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Allen County Reads: Todd Pelfrey, The History Center

by Cheryl M | Jun 22, 2016

Todd PelfreyReading books in a series brings Todd Pelfrey into the library to return one book and check out the next one.  He enjoys the library as a place to slow down and change gears.  Rather than buy books online, he prefers the ambiance of the library, which he regards as “one of the great assets of the community.”

As Executive Director of The History Center, Todd Pelfrey reads a lot for his job.  It’s a good thing he has always loved to read!  An early library user and a budding historian, he loved reading about ancient history.  He also remembers enjoying a series called Childhood of Famous Americans

Executive Director for 8 years, Pelfrey has been with the organization for 12 years, previously as Education Director.  To prepare for Indiana’s bicentennial year, he has been reading a lot of local and state history, including early, obscure texts that can produce new, arcane facts. Even for pleasure reading, Pelfrey tends toward history.  A favorite author is Bernard Cornwell, known for fiction series like The Saxon Stories. Another favorite author, Allan Eckert, writes American history in a blend of fact and fiction.  Eckert’s The Frontiersmen, tells of events and people of the Northwest Territory, from which Indiana was formed.  As a change from history, Pelfrey likes to read National Geographic magazine from cover-to-cover.  A member of Quest Club, which provides a forum to present original research, Pelfrey dug into the subject of blood ivory and elephant poaching for his paper.

Asked what book he would recommend that the President of the United States and presidential candidates read, Pelfrey suggested Common Sense, by Thomas Paine.  Written in 1775, it laid out in plain language, a case for independence from Great Britain.  For Allen County residents, Pelfrey highly recommends History of Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana, 1700-2005At over 1,700 pages, that 2-volume set might be intimidating.  So, his second recommendation is Fort Wayne: On the Heritage Trail, written for the 1994 bicentennial to commemorate local people and events.  It is now a “fantastic” stand-alone history chronicle and the only history book Pelfrey keeps on his desk.


                           "A historian is a prophet in reverse" - Friedrich von Schlegel

History Center 2016


cheryl-mCheryl likes reading, bicycling, scrapbooking, travel, history, and cats. Because every life tells a story, her favorite books to read are biographies.

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  1. Cathy Blyth | Jun 22, 2016

    Great piece, Cheryl!

    Cathy Blyth

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