Lo­cal his­tory in your hands

David Yates’ first pub­lished book ‘Out of the Woods’ of­fi­cially launched

The Goderich Signal-Star - - Front Page - KATHLEEN SMITH

David Yates’ first pub­lished book ‘Out of the Woods’ is avail­able for pur­chase at The Book Ped­dler and Fincher’s. The book, a com­pi­la­tion of sto­ries in­spired by lo­cal his­tory, was launched last week at the Huron County Mu­seum in Goderich.

In David Yates’ first pub­lished book, ‘Out of the Woods’ is a com­pi­la­tion of sto­ries about the first 10,000 years of Huron County his­tory. Rang­ing from the end of the last ice age to Ar­mistice Day 1918, the book is com­prised of 77 sto­ries drawn from across Huron County.

Last week, ap­pro­pri­ately hosted at the Huron County Mu­seum, Yates of­fi­cially launched his book to the pub­lic.

Not green to writ­ing sto­ries on the his­tory of the county, Yates’ book cov­ers the county’s so­cial, in­dige­nous, mil­i­tary, crim­i­nal, eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal his­tory. “Hav­ing writ­ten over 560 sto­ries on the county’s his­tory for the lo­cal pa­pers since 2007, I never ceased to be amazed at how much his­tory on land, air and sea there is here,” ex­plains Yates.

It’s not just the “greats” that make the county’s his­tory in­ter­est­ing for Yates. Although an in­cred­i­bly fer­tile field of his­tor­i­cal fig­ures and events, Yates be­lieves the av­er­age peo­ple and how they lived in ru­ral On­tario to be far more fas­ci­nat­ing.

“These are peo­ple who lived by the courage of their con­vic­tions. It’s in­ter­est­ing to look at peo­ple who thrived and sur­vived un­der the most dire con­di­tions,” Yates says. When Yates be­gan writ­ing lo­cal his­tory 12 years ago, he ad­mit­tedly be­lieved there might only be six months worth of ma­te­rial. Over the years Yates en­joyed dis­cov­er­ing the past through re­search and writ­ing and doubts he could ever run out of con­tent.


An­other lo­cal his­to­rian, Reg Thomp­son, helped bring the book to life. Thomp­son sug­gested the ti­tle ‘Out of the Woods’.

Colleen Maguire, a lo­cal his­to­rian, was an in­te­gral piece to bring ‘Out of the Woods’ to fruition.

David Yates sign­ing a copy of his book

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