HIGHLANDS – Local author and historian Muriel J. Smith will host a book signing with two of her children, Saturday, Sept. 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Girls Café, Bay and Washington avenues to promote her newest book, “The ABCs of Highlands.”
The book will be released Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Highlands Historical Society zoom meeting at 7 p.m. when Smith will also give a talk on the book and how it came to be.
The book, Smith’s fifth, is being self-published with her son, Jim Smith, III, of Holly Springs Mississippi, completing the design, layout and publication, and her daughter, Tracie Smith-Yeoman of Bayville, editing. The two younger Smiths, both natives of the borough, have also each written a chapter in the book.
The book includes 26 different stories, one for each letter of the alphabet, of 26 persons or places who have contributed to the intrigue and history of the borough from the 18th through the 21st centuries.
An added highlight in the book is a series of Five Famous Firsts of Highlands, thanks to Mark Stewart and the Tw1n Lights Historical Society. The five events, which created national and in some cases international attention at the time, are spaced throughout the book, complete with photos provided by Stewart and the Historical Society.
“I am grateful to both the Twin Lights and the Highlands historical societies and their many members for all the assistance they gave me in writing this book,” Smith said. “Seeing the many items and photos they have preserved, and the enthusiasm of the members, makes me want to encourage everyone who has an history in Highlands to become an active member of both.”
The book’s cover is a photograph on loan from historian Walter Guenther of the Highlands Historic Society, as well as other photos in the book from Guenther, Stewart, and Becky and Jay Cosgrove of Bahrs Restaurant.
Smith, former editor of The Courier in Middletown, and a resident of the borough for 40 years before she and her husband spent ten years traveling in an RV around the country, moved to Freehold, later Atlantic Highlands following the death of her husband in 2006. She has been a journalist for 65 years, writing primarily for a variety of other Bayshore newspapers after the Courier ceased publication. Last year, she co-authored Hidden History of Monmouth County, a compilation of 52 stories about events and people in Monmouth County. She currently writes for The Monmouth Journal and has a history column and is a contributing writer to the Atlantic Highlands Herald.