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Updated Monrovia History, 'Renaissance Years,' Now Available

In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the election that changed Monrovia, an updated edition of the book, Renaissance Years: A History of Modern Monrovia is now available for purchase from the Monrovia Historical Society and the Monrovia Historical Museum.

This 400-page book, which sold out in its first printing, is by local author Dick Singer and is an account of the community's decline after World War II and its  rebirth under the leadership of Bob Bartlett, Pat Ostrye and Eric Faith, elected to the City Council in 1974.

Bartlett was the first African American on the council and served as mayor for twelve years. Ostrye, the city's first elected mayor, was also the first woman to serve on the council. Their election began a program of renewal that led to Monrovia winning its All America City honor in 1995.

Though focused primarily on Monrovia's renaissance, the book encapsulates the city's entire history, from its founding in 1886 to events in 2017 when the work was first published. The new edition extends this history up to the just-completed March 2024 municipal election.

Renaissance Years is the first of three local histories by Singer, the others are, 1887: A History of Early Monrovia, and People Like You and Me: A History of Monrovia in World War II. All proceeds from the three books go to support local history projects.

Renaissance Years and its companion books are available at Charlie’s House, 430 S. Myrtle, from the Monrovia Historical Museum in Recreation Park, open Thursday and Sunday afternoons, or by contacting the Monrovia Historical Society at

- Brad Haugaard

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