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Easton: 1935

November 1935. "View of Easton, Pennsylvania, Lehigh River and Canal." 8x10 inch nitrate negative by Walker Evans for the U.S. Resettlement Administration. View full size.

November 1935. "View of Easton, Pennsylvania, Lehigh River and Canal." 8x10 inch nitrate negative by Walker Evans for the U.S. Resettlement Administration. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Horse ghost?

Any idea what is the blurry image to the right of the telephone pole? I'm guessing a horse in motion?

[People walking. - Dave]

It's a truck

The wheel in front of the Oakland is still attached to a C cab truck of some sort.

What is this?

It looks like it's the town gallows but I doubt (and hope!) it's not ...

[It looks more decorative than punitive. - Dave]

Bridging the gap

In addition to Larry Holmes, Easton is known as the home of Crayola crayons. They continue to manufacture them just north of town, and receive large railroad tank cars of the necessary wax on a weekly basis.

Visible in the center is part of the Easton suspension bridge, which when constructed in 1886 was the highest footbridge in the US. It was dropped in 1951.

"Chief of the Sixes"

Was Oakland's official motto when it began producing the first Pontiac Six in 1926.
Sales took off so quickly that a new factory with 35 acres of floor space was erected exclusively for the Pontiac Division of Oakland Motor Car Co. This markedly aged specimen is a Five Passenger Landau Sedan (minus its left landau iron). An automobile wheel and perhaps other car parts are lying in front of it.

All of it

A classic Shorpy photo with just about all the requisite elements: a steam engine, a jalopy, simple down-to-earth housing, a church, hills, canal and river, laundry on the line (blurred in motion), and a comment that links the small, obscure place to someone famous (Larry Holmes).

The background

looks like it could be a matte painting. What a stunning photograph!!

Is that a person under there?

Or just some blankets for a person to lie on? The front of the car appears slightly elevated, but the rear tires are not blocked.

Only one thing.

I only know one thing about Easton, Pennsylvania. It was and is the home of "The Easton Assassin," the great Larry Holmes, one of the greatest heavyweight boxing champs of all time. He held the title for around 7 years and took on all comers. Even fought Mike Tyson when he admittedly couldn't beat him. Unfortunately, he also fought a greatly diminished Muhammed Ali, who came back for the money, and he beat Ali so bad even Holmes didn't want the fight to continue. After retiring, Holmes returned to Easton and opened businesses that employed hundreds of people from the area. Maybe he's not "the greatest," but a great son of Easton.

Difficult divine survival

The distinctive domed towers on the horizon belong to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, built in 1915. Easton’s Catholic churches served different ethnic enclaves: St. Joseph’s was German.

The church had a difficult future ahead: in 2008 it merged with two other parishes to become Our Lady of Mercy. After 2013, only occasional services were held in the aged building, with what was announced as its final Mass in May 2016. However, in 2018 it reopened as Divine Mercy Healing Center, run by the Vincentian Congregation of the Eastern Rite Catholic Church. It looks good today.

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