Banks: A Town on the Move front cover. Photo: Chas Hundley

To commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Banks, the Banks Historical Society released a book on the town’s history, titled “Banks: A Town on the Move.”

“We've created a book that tells some of the stores of the community's history-from the region's earliest settlers to the present day,” the society said in an announcement prior to the book’s release.

A slender tome of just over 50 pages, the book starts with a history of the Atfalati people who lived in the region, moves into the origins of the Wilkes and Greenville communities, precursors to what would become Banks, and then, page by page, walks a reader through the cultural and historical highlights of the region, documenting influential families, businesses, and institutions, ending in the more modern era with recent developments such as the Banks Braves’ historic wins in sports and the coronavirus pandemic.  

The back cover of the book has two color photographs, inside, black and white photos, maps, and sketches add to the printed history contained within. 

Of the first printing of 150 copies, released in October, 25 were given to volunteers, dignitaries such as a descendant of the original namesake Banks family, museums, and the Banks Public Library. The rest, stocked at Jim’s, have sold out, with just a handful of copies left as of this story’s publishing.

To purchase one of the last remaining first-run editions, email the historical society at [email protected]

According to Marsha Kirk, city councilor and a perennial volunteer with the historical society, a second run of 200 books is on the way, with copies expected to be available at Jim’s for purchase for $12 during Thanksgiving Week. The second edition also corrects the date under a photograph of the 1925 Banks girls basketball team.

The book was authored by Banks residents Jennifer Allen Newton, with layout and design done by James Newton; other community members and society members contributed significantly to the book’s creation; Ray Deeth, Angie Dreyer, Melissa Hermens, Laurelen Jabbour, Marsha Kirk, Leslie Sipp, and other members of the Banks Centennial Committee are all credited for their instrumental contributions to the book, with support from other community members.