The Charitone Market Grille was warm and bright and full of life last night when we introduced "The Charitone: Reviving the Cornerstone of Chariton's Square." Quite a contrast to the cold, near-derelict and foreboding place the old hotel's ground floor would have been on an early December evening three years ago.
That's the point of the book --- to record how the Charitone survived a near-death experience to rise and shine again --- plus the nearly 150 years of history tangled up in the corner of the square on which it sits.
Ray Meyer, major player in bringing the Charitone back to life, introduced the book. I wrote a majority of the text; Ray added an introduction that reads a little like a preservation-related adventure story as well as other supporting material.
Our friends from Pella's Town Crier Press, which did a magnificent job of designing and printing for us, were on hand. That's Joe Michmershuizen on the left and Jayme Kramer at right. Jayme was our designer.
I was happy to see my friends Bonnie (left) and Virginia Cox, enjoying supper before the launch began.
But seeing the main Market Grille dining room filled to capacity on a Thursday evening as patrons from near and far enjoyed the great food and service was among the most gratifying parts of the evening.
Then a couple of us snagged an invitation from Linda and John Braida to go up to the third floor and see their apartment decorated for Christmas --- Linda loves red. That was a treat, too.
If you're interested in acquiring a copy of the book, they sell for $20 each and are available at the Market Grille, Piper's, Chariton Hy-Vee, Meyer Law Firm and the Chariton Area Chamber/Main Street office. You also can order by mail, using the information in the order blank below. You also may right-click on the order form, open it in a new window, then print and mail. All proceeds go to the non-profit Lucas County Preservation Alliance.