Southlake is recognized for many things today, but few know its history. Surprising to many, the community existed long before Southlake Town Square “put it on the map.” A recommended read for all Southlake residents, new and old, the city’s story is told in a recently published book by the Southlake Historical Society: Southlake, Images of America.
The book chronicles Southlake and the surrounding areas from 1840-1970, both with interesting stories and more than 175 historical photos and maps. According to author Connie Cooley, the affluent community that exists today ironically began with humble roots.
“One of the most surprising things I learned was how very poor most of the farming families in the area were,” said Cooley, noting crops grown in Southlake included peanuts, corn, cantaloupe and dairy products. “The sandy soil made farming in Southlake tough and many farmers were sharecroppers and didn’t even own the land they worked. Those who did own land had extremely large tracts – 200-300 acres or more. That’s hard to imagine when most of us live on half-acre lots in Southlake today.”
Cooley, who has lived in Southlake since 1991 and is currently vice-president of the Southlake Historical Society, completed the book in seven months with help from members of the Southlake Historical Society and long-time residents.
“The Southlake Historical Society was approached by Arcadia Publishing in Charleston, S.C.,” explained Cooley. “They had seen our website and emailed us inquiring if we’d like to put together a book. We jumped at the chance primarily because our area is very transient and many residents know little about early Southlake.”
Southlake, Images of Americais $21.99 and all proceeds go to the Southlake Historical Society. For more information about the book, go to www.SouthlakeHistory.org.