My corralling of Maplewood’s historic photos began early in 2002. Barry Greenberg, now a councilman, had issued a call for persons interested in starting an historical society.
Recently retired I showed up along with a fair number of like-minded souls. I don’t recall how many were at that first meeting but I know we had around twenty show up for a few of the later meetings. I didn’t know it then but that was a number that proved difficult to eclipse. Such is the fate of an historical society I would find out later.
Possibly the first event we planned was a physical display of historic photographs and items set up in one of the empty store fronts on Sutton. There were several to choose from. Our event took place in one that is now the Maya Café or very close to it.
For that very first display Barry and I walked across the street from his architectural firm, ADG to talk to father and son, Alan and Scott Blood who owned the Maplewood Mill building, the Saratoga building, the “Mule Palace” behind it and the laundromat building now home to the Muddled Pig restaurant. The Blood family had been active with their woodworking mill from the very earliest days of our city.
Alan Blood, son of the founder of the family business, was still working. The sometimes cantankerous Alan was very generous that day. He handed me an envelope with maybe a dozen photographs in it that showed the mill building under construction and the yard around it. That was the beginning of the photograph round up for me.
I took them to Kinko’s and had them enlarged as big as I could on their color copiers. That was the size of a legal sheet of paper, I think. Mary O’Neal, another charter member of our historical society, came back from our library with some copies she’d made of some of the historic images in their collection. Elmer Wind Jr. of EJ Tire and The Wedge fame lent us some of his images and artifacts from his family business. Someone else brought some high school yearbooks. I really don’t think we had a lot more than that. I didn’t know it then but I was hooked.
Today almost 15 years later I have 33+ gigs of information on the history of Maplewood in my computer. When we started I had no idea what a gig was. I wouldn’t get my first digital camera until December 2005. From then on there was no looking back. I never picked up my old Nikon F3 again.
It has been easy to find the location where most of our historic images were captured, but there are still a few that I can’t recognize where they fit in to our landscape. Have a look and let me know if you can help.
Here is a good one to start with. This is Dr. Cape’s office and I assume home in Ellendale. This is/was not in Maplewood but just east beyond our city limit. Dr. Cape was one of the very early businessmen in what became Maplewood. He built the Cape-Harper building on the NE corner of Sutton and Maple among other buildings. I have never been able to determine if either of the buildings in this photo exist today. Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.
If you look closely just above the awning this sign advertising Ellendale Pharmacy can be seen.
This fascinating image was furnished by Ms. Peggy Door. She sent it along with three other easily recognizable historic photos of Maplewood so I’m assuming it was here too. Much thanks to her for sharing her images.
The Lauritson family is well-represented in the historic Maplewood photo archive. I haven’t any idea if the home/s in the photo are still around. I suspect this image was collected by the now defunct Renaissance Society for our 75th civic anniversary in 1983. Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.
This is the back of the next photo so you’ll know as much as I do. It is also from the Maplewood Public Library.
I believe this is the way this photo was printed but I can’t be certain. It may have come from a slide and they often get flipped. (From the comments below my feeling is that this is the correct image. Judging from the evidence on the Sanborn maps put forth by Mr.Havel, I think there is a strong possibility that this is an early glimpse of the home on the NW corner of Marshall and Vine now owned by Councilman Greenberg. DH 12/21/16)
So here it is flipped. Which looks right to you? What about that house? If it’s still there today it has to have been significantly altered. There isn’t a house on Marshall today that looks like that.
When I first saw this photo I thought I knew right where to go to find it. There are a few small houses on Walter in the 3200 block. Alas when I compared them to the photo they were different enough to make me think the photo was not of one of them. Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.
Another image of one of our beautiful homes whose identity has been lost. This one is also from a slide collected by the Renaissance Society. This one may have been flipped too. Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.
I’ve saved this one for last because I was able to find the location from which the photograph was snapped (or clicked would be more likely back then). Having the numbers of the address made the difference. This also from the collection of the Renaissance Society now at our Maplewood Public Library.
It was taken in front of 7329 Lohmeyer now home to the MacDonald family who have graciously restored it. I shouldn’t have to tell anyone that this is a seriously good-looking house, folks. Much of the exterior work was done by Maplewood’s own, Mark Bisig. Composite photo by Yours Truly.
Reader Bill had asked for information on the MacDonald home. The perception amongst many of us is that it is a very old home. Well it is. Zillow says it was built in 1890. That’s old for our area. The MacDonald’s once kindly allowed me to photograph some interior shots. Imagine my surprise to find an Arts and Crafts newel post almost identical to the one in my 1910 home. What happened? I don’t know. They didn’t either. Must have been remodeled at some point is my best guess.