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The Girl Next Door: 1904

The Girl Next Door: 1904

Saratoga Springs, New York, circa 1904. "Union Avenue." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Beautiful picture. Everything looking so new, pristine and idyllic. Just wondering how old the street would have been when this was taken. Those trees were obviously planted specially to line the street and they aren't small. They must be 25+ years old?

Yes, but --

It's idyllic, but let's hope she survives the 1918 Flu Epidemic, and she doesn't get polio, and she doesn't get some infection that require antibiotics, etc.

Oh, and she appears to be the right age to have her brothers go off to fight the Kaiser and her sons go off to fight the Axis, that might be a bit nerve-wracking.

I love looking at these old pictures, but it wasn't all Grape Nehi and shooting marbles. Remember, the original Shorpy picture doesn't get taken for another 6 years.


The fact that everything looked so neat and tidy is mind boggling considering that pretty much *everything* was done by hand. No motorized lawn mowers or weed wackers; no electric mixers for the concrete curbs, yet everything is picture perfect.

Close-up surprise

What really caught my attention (which some might think unusual for a woman) was to take special notice of the sidewalk, driveway, steps and curbs -- just how professional and modern all that cement work is. Somehow I wouldn't think they could have made such nice clean smooth cement back then and laid it all in so nicely.

[Some of that might be quarried stonework. - Dave]

Still there

The home immediately on the left in the photo is still there, largely preserved and lovely, and is now condos. The same is true for many of the surrounding homes. Gone are the majestic elms that lined the streets of Saratoga but the Union Avenue Historic District still makes for a nice stroll. Less that a half mile east of this photo (which is looking west) is the famous and historic Saratoga Racecourse, considered by many to be the most beautiful in the country, yours truly included.

Blessed be those moments

Where has all that charm disappeared? It must have felt like one of those long summer days, when time stopped and happiness seemed to last for ever.

Pining for the past (or is it maple-ing or elm-ing?)

Ahhhh... homes that looked like small castles, trees that lined both sides of the street (and all the way down), and no fast traffic; all things that contribute to this being a safe place for a little girl to take a stroll.

A happier place from a happier time.

I always enjoy seeing such pictures. They are relics of a happier and more innocent time.


I love this photo. I wish I could spend an afternoon in 1904 strolling this street.

Then and now

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