MONTICELLO, Ark. — On July 24, 2023, the book “Monticello,” by Mark and Rebecca Spencer, will be released by Arcadia Publishing as part of their Past and Present Series. Mark Spencer is associate vice chancellor for Program Development, Assessment and Distance Learning at the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) and an award-winning author. He co-authored “Monticello” with his wife, award-winning photographer Rebecca Spencer, who took the contemporary photos for the book.
The publisher describes the book “Monticello” as showcasing changes in the local architecture of the town of Monticello, Arkansas, revealing its unique history by “placing historical images side by side with contemporary photographs.” The book focuses on five main areas of development— schools, commerce, worship, community and private homes—that reveal the town’s distinctive character as well as local and national historical importance. The history and impact of UAM are featured heavily in the book.
In the introduction, Mark Spencer writes, “The juxtaposition of the past with the present provides us with the compelling experience of seeing what remains unchanged over decades, what is no more, and what has been transfigured. A majestic Victorian mansion dominates its surroundings as it has for 117 years. A French castle out of a fairy tale has vanished. A vacant field with a cluster of stubby trees is now a vast shopping center.”
He writes that Monticello “has its roots in a village settled in 1836 known as Rough and Ready Hill, a chaotic community of personal feuds leading to brawls and killings. Established [near] the seat of Drew County in 1849, Monticello derived its name from the desire of its founders to find civility, culture, and elegance—as reminiscent of the Virginia home of Thomas Jefferson.”
Mark and Rebecca Spencer hope that readers come away with a deep appreciation for the beauty of the town, its people and history.
The Spencers will host a book signing at their home, The Allen House, 705 North Main St., Monticello, on Saturday, July 29, 2023, from 2-4 p.m.
For additional information, contact Mark Spencer at [email protected] or 870-460-1133.
The book is currently available for pre-order on Amazon and other major retailers.