Historian and hardware man

| 29 Sep 2011 | 10:11

    MILFORD - In addition to being Milford Borough’s chief administrator and the area’s hardware advisor, Matt Osterberg is one the region’s most active historians. The 49-year-old resident of the borough has just released his fifth book, “Port Jervis.” Part of Arcadia Publishing’s then and now series, it is his second book on the city, and was done with photographer, Betsy Krakowiak. The book was also done as part of the celebration of Port Jervis’ 2007 centennial anniversary of becoming a city. “Port Jervis” takes full advantage of the rich archives of the Minisink Valley Historical Society, which is a storehouse of photographic images of the bustling railroad center that was Port Jervis in the days immediately following the turn of the last century. Modern day photographs, shot from the same perspectives as the historic photos, show the remaining landmarks and the changes that time and “Urban Renewal” have wrought upon the city. The book covers the city’s history, ward by ward, from the crowds at West End Beach to Jimmie’s Texas lunch, and from the sleepy tree-lined and dusty residential streets when trolleys clattered to the commercial bustle of Front Street when the Cadillac dealer’s showroom was on the second floor. Osterberg drew his information from interviews with old-timers and research material at the society. In addition to revisiting the city’s history, the book will be valuable as a snapshot of Port Jervis during the centennial year, “no matter how many changes are made,” he said. “Port Jervis,” priced at $19.99, is available at area bookstores, independent retailers and online, including at its publisher’s Web site, www.arcadiapublishing.com.