New Book Blends Old & New River Region Photographs

History meets the present in a new book about central Alabama. "Montgomery and the River Region: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" is becoming a popular seller at local book stores.

The book combines old and new photographs, allowing readers to compare the past to the present.

"I think it turned out great," said photographer Robert Fouts. "Everybody loves looking at it."

In the book, Fouts provides the reader a 'before and after' so to speak.

"Not only did I want to match the activity going on in the old photos, but also the time of day, whether it was cloudy or sunny," Fouts explained. "So I wanted to pay attention to all those details. That was my challenge."

"I think the more people know about where they are, the more it means to them," said historian Mary Ann Neeley.

Neeley provides the narratives that go along with the photos.

"Just to get a sense of who these people were, what these buildings were, and what Montgomery was like," Neeley said.

Many of the photos were taken in downtown Montgomery around Court Square, the heart of the city.

"In some of these (old) photographs, there are dress shops, department stores and a variety of stores we don't have anymore," Neeley said.

But that's not to say downtown is obsolete. It's purpose is just evolving. And this new book celebrates that transition. Neeley says she hopes the book attracts more people to the area.

The book also includes sections about Prattville, Wetumpka and other surrounding cities. It's available at local book stores and gift shops, including Old Alabama Town.

The price is around $50.

Reporter: Mark Bullock