The last work I finished takes place in my hometown in 1923. I chose my hometown because I wanted it to take place here. I also knew I would be able to find historical references fairly easily. The lay of the land hasn't changed much, except for Oversmith Hill which was quite the challenge to travel until late 1923 when they started grading it down. Streets are all mainly the same, a lot of buildings that were once here in 1923 are gone, but quite a few remain. The library has some old Sanborn fire maps that I used as references. The closest one was the late 1910's, the next year was in the 1930's, too late to use for my story. We had a local historian who wrote a weekly column for the paper on the history of our town, and she wrote those articles for over a decade. Lots of history that would have been lost or never known about if it weren't for her (Thank you, Susan Hinckley!).

The library the next town over has nearly every single newspaper (from 1870's - 1960's) from my town on microfilm and I have the ability to save whole pages on a flash drive, which is what I did for the entire year of 1923. (Why 1923? It's the year our library first opened, and a few other reasons.) Those papers are so very interesting, and the way some of the articles are written are quite salty and funny. I wrote a few of my own articles in my novel mimicking the tone of the editor in those papers. I used some of the slang that was used too, and inserted them into the dialog of my characters--for instance, flivver, to describe a Ford.

One thing I learned (among a lot of things) through the paper was that my county did not have an x-ray machine at the time my story takes place. It was late October 1923 when the new hospital opened in the county seat when there was finally local access to one. Those that needed an x-ray were sent to Lansing or Grand Rapids. I originally had a character going to her doctor to have x-rays done to determine if she has tuberculosis, the scene taking place in early October, but after my discovery I had to do some rewriting. She ended up going to a sanatorium.

There was also this website I relied on pretty heavily when it came to period 1920's dress and makeup, the Vintage Dancer. She may not be 100% correct, but it gave me a lot to go on. Then of course there were the random Google searches. The newspapers and the Hinckley articles were the biggest help. They even give me ideas for future stories.