In time for Centennial

Books for sale at Adult Activity Center tell Robertsdale's history

Twila Unsderfer, daughter of author Jeanette Ryan, brings signed copies of Ryan’s books to the George P. Thames Adult Activity Center in Robertsdale. Pictured with, from left, Mary Williams, Eddie Joan Bedwell and Dot Thorne.
Twila Unsderfer, daughter of author Jeanette Ryan, brings signed copies of Ryan’s books to the George P. Thames Adult Activity Center in Robertsdale. Pictured with, from left, Mary Williams, Eddie Joan Bedwell and Dot Thorne.
JOHN UNDERWOOD / STAFF PHOTO
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ROBERTDALE,  Alabama — With Robertsdale celebrating its centennial in 2021, three books penned by a former local newspaper columnist are being made available for sale.

“There’s been a lot of interest in Robertsdale’s history and we’re happy to make the books available here,” said Mary Williams with the George P. Thames Adult Activity Center in Robertsdale.

Now 87, Jeanette Dyess Ryan, a native of Rosinton and a resident of the Elsanor community just east of Robertsdale, a former columnist for Gulf Coast Media, published her first book, “Pig Trails and Open Roads: Stories of Central Baldwin County,” in 2009.

The book includes many stories about the early days of Baldwin County, particularly focusing on Robertsdale and the surrounding area, including the city’s mayors through the years, local schools and churches.

Her two subsequent books are more personal accounts, “Faces and Places That Live In My Heart,” which focuses on Ryan’s early life up until her marriage to John Ryan, and “Dreams of a Farmer’s Wife,” which chronicles life as a young wife and mother and all its triumphs and trials, was published at age 78 in 2012.

“Mom is so excited about the Centennial and wants to be a part of the festivities,” said her daughter, Twila Unsderfer. “We’re hoping to be able to participate in some of the upcoming events.”

Meanwhile, signed copies of all three books are available for purchase at the Adult Activity Center, located on East Chicago Street in Robertsdale.

“For a $15 cash donation, you can choose any one of the three books,” Williams said. A portion of the sales will be donated back to the Senior Center.

“We just want to ensure that people know the history of their area,” Unsderfer said, “and these books are a great inside look at what life was like in the early days.”

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Cat List: ,71,5,1,1956,