Rare 1904 cookbook helping historical society

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. – The Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society Museum is raising funds by selling reprints of a rare 1904 original “Brookhaven Cookbook.”

The Brookhaven Cookbook  The Brookhaven Cookbook, available from the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society.

The “Brookhaven Cookbook” contains recipes dating back to the turn of the 20th century, with submissions from local families. The 1904 edition was published by the Lincoln County Times and contains original recipes and advertisements as well as brief histories of some of the families. It also contains pictures of Brookhaven, cityscapes of the town back in 1904.

Tammie Brewer, Vice President of the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society, said, “The book was originally printed for the Brookhaven Ladies’ Auxiliary, who used it as a fundraiser for the Y.M.C.A.”

Local resident Seth Allen, a member of the Society, purchased the original cookbook at the Hardy House estate sale in Brookhaven several months ago. Allen told The Daily Leader the historical society asked him about ideas to raise money he came up with reprinting the cookbook.

“This is a part of history. Everybody deserves to have a part of their history,” Allen said.

Allen said common family names such as Hobbs, Hardy and Storm appear in the cookbook, many of which streets in the city are now named after.

Brewer said Allen and Society Secretary Marti Parker teamed up and had the cookbook reprinted. “They added a few information pages, as well as some photographs of Brookhaven from that time period. The original cookbook was very brittle and there are just a few of the recipes that were not included in the reprinted edition,” Brewer added.

“From the book, you really get a good idea of who was interested in doing things in Brookhaven, and the women in town who were doing things to help the city grow,” Parker said.

Parker stated no one knows how many copies were printed in 1904, but it makes sense that one was found at a local family’s estate sale. “That one had stayed in the same family in the same house,” she said. “Other families moved out of their homes and new families would come in, so most of the copies probably got tossed or lost.”

The initial order of reprints was just 350. However, since a news article ran in The Daily Leader Nov. 29 announcing the sale, the Society has sold nearly 800 copies and has upped their order to 1,000 – and may need to order more.

If picked up at the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Museum or any of the local banks in Brookhaven, the price is $15 per book; if mailed, the price is $20.

The “Brookhaven Cookbook,” with approximately 144 pages, may be ordered by sending a check or money order to Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 150, Brookhaven, MS 39601. More information is available by calling Society members Marti Parker (601-320-4474), Seth Allen (601-754-1236) or Rita Rich (601-833-8023).

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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