Book launch for Tom Orr's 'Ridge Lines: Steps in Time' set for Aug. 27

A book with selections of Tom Orr's Ridge Lines columns from the Times-News will be released on Aug. 27 in a launch event from 3-5 p.m. at Woodlands Gallery.
A book with selections of Tom Orr's Ridge Lines columns from the Times-News will be released on Aug. 27 in a launch event from 3-5 p.m. at Woodlands Gallery.

A launch event scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 27 from 3-5 p.m. at Woodlands Gallery in downtown Hendersonville will celebrate the release of the anticipated book “Ridge Lines: Steps in Time” featuring selections of Tom Orr’s weekly Times-News “Ridge Lines” columns.

“Ridge Lines: Steps in Time” includes numerous photos from the historic Baker-Barber Collection as well as a foreword by author Robert Morgan. According to Orr’s wishes before his passing in 2021, all net proceeds from sales of this soft-cover coffee table book will go to the Community Foundation of Henderson County, which oversees the Baker-Barber Collection.

Copies from the first printing of the book will be available to purchase at the book launch event but supplies will be limited. A second printing (with possible online sales of the book) will be forthcoming, according to a news release. “Ridge Lines: Steps in Time” will be available for purchase following the launch event at the Henderson County Heritage Museum and the Genealogical & Historical Society.

Woodlands Gallery is located at 419 N. Main St. in Hendersonville. The event is free and open to the public. Copies of the book are $27, plus tax.

“Ridge Lines: Steps in Time” is the result of a collaboration between Orr and former Times-News reporter Beth Beasley. The indexed book with glossy pages includes sections on Henderson County pioneers, notable downtown businesses, prominent local families, county schools and educators through the years, local hangouts and fun pastimes, as well as Tom’s personal recollections from growing up near downtown and his decades of teaching at Hendersonville High School.

Tom Orr's book of local history columns features images from the historic Baker-Barber Collection as well as some from Orr's personal collection. In this photo from Orr's collection, Orr poses (seated, front left) with fellow scouts in the 1940s.
Tom Orr's book of local history columns features images from the historic Baker-Barber Collection as well as some from Orr's personal collection. In this photo from Orr's collection, Orr poses (seated, front left) with fellow scouts in the 1940s.

“I think Tom would have been proud of this book—it’s turned out beautifully,” says Beasley, “Ridge Lines: Steps in Time” editor. “The book makes great use of photos from the Baker-Barber Collection. There are some real gems included on the pages.”

In a cover quote, local author and president of the Henderson County Genealogical & Historical Society Patrick Gallagher notes: “Reading Tom Orr's ‘Ridge Lines’ columns is a walk back in time as he skillfully paints word pictures of Hendersonville and Henderson County's past.”

Orr, who taught English for 32 years at Hendersonville High School, was also an avid playwright and director. He is included in the Hendersonville High School Hall of Fame and served as chairman of the Historic Courthouse Centennial committee and was founder of the Henderson County Walk of Fame. Orr wrote the weekly “Ridge Lines” column for the Hendersonville Times-News for 12 years, between 2009 and 2021. “Ridge Lines: Steps in Time” features professional formatting by Maggie Powell Designs.

Contributions toward the second printing of “Ridge Lines: Steps in Time” can be made through the Ridge Lines Book Project’s GoFundMe page or by cash or check at Wild Birds Unlimited in the Harris Teeter shopping complex on Spartanburg Highway. Learn more about “Ridge Lines: Steps in Time” and the campaign for publication funds at ridgelinesbook.com.

This article originally appeared on Hendersonville Times-News: Book launch for Tom Orr's 'Ridge Lines: Steps in Time' set for Aug. 27