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Margaret Street: 1906

Circa 1906. "Margaret Street -- Plattsburgh, New York." Once again, it's 8:17. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Circa 1906. "Margaret Street -- Plattsburgh, New York." Once again, it's 8:17. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


On Shorpy:
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Another angle

I went looking in my own huge photograph collection of trolley cars and lo and behold I turned up this photograph taken about the same time, but the photographer was standing across the street, under the large tin hat. Notice the presence of automobiles, which would be about right for 1907 and the lack of cleanliness in the street, which might indicate that the street had been purposely cleaned for the Shorpy photograph.

Tidy Streets

Either the citizens of Plattsburg were extra fastidious, or the street sweeper had just finished his work. Those are perhaps the cleanest downtown streets and gutters I have ever seen in a Shorpy photo from this era.

Mad Hatter

Mr. Hayes was quite the Mad Hatter, what with the large hat on the pole, and parking its matching large hat box on the sidewalk in front of his store!


I seem to remember a tradition that watch makers and sellers had back then. 8:17 a.m. was the time that Abraham Lincoln died, and putting that time on their signs was a way to do him honor.

[Lincoln died at 7:22 a.m. The advantage of 8:17 is that it keeps the hands from overlapping the text on the clock face. - Dave]

What a sales pitch

Stout Men Get Fitted Properly By Us - Big & Tall take note!

Smaller town trolley

Peter said: "I'm surprised that a small town like Plattsburgh ever had electric trolley service."
You'll have to go a lot smaller than that, to the Town of Sulphur Rock, Ark., (census population in 2000 was only 421) to find a place small enough that it never replaced its mule drawn street car with an electric trolley. It was the last place in the United States with a "horse car" when it abandoned its public transportation in April, 1926. The last car did make it onto a U.S. postage stamp in 1983. The Interstate Commerce Commission has a photo of the car, taken in 1925, so maybe Shorpy can publish it. That year, the I.C.C. issued cameras to its inspectors so they could send back evidence of what new things were being used instead of steam locomotives on the rails. One of the guys must have thought that the mule was younger than some of the internal combustion contraptions that were starting to be invented.

Present Day View of Plattsburgh Margaret St

Here is a Bing bird's eye view of today's Plattsburgh. It appears that most if not all of the buildings in the photo are still intact. The building behind the open car seems to be ultra modern for 1907 standards.

The Real Thing

Note the cigar store Indian outside the tobacco shop in the right-hand corner of the photo; f you see one these days it's a movie prop or a decorative item in a trendy bar or restaurant.

Tip of the hat

Thank you Stanton_Square. Your list answers the question that bothered me - why is there a "YES" on the giant hat? It is all that remains of L.A. Hayes.

Margaret St. Merchants

Margaret Street addresses listed in the Plattsburgh City Directory for 1913, L.P. Waite & Co, publishers. The signs at the Levy Brothers and L.W. Hayes are quite faded.

Left Side:

  • 67, The J.W. Tuttle & Co, and F.C. Parshall, jewelers.
  • 71, L.W. Hayes, hats, clothing and furniture goods.
  • 73, National Express Company.
  • 77, Levy Brothers, (William M., Marcus M. and Morris M.), cigar manufacturers.
  • 79, The Sowles Hardware Company.
  • 83, Lombardoni Ideal Ice Cream Parlors.

Right Side:

  • 72, J.A. Schiff, bottler.
  • 76, Star Dry Goods Company, Louis Kempner & David Merkel, Proprs.

I can't find matches for any of the other readable signage: S. Mann, G.P. Labavy, McHattie, and Dr. O. A. Holcombe.

Photo location

Based on the angle of the intersection in the near background I'm going to surmise that this view is looking north on Margaret Street toward the intersection with Bridge Street. It's hard to make a comparison to the present day because Google Maps has limited Street View coverage of Plattsburgh and the aerial views have only mediocre resolution.

On separate notes, (a) that top hat sign on the left is most amusing, and (b) I'm surprised that a small town like Plattsburgh ever had electric trolley service.

Horse talk

"Hay Horace, long time no see."

"Hay Barney, how's it going?"

"Oh, same old same old, ya know they're riding my behind all the time."

"Well hang in there Barn, things will get better."

"I don't really have a choice, do I Horace?"

"I guess not. Anyway, I gotta go now. Later."

"Keep smilin' Barn, take it easy."

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