Huntsville is a city rich in contrasts, an intriguing blend of the historic Old South and the dynamic New South of today. Historic Huntsville: A City of New Beginnings explores this fascinating region and its rise from a frontier settlement to a center for space-age achievement. Writing with style, wit, and affection, author Elise Hopkins Stephens depicts Huntsville's history through scholarly research as well as through the memories of those who lived it. The author distills a wealth of information into a lively narrative sparked with colorful anecdotes and an obvious love of the area. Settled by rugged frontiersmen like John Hunt, and aristocratic families like the Popes who came "lock, stock, and sterling silverware" from Georgia, Huntsville had its roots in contrast, thriving on the traditions of red-blooded squatters and blue-blooded squires. Here the author traces the growth years of antebellum Huntsville and the dizzying fluctuations of the cotton economy; the pathos of the war years and the personal conflicts of those who sought simply to do what was right; the rise of the textile industry and the struggles of black and white, rich and poor, to forge a new social order. World War II and the defense industry brought dramatic changes to the area, and foretold of an exciting future as scientists of the stature of Wernher von Braun, like a new aristocracy of intellect, settled in this city of the Old South. Hundreds of illustrations bring Huntsville's past to life, while a portfolio of brilliant color photographs focuses on contemporary views of the city. Biographies of many of Huntsville's businesses and organizations are highlighted in a special chapter entitled "Chronicles of Leadership," detailing their contributions to Huntsville. An illustrated timeline of significant events further enhances the text and puts it all in perspective. For both longtime residents, newcomers and friends of Huntsville everywhere, this is a volume to be treasured. It presents a uniquely comprehensive and insightful view of Huntsville, a city rich in heritage and bright with promise. Historic Huntsville: A City of New Beginnings is a book not only to inform but to delight readers for generations to come. Book jacket.