs about 500 people, has continued to this day under several railroad companies, the present one being the Union Pacific Railroad. DeSoto received All American City awards in 1953 and 1959 and was recognized as the Center of Population in the United States for the decade of 1980–1990.


Author Bio: This book contains many images of the past, detailing the life and times of persons who have lived in DeSoto and who have laid the foundation for its future growth. The book was authored by members of the DeSoto Historical Society.
ISBN: 0738539937
 # of Pages: 128
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
Publication Date: 03/15/2006


 Available through on-line bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing. To contact Arcadia, call toll free 1-888-313-2665 or visit

Author Joan M. Thomas moved to St. Louis in 1966, and witnessed her first Major League Baseball game at old Sportsman's Park. It just happened to be the last game played there before the Cardinals moved to Busch Stadium downtown. With a degree in Communications earned at Lindenwood College, she joined the Society for America Baseball Research (SABR) and engaged her passion for baseball history and culture in the pursuit of a freelance writing career.

Her book is intended as a keepsake of the stadiums and playing fields of St. Louis' baseball past. Baseball came to St. Louis before the dawn of the major leagues. It was a gentleman's game, a simple summer pastime, and its popularity grew as the city evolved.

Local amateur teams proliferated, and interest in forming a team of professionals resulted in two such St. Louis teams in 1875, the Brown Stockings and the Red Stockings. The Browns and Reds played their home games at separate parks, the Grand Avenue Grounds and Red Stockings Park.

The first fully professional game of baseball held in St. Louis took place at the latter. Very few modern fans are aware of this, or of these parks' locations. Moreover, there was a time early in the twentieth century when St. Louis supported not just two, but three major league teams, each with its own ballpark.

     This book is available through online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing. To contact Arcadia, call toll free 1-888-313-2665 or visit

Book Description: "Halas would provide food according to how we had fared against the Packers. If we won, it was steaks for everybody. But if we lost, we were lucky to be served hamburgers." —Harlan Hill, 1950s "I didn't have any particular grievance with any of the Packer players, I just wanted to beat them all." —Hall of Famer Doug Atkins, 1960s "Doug Buffone took me aside to tell me about Green Bay games . . . to set me straight about the importance of the rivalry. It definitely was not a game to be taken for granted." —Brian Baschnagel, 1970s "Each year at the start of the season, fans we'd meet would just have the one request—please beat Green Bay." —Jim Flanigan, 1990s

     Author Bio: The Bears and the Packers have squared off for bragging rights on Midwestern gridirons every year since 1921. Nearly 50 names enshrined in (or destined for) the Pro Football Hall of Fame have played a part in the rivalry: Halas and Lombardi, Butkus and Nitschke, Payton and Favre. Their stories span decades, and Beth Gorr, longtime writer for the Bear Report, has woven together a narrative of Bear memories that recall all the bitterness, intensity, and mutual respect of the most celebrated rivalry in the NFL.

     ISBN: 0738539872, # of Pages: 128. Available through on-line bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing. To contact Arcadia, call toll free 1-888-313-2665 or visit

Collinsville Historical Museum COLLINSVILLE
Book Description: Founded in 1837 Collinsville , Illinois had moved from an agrarian and small business community to a bustling industrial town by the turn of the 20th century. The Great Depression and industrial competition altered this course. However, the always strategic location with proximity to rivers, rail, and multiple highways encouraged growth towards a residential and suburban service-oriented town. One of the exciting recent developments is the popular and growing hospitality district. For over 175 years Collinsville has grown and changed, adapting to new developments and ideas. This book provides a visual history, primarily through picture postcards, of the changing community.


     Author Bio: Editor Neal Strebel moved to Collinsville with his parents at the age of five. He has collected postcards since 1980. Several years ago he donated his collection of 300 Collinsville related postcards to the Collinsville Historical Museum. Strebel was a local public school music educator for 37 years. He is a member of the Friends of the Collinsville Historical Museum.

ISBN: 0738533661, Price: $19.99, # of Pages: 128, Publication Date: 05/25/2005

Available through on-line bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing. To contact Arcadia, call toll free 1-888-313-2665 or visit

Book Description: In the early 1900s, southwest Missouri, also known as the Ozarks, quickly became a golfer's retreat. Professionals such as Walter Hagen and the legendary gambler Titanic Thompson toured the area and tested their skills against locals Horton Smith, Ky Laffoon, and others.

Over the years, tour professionals including Hale Irwin, Payne Stewart, and Cathy Reynolds developed their games on the Ozark fairways. Today southwest Missouri can proudly claim the winners of five U.S. Opens, three Masters, one PGA Championship, and well over 100 professional tournaments. Golf in the Ozarks will take readers on a tour of "everything golf" in the region, from course and player histories to local tournaments.


Author Bio: Monte McNew grew up in southwest Missouri, where he developed his love of golf on the beautiful courses of the Ozarks. His interest in the historic tournament known as the Horton Smith Cup between Joplin and Springfield

     It intrigued him enough to want to find out more about this great game's history. As a member of the Golf Collector's Society, McNew shares everything he has learned with readers in Golf in the Ozarks.


     This book is available through online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing. To contact Arcadia, call toll free 1-888-313-2665 or visit

Robert Fietsam Jr.
Judy Belleville
Jack Le Chien
BELLEVILLE 1814 - 1914
Book Description: This book chronicles Belleville's remarkable—if not phenomenal—rise to become the "Capitol of Southern Illinois," a feat celebrated to no small degree by proud residents on the occasion of Belleville's centennial celebration. Much of what contributed to Belleville's 19th-century rise to prominence in politics and its economic growth in agribusiness, mining, banking, manufacturing, and retail sectors are illustrated here. This collection of photographs shows some of the many reasons why modern-day Bellevillian's retain pride in the city's history and continue their efforts to preserve it.

 Author Bio: Authors Robert Fietsam Jr., Judy Belleville, and Jack Le Chien are members of the St. Clair County Historical Society. Mr. Fietsam Jr. is the immediate past president and present treasurer. Ms. Belleville and Mr. Le Chien are past chairmen of the Belleville Historic Preservation commission. Ms. Belleville played a key role in founding the Labor and Industry Museum and is the museum collections coordinator. Mr. Le Chien is chairman of the Gustave Koerner House Restoration committee.

ISBN: 0738533335 Price: $19.99 # of Pages: 128

This book is available through online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing. To contact Arcadia, call toll free 1-888-313-2665 or visit

Book Description: Bloomington and Normal have grown from small, pioneer settlements into the "Twin Cities" of central Illinois, linked by their proximity and shared history. Surviving and rebuilding after a devastating fire in 1900, the area has continued to grow and prosper. It is home to many businesses, including State Farm, the nation's largest auto and homeowners insurance company.
     The vintage postcards in this collection feature the delights and difficulties of Bloomington-Normal at the turn-of-the-century. These images capture historic events such as the Street Car Strike of 1917 in which workers took their demands to the streets. The businesses that closed-up shop years ago are opened again through these historic postcards, many of which were originally produced by Bloomington-based postcard publisher C.U. Williams.


     Author Bio: Author Elaine J. Taylor, a resident of Bloomington-Normal for more than forty years, is a retired nurse and deltiologist. From her private postcard collection come the pictures and narratives of this community's vibrant past.

     Price: 19.99 ISBN: 0738519898. Available through on-line bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing. To contact Arcadia, call toll free 1-888-313-2665 or visit

Book Description: When the Union Electric Company finished constructing Bagnell Dam in 1931, they had done more than build a source of electrical power-they had created a vacation paradise. Bordered by lush hills and ancient bedrock, the Lake of the Ozarks covers more than 50,000 acres. Since the opening of the lake's first boat docks, three generations of visitors have spent countless days relaxing by its waters.
H. Dwight Weaver reconstructs these lazy days, offering readers a vintage tour of one of America's favorite destinations. Each generation witnessed the area's growth, from rustic rock masonry buildings to gravity-defying mystery houses. While travelers in the 1930s and 40s came seeking respite from the Great Depression and World War II, their children and grandchildren returned in happier times, drawn back by the natural beauty and man-made wonders, as illustrated in these historic images.


Author Bio: H. Dwight Weaver takes readers back as well, offering this companion to his previous work, Lake of the Ozarks: The Early Years. A resident of the Lake of the Ozarks for nearly 40 years, Mr.Weaver is a past president of the Camden County Historical Society. His travelogue of words and images gives readers a glimpse into America's early days of leisure and travel, showing how the push for progress turned this Midwestern corner into a lakeside paradise.


Available through on-line bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing. To contact Arcadia, call toll free 1-888-313-2665 or visit
ISBN: 0738519650
Price: $19.99 published 5/15/2002, 128 pages


Douglas Deuchler
Book Description: Eight miles west of downtown Chicago Illinois sits a suburb with a rich, vibrant history. Berwyn began in the 19th century as two separate communities with vast stretches of marshland and farmland between. By the early 1900s, this booming municipality successfully kept industry at bay while remaining a strictly residential development.
 As thousands of bungalows were constructed in the 1920s, the “City of Homes,” as it was known, became the fastest-growing community in the United States. For many generations, the suburb has attracted hardworking people who take pride in their homes and exemplify the fulfillment of the American Dream.

Author Bio: Explore Berwyn's unique blend of big city appeal and small town charm with author Douglas Deuchler, a journalist, playwright, and historian who has written two previous books for Arcadia's Images of America series, Oak Park in Vintage Postcards and Maywood. Mr. Deuchler's selection of over 230 photographs reflects the strength and energy that have been Berwyn’s hallmark from the beginning. The majority of these historic images have never before been published.

     ISBN: 0738533971. Available through on-line bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing. To contact Arcadia, call toll free 1-888-313-2665 or visit




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