Aerial views of ‘extraordinary’ Scituate are feature of new book

SCITUATE – The splendor of Scituate’s scenic coast can be truly appreciated only from above. At least that’s what the authors of “Seacoast Scituate By Air,” a new book by three Scituate residents, say.

Historian and author Lyle Nyberg, along with pilots and aerial photographers Bill Richardson and Gary Banks, came together to create “the first scenic survey of Scituate’s fascinating seacoast,” Nyberg said.

“Here are 70 splendid photos in color. They cover almost all of the seacoast areas of Scituate, from north to south including the Glades, Minot Beach, Scituate Harbor with its lighthouse from 1811, Peggotty Beach, the North River and all four cliffs, all the way down to Marshfield,” he said. “It weaves in the centuries-long histories of these places as well.”

Richardson, who grew up in the West End of Scituate and graduated in the Scituate High School Class of 1966, provided photos for the book from his collection of Scituate aerials going back to the 1970s, he said. He also assisted with the captions.

The photos used in the book were taken out of the open window of either his or Banks’ high-wing Cessna private planes over a period of 40-odd years with hand-held, 35mm cameras, Richardson said.

A photo taken by Bill Richardson looking south from Strawberry Point/The Glades with the Harbor and The Cliffs in the distance.  The bedrock ledges at The Glades are more than 350 million years old, formed when North America was joined to Ireland and North Africa.

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“The photos by Gary and Bill are the highlight of the book,” Nyberg said. “I was a writer, editor and publisher. All three of us contributed, including research on the many questions that came up on the history of these special seacoast places.”

Nyberg used Banks’ and Richardson’s “spectacular photo” of Third Cliff on the back cover of his earlier book titled “On a Cliff,” he said.

“I realized they had a group of outstanding photos of the entire seacoast of Scituate. I thought the photos deserved to be published so that others could see the beauty of our surroundings,” Nyberg said.

Lyle Nyberg, left, collaborated with pilots/photographers Gary Banks and Bill Richardson on the book “Seacoast Scituate By Air,” which has 70 aerial pictures of the Scituate coast.

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I have contacted them, and they agreed on the project.

As for his favorite photo, Nyberg said it’s the one on the book’s cover.

“It is a great photo of Scituate Harbor. When you look closer, you can see all four cliffs and the North River. I never noticed this before, but the main harbor has the shape of a heart, as highlighted in this photo,” he said.

The Scituate coastline transitions to glacial drumlins and The Spit, which was formed 100 years ago when the ocean broke through the barrier beach between Third and Fourth cliffs.

Richardson enjoys the idea that others might appreciate the beauty and diversity of Scituate’s unique coast when viewed as he and Banks are privileged to see it, from above.

“I hope this inspires others to recognize and value the extraordinary coastal environment in which we live,” he said.

Buttonwood Books in Cohasset will carry the book starting about April 1, Nyberg said. It will also be available on Amazon (paperback, $19.95).

For more information, visit lylenyberg.com.

Follow Ruth Thompson on Twitter @scituateruth.

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