The publication represents the closure of a process that has driven Muhlestein and her late husband, Harold Muhlestein, for many decades. The Muhlesteins began the work when Harold worked as a history teacher at Monticello High School and published the first issue during Monticello’s Centennial celebration in 1988.
The first book in the series traces the history of the community from its founding in 1888 to 1937. Monticello Journal II was released in 2009 and includes the history from 1938 through 1970.
The books have been released when most copies of the prior book are sold. Muhlestein states that there are only about 50 copies of the second book available. The first book was completely sold out years ago.
The Muhlesteins have painstakingly documented events at the base of the Blue Mountains, using city and county records, newspaper accounts, and scores of interviews with local residents.
The result is an almost unbelievable amount of information, totaling nearly 2,000 pages. The simple indexes, which list those who are mentioned in the books, total nearly 100 pages.
Faye states that the third book extensively covers many things in the small community, but 1998 is a highlight, covering the fugitive manhunt and construction of the Monticello LDS Temple.
Faye used a cover photo featuring the outstanding architecture of the community during the period covered in each book. The first book includes a cover photo of the LDS Church built in 1912. The second book features a cover photo of the San Juan County Library in Monticello. The third book features a color photo of the Monticello LDS Temple.
Each chapter in the book is organized to discuss a particular year. An exhaustive index allows readers to trace individuals through the book.
The book is available directly through Faye or at area outlets, including the San Juan Pharmacy and the San Juan Record.