The Historical Society of Cheshire County will host a book launch of “Water Connections” by Jim Rousmaniere, a new book about what fresh water means to humanity. The launch will be held Saturday, June 8, at 1 p.m. at the society’s newest facility, the Bruder House, at 349 Main St., Keene.
“Water Connections” is a book of stories about our changing ways around inland waters since the early stages of the industrial revolution. The book’s general geographic focus is New England with the region’s distinctive development history, topography and changing rainfall patterns.
Rousmaniere, of Roxbury, is the former editor of The Keene Sentinel. For 43 years he worked as a journalist, including service as a Washington-based correspondent on economic affairs for The Baltimore Sun. He is a selectman in Roxbury and is active in community affairs in the region.
Rousmaniere says his interest in the influences of water upon humans goes back to his experience in the Peace Corps in southern India during the 1960s. “My job included surveying irrigation canals in remote rural areas,” Rousmaniere said, “and as a reward for my work I saw dry farmland turn green and harvests go up.”
In 2012, Rousmaniere began working on a short article about water for a booklet to commemorate the town of Roxbury’s bicentennial. The bicentennial celebration came and went, but he kept looking into water. “There was so much human history to it,” he said. “In Roxbury and elsewhere I explored what society had wrought — good and bad — through water power and pollution and flood control and building on lands around lakes and rivers. I read up on what gets into water. I met professionals and ordinary citizens who work to restore rivers to their natural states.”
At the book launch, people will have a chance to meet the author; copies of the book will be available for purchase.
The Bruder House is the Historical Society of Cheshire County’s newest facility. The 2½-story Greek Revival-style brick farmhouse was built in 1839. It is next door to the Historical Society’s Wyman Tavern Museum at 349 Main Street in Keene.
For more information, visit hsccnh.org or call 352-1895.