Within the last year, Vision 2020 in Red Boiling Springs has developed a new and unusual fundraiser to benefit the upcoming RBS Heritage Museum.
Simple Pleasures, a history of Red Boiling Springs during the resort era of the 20s and 30s, is currently available for purchase at $8 a copy.
This book was written by Jeanette Keith, a professor of history at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. It was originally a thesis paper that Keith wrote while finishing her graduate studies at Tennessee Tech in 1982.
Keith went on to get a Doctor of Philosophy from Vanderbilt University in 1990, and has been at her current position since 1989. Clearly, she is qualified to do research, but her ability to make the stories readable and engaging are surprising when you consider that this book was originally a thesis paper.
Documents, photos, and a copy of the paper were discovered in box in Red Boiling Springs, where it had been left from Keith’s days of research.
Rita Watson of Vision 2020 said they simply called Keith up and asked for permission to publish the piece. “So we printed it up and added the photos—but it’s her work, she’s just donated it to us.”
The photos, which are sprinkled throughout the book and lend a great deal of character to an already interesting narrative, were donated by various individuals in the community. The book was printed by Put it in Print, and the layout and editing was mostly done by Karen Davis.
“Thanks to all the people in Red Boiling Springs who helped me with this research, so many years ago,” writes Keith in the dedication. “I hope that this book will be of interest to folks in the town and to visitors.”
The title of the book was taken from a quote by author Foster R. Dulles that Keith uses in her description of RBS: “Americans were less driven and business-oriented, and more willing to lay aside work for play; they exhibited ‘a power to draw happiness from simple and innocent pleasures.’”
The book is available for sale at Macon Bank & Trust (RBS and Main Lafayette branches), the Armour Hotel, and Grandpa’s House.
All proceeds go to the RBS Heritage Museum project. This project is still in the early planning phase. Eventually, the museum will be installed in a renovated version of the old bank building in the center of RBS. The bank building was recently approved at the state level for the National Registry of Historic Places. It is now waiting on final approval at the national level.