Maplewood History: The Matt Irwin Collection

Often when someone calls me either wanting or offering information, they have gotten my contact info from one of three places…Maplewood City Hall, the Chamber or the Library. I always enjoy the exchange whichever way it goes.

Matt Irwin is one of the givers, a contributor to the growing pile that is putting flesh on the bones of our community. After a visit to his apartment in 2010, he very generously allowed me to borrow and copy the photo albums of his family. Additionally he offered to donate his grandmother’s 1930’s Maplewood High School memories book to our library. It is there now.

The albums that I copied contained hundreds of photographs. Most of them were glued to the pages. Most of the people in the photographs are unidentified as is typical. They depict events throughout many lives lived. When I talked to Matt four years ago he and his mother were the last in the line. I’ve not heard from him for quite a while. I hope he is doing well.

I have wondered how best to represent such a large collection with my blog. The photos show much of what looks like a very happy marriage between Matt’s grandmother, Marjorie Slavik and his grandfather, Robert Irwin. Marjorie met Robert in high school. The evidence is in her memories book. Eventually they married. Robert joined the Marines during WW II. They went on vacations, had at least one baby, and had a plethora of friends and family.

I think anyone looking at these photos connects with the folks in them. It seems sad that after Matt there will be no heir to these images. I hope Matt and others with images like these will leave them to the Maplewood Library.

For the next several blogs I’ll try to post enough photos to give the viewer a sense of the lives these folks lived here in Maplewood.

This is the wedding photo of Matt's great grandparents, Talitha Wuellner and Max Slavik.  They may have been the first owners of the home at 2855 Laclede Station Road.

This is the wedding photo of Matt’s great grandparents, Talitha Wuellner and Albert Slavik. If not the first they were very early owners of the home at 2855 Laclede Station Road.  They are accompanied by Max Slavik and Mabel Rudder.

At some point, date unknown, they had a daughter, Marjorie.

At some point, date unknown, they had a daughter, Marjorie.

Judging by the photos Marjorie's childhood was idyllic.  that's her at her father's elbow.  Mother Talitha is standing.

Judging by the photos Marjorie’s childhood was idyllic. That’s her at her father’s elbow. Mother Talitha is standing.

Here's Marjorie in front of their home at 2855 Laclede Station Road.

Here’s Marjorie in front of their home at 2855 Laclede Station Road.

And here is the family on a fishing trip.

And here is the family on a fishing trip.

There are many travel photos in Matt's albums.  I'll post more of them in an upcoming blog.

There are many travel photos in Matt’s albums. I’ll post more of them in an upcoming blog.

Marjorie and friends back at home.  The house in the top photo is just north of the family home.

Marjorie and friends back at home. The house in the top photo is just north of the family home.

Marjorie at the wheel of a soapbox racer.  The following blogs will show Marjorie at different stages of her life including her wedding to and life with Bob Irwin.

Marjorie at the wheel of a soapbox racer. The following blogs will show Marjorie at different stages of her life including her wedding to and life with Bob Irwin.

 

8 thoughts on “Maplewood History: The Matt Irwin Collection

    • Thank you, Kathy. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. There are many fascinating photos in this collection.

    • Hey Wanda Kennedy Kuntz of the Kennedy Music family, the stories connected with this family could easily make another book. Especially for someone with your talent.

  1. My Sister In Law’s maiden name is Irwin. Her family lived on Lohmeyer. I wonder if there is a family connection.

    • Cathy, I’m sorry but I don’t have any information that would help you as far as I can tell.