Chelmsford does not have an official town photographer, but its unofficial one is out with a new book documenting images throughout the town’s history.
Fred Merriam has teamed up with Arcadia Publishing to release a new book called “Images of America - Chelmsford Revisited.”
Out at bookstores this month, Merriam has created a collection of vintage images from the Chelmsford Historical Society and other sources, and added carefully researched text to illuminate Chelmsford’s past.
The book is just the latest in a long line of photography projects done by Merriam, even before he became interested in Chelmsford history.
“All my life, if I went somewhere interesting I’d take an album of pictures, and it just became second nature” he said.
Although not a Chelmsford native, he has served as a member of the Chelmsford Historical Commission since 2003 and published another book in 2011 on Chelmsford’s history from 1910 to 1970.
Many may also know him for his work documenting the recent construction projects in town such as the new fire station being built on Billerica Road, the recently build DPW building on Alpha Road and the new turf fields.
Merriam has taken so many pictures of the fire station at this point that he’s almost become a member of the construction crew.
“It’s neat, the contractors are all used to me now, so I’m sort of invisible,” he said. “They know I’m there but go about their work without interruption.”
It’s not the first time he’s done work documenting something for the Chelmsford Fire Department; he was asked to do the history of the department last year incorporating their archives. The Chelmsford fire Department history, which covers years 1900 through 2013 is accessible on the Town website, or can be seen online, as well as albums on other buildings and projects in town over the years.
Merriam will also be on hand to sign copies of his book following a presentation at the Chelmsford Public Library at 7 p.m. on Feb. 6 as well as at an event at the Barrett-Byam Homestead at 2 p.m. on March 30.
The new book is now available for purchase at the Copy and Secretarial Center on Alpine Lane as well as other stores, with all proceeds from purchases at the Copy and Secretarial Center going to the Historical Society.