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Michigan Notable Book author discusses historic Michigan railroads

Michael Hodges, author of a 2013 Michigan Notable Book, discusses "Michigan's Historic Railroad Stations."
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Title Presentation of Guest Speaker Michael Hodges presentation.

Title Presentation of Guest Speaker Michael Hodges presentation. /Allen Wegener

Staff Librarian Melissa Fox introduces guest speaker.

Staff Librarian Melissa Fox introduces guest speaker. /Allen Wegener

Author and Speaker Michael Hodges talks about the Kalamazoo Train Station.

Author and Speaker Michael Hodges talks about the Kalamazoo Train Station. /Allen Wegener

Author Michael Hodges spoke to an intimate crowd about his recent book, "Michigan's Historic Railroad Stations." The event was held on May 13, 2013 from 7p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Ryerson Auditorium located on the second floor of the Downtown location of the Grand Rapids Public Library. Hodges' book was chosen as a 2013 Michigan Notable Book.

"It's been about three years in the making of the book," says Hodges. "The book came out in October, 2012."

The book is about architectectural photographs of Michigan Railroad stations. Hodges has photographed Michigan Railroad stations from Detroit, to Kalamazoo and as far as Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula.

"I did this book because of the architecture interest I have in it," Hodges says. "I did all the research, writing and the photography of the book myself."

The authors' two favorite places he photographed was at Saginaw and Grass Lakes.

"I liked Saginaw because it was big and impressive even though it is not in very good shape today. The other one I liked is Grass Lakes which is being kept up in very good shape," Hodges says.

It is up to the local cities and private ownership of the rail road stations to help maintain the buildings. The State of Michigan does not provide any financial resources to restore these aging stations. Amtrack does the most good in keeping up their train stations.

"We [were] expecting about 50 people here tonight," says Melissa Fox, staff libarian at the Grand Rapids Public Library, who helped put on this event.

Fox is also on the Michigan Notable Book Committee. The committee picks about 20 notable books a year and invites their authors to the library to present their book to the public.

"We try to have at least one author a month to come and present their book to the public," says Fox.

There was a brief question and answering period after the main presentation and Hodges signed books for those who purchased one after the event was over.

For more information you may contact the author at: MHodges@DetroitNews

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