This blog will follow the progress of my research into the history of West Terre Haute, Indiana, which will result in a book tentatively titled Til the Coal Train Hauled It Away: West Terre Haute, the Rise and Demise of a Scorned Town. As the title indicates, WTH is a town that has ranged from being essentially ignored to being actively derided and scorned as the setting for a perpetual underclass. The people in towns like West Terre Haute have seldom been given a voice by history. They have been ignored, or simply gone unmentioned. They deserve more and my hope for this book is to give both a scholarly view of its history and a compelling portrait of its people.
My family has lived in WTH since at least 1850. Among the many good people who have roamed its streets were my grandparents, Ray and Hilda Chrisman. It was they who regaled me with stories of the town and their lives that made me an historian, something I have known I wanted to be since the age ten.
This blog and book are dedicated to them.