Former Oneida Castle resident and retired Oneida High School teacher Richard MacAlpine returns to Oneida Public Library on Thursday, April 20, at 2:00 p.m. to present The Story behind the Book, a tale of 11 years of research into Admiral Frank H. Schofield and his family that resulted in the production of his latest book.
MacAlpine, author of three previous books on regional history, recently published “Admiral Frank H. Schofield: A Portrait of an American Navy Family (1886-1942)” with Infinity Publishing. It is a narrative of the Schofield family of Penn Yan as it follows Frank through his 46-year career in the U.S. Navy, interweaving excerpts of “wonderfully descriptive letters that were at times poignant and at other times humorous,” in the words of one reviewer, as well as MacAlpine’s interviews with family descendants.
MacAlpine first took up his interest in the Schofield family when he read at the Yates County History Center some 7,000 Schofield family letters. He later discovered some 5,000 more letters in a historical archive in Talbot County, Maryland.
According to MacAlpine, Admiral Schofield had a colorful Navy career, commanding vessels of all sizes, from torpedo boats to battleships. He served in the Spanish American War, headed a Navy team to develop tactics against German U-Boats during World War I, served as a naval advisor to the American delegation at the Paris Peace Conference after the war and in the late 1920s devised a war plan against the Japanese navy.
MacAlpine taught American History and Global Studies at Oneida High School from 1968 to 2001. When he retired, he sold his home in Oneida Castle and moved to the shores of Keuka Lake just outside Penn Yan. He became active in the Yates County History Center and wrote over 130 articles for its bimonthly newsletter, Yates Past.
In retirement, MacAlpine has authored “Yates County Chronicles” (History Press, 2014) and “Stories from Yates Past” (Infinity, 2016) and co-authored with Charles R. Mitchell “Steamboats on Keuka Lake” (History Press, 2015).
Copies of “Admiral Frank H. Schofield: A Portrait of an American Navy Family” will be available for sale and signing by the author.
The program is free and open to the public. For more information, stop by the Oneida Library, 220 Broad St., or call 315-363-3050.