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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

Red Owl Supermarket

Red Owl Supermarket

I received a lot of negatives from people in the U.S. This negative came together with a lot from New Orleans. I don't know the place. In the background I can see the Red Owl Supermarket. View full size.

Harlan Packard Hotel

The Harlan Packard Hotel was my grandfather's. From the early 1930's until he died in the 1970's. My grandmother would run the desk (the old cable plug in types on the switchboard (remember Lily Tomlin's character from Laugh In?), and my father ran his shoeshine service in the lobby. As a kid I had the greatest pleasure possible -- free soda pop from the bar, and read as many comics as I could at one time.

Attached to the Hotel around the corner was the Prairie Lounge, one of two watering holes in the town.

Pheasant hunting was one of the major economic engines, with hunting parties from all over the US, often staying with farmers in the area - the original bed and breakfasts? - if not staying at the Harlan Packard.

Also important is the cafe next door. All the farmers within a very large radius chose to come to town every Thursday to get groceries, supplies, and a great deal of socialization. My treat was a bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy at the cafe -- no ice cream or other desserts, excepting perhaps a piece of pie -- and no comfort good could possibly have been better.

This was a small town of ~ 1200 when I was a boy, and it really hasn't changed a lot since except for new building facades, and of course, newer vehicles.

If you still have this photo, I would be interested in obtaining it. I don't hold much hope you do, since the last posting from you was in 2009.

What a wonderful picture and the memories it sparked.

Paul Blackburn
Phoenix AZ 85048
pablackburn@cox.net

Signal Light

The light on top of the Harlan Packard Hotel was the police signal. If you needed the police, you would call the telephone operator, and she would turn it on, and then you could call the telephone office to find out what the problem was. This method was used until the early 1960s.

Richard Gallup
Redfield, SD

Dakota Cafe

Thanks for your help, this is how the building looks today.


View Larger Map

Harlan Packard Hotel

How did you manage to find these answers because I couldn't.

[Google Books search. - Dave]

Redfield, South Dakota

According to a 1951 article in the Huronite and Daily Plainsman by the mayor of Redfield, Harlan P. Packard was one of the town's "first two bona fide settlers." He lured the State School and Home for the Feeble Minded (now called the South Dakota Developmental Center) to greater Redfield. "It is his name that is most indelibly linked with the city and its subsequent progress." The hotel, then the oldest building in town, is now gone. The Dakota Cafe building seems to remain, "renovated" into a hardware store.

Harlan Packard Hotel

Googling turns up references to a number of (outdated, unfortunately) eBay listings for a postcard showing a Harlan Packard Hotel in Redfield, South Dakota, plus a listing in the Hotel & Motel Redbook for 1968 indicating an establishment by that name at the corner of 6th Avenue and Main in that city. Also, in the photo, note what is pretty surely the Dakota Cafe on the corner, and Redfield had one of those.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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