Collierville: Now in Paperback! 

It was once a stagecoach rest stop, then it was a railway stop. It was once on the other side of the Tennessee state line.

Major General William Tecumseh Sherman escaped capture there, and after the Civil War, its "public square" housed a deer and peacocks inside a white picket fence.

We're talking about Collierville (once known as "The Town of Collier," then "Colliersville," then "Oak Grove"), and in 1858 the population was around 250. Today, the population is more than 42,000.

And now it's also Collierville, a new title in Arcadia Publishing's popular "Images of America" series — a collection of historical photographs (roughly 200 in all), edited by Laura Todd, executive director of Main Street Collierville, an organization dedicated to preserving the heart of the town: its town square.

One of the book's earliest images of the square shows cattle being driven through the middle of town, and an image as recently as 1948 shows mules and horses tied to the hitching rails off Main Street. Other chapters in the book focus on photos of townspeople, churches, schools, businesses, and prominent homes.

Included in the photos (and in the image that graces the cover of Collierville): the queen and her court atop a parade float, and no, it isn't Collierville's answer to Memphis' Cotton Carnival. It's Collierville's once annual salute to one of the town's big industries (the dairy business) and to a Southern staple (hoop cheese).

Here's to remembering the Cheese Carnival! And here's to Collierville, in paperback for $19.99; available at area bookstores, independent retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing.

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