From the cultural remains of Indian tribes who once lived there, to the activities of its modern inhabitants, the book describes the essence of life in a small Virginia town. Diversity, vigor, and imagination, the workaday world, the architecture, and the special celebrations of its people, are all seen through the eyes of the author and the camera. Clifton is a cohesive community, and although changes have been brought about by the railroad and the revolution in agriculture, the townspeople have retained the turn-of-the-century appearance and rhythm of life in the village.
The reader meets the town worthies; store and tavern keepers, the blacksmith who "has a way with horses," the undertaker, principals, students, and teachers in the Clifton schools, local politicians, including the mayor who was as strong as an ox, and a genial and delightfully wacky agent for the Southern Railway. General U.S. Grant and his two Arabian stallions make cameo appearances, as do local cats, dogs, and racehorses. Two generals who grew up in Clifton and worked their way to the top of their profession are also represented.
Civil War activities and the area rebuilding which followed are described, as well as an interesting procession of railroad rolling stock from 1848 to the present.
Men and women of national importance called Clifton home, and it was a resort for residents of steaming eastern cities for many a summer.
Lumbering and logging activities, church revivals, a gold mine hoax, and efforts to market the medicinal waters of "Paradise Spring" are just a few of the topics which are developed.
The celebration of life as shown through the text and illuminated by the hundreds of photographs has an authenticity that has universal appeal.
Clifton Betterment Association Clifton, Virginia 1980