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Wabasha Street: 1905

St. Paul, Minnesota, circa 1905. "Wabasha Street." One dog and one boy, ready for adventures! 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

St. Paul, Minnesota, circa 1905. "Wabasha Street." One dog and one boy, ready for adventures! 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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The Doggie

I hope that poor dog made it home okay. I also see that they hadn't gotten around to cleaning up the horse flop in front of Stern's Tailoring yet.

And what was it with hats in those days? Everybody's wearing one, even though the weather looks fine. I'm 70 and I've never even owned a hat like that. Ball caps, sure. But an actual, you know, hat?

Superman vision wanted

That large building on the left is - was - Schuneman's Department Store, and I believe that from the beginning (1890ish) it occupied the whole building; so I'm curious why there's signage at the fourth floor that ends in "PAPER" ... wonder what the first words were.


Thanks, Clark! I was thinking something along the lines of "Paint and wallpaper" - i.e. a listing of their goods -- a rather old-fashioned approach to retailing: I believe the buidling was later "cleaned up" ... as befitted its role as StP's leading store.

Length(y) Comment

That boy looks too young to be wearing long pants. I've always seen boys that age (10? 11?) wearing knickers, up until around the age of 13 or 14. Perhaps he's in his Sunday best, in the suit he got from Mr. Stern.

That kid's pants

Why does that kid have on long pants. I thought kids that age back then wore short pants. Or has he just reached long-pants age?

Stern Tailoring Indeed

I am struck by how well-dressed everybody is: all of the men are wearing suits with ties and hats, including the boy in the street & all of the women are well-dressed and wearing hats.

I know that it was the style of the day to wear hats but I am struck by the fact that there is not a single person in the frame that is not well-dressed. There do not appear to be any signs of poverty in this photo, nobody in threadbare clothing or shoes with holes in them.

It is is impressive.

The struggle is real

I'm having trouble reconciling the woman walking past Allen's Bakery on the right-hand side of the photo, past the dapper slender man using a toothpick and his female companion with flowers on her hat, a big bow at her neck, and the get-off-my-lawn look on her face, with the lady whose back is reflected in the bakery window behind aforesaid toothpicking man. The angle seems all wrong and yet there is her receding figure and outfit -- tiny white-belted waist, white blouse, chignon, straw hat with the brim slightly dented in back, right arm bent at the elbow. Somebody help me.

[Angle of Incidence = Angle of Reflection. - Dave]

Here's the shot

Look it's a drug store! Quick let's take a picture. Seems so many of these street shots contain a drug store on the corner. Is that because they were always on the main street?

Independent Order of Odd Fellows

I searched the 'net quite a while to understand the meaning of both the handshake and the animal heads over the doorway between Allen's Bakery and Parker Drugs. I also searched quite a bit to discern the obscured letters in the acronym above them. I was also inquisitive about the tall box near the curb with its electric or phone wires that lead to the same doorway.

After overlooking them, I finally noticed the three rings painted on the tall box and that gave me the clue that the acronym undoubtedly refers to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Being a fraternal organization, the handshake symbolism is self-evident. I still don't know what the animal heads represent.

An old newspaper notice informs that Allen's Bakery was located at 368 Wabasha. The current resident at 370 Wabasha is a company called Ecolab. I could not find a citation for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at this location.

St. Paul bike law

St. Paul's leaders had not banned bicycles from city street, so long as they did not go too fast:

One left.

If you continue north in the current view to 7th street, you will see the Fitzpatrick Building. Built in 1890 and listed on the National Register. In the 1905 photo, this would be to the left of the turning streetcar.

The sole of honor!

now who wouldn't be proud to put that on their feet.

Sakes Be

There doesn't appear to be a bicycle in sight! Could the city fathers have banned them?

Meet Me in the Morning

Meet me in the morning, 56th and Wabasha
Meet me in the morning, 56th and Wabasha
Honey, we could be in Kansas
By time the snow begins to thaw.

Bob Dylan, 1974

Nothing Left

Judging by the street address on the left - 377 - the photograph appears to be the view from 5th Street. If so, nothing is left from this view.

Meet me for lungh at the Wabasha

Well,it looks like a "G" to me.

Starchy? Strict?

What on earth does "Stern Tailoring" involve? All life is here, the respectable family outside the bakery, the shady looking boys outside a shop selling drugs, two people playing chicken with a tram. And the dog, is he about to give the photographer a nip or a wet leg?

["Stern Tailors -- Clothing with a severe cut." - Dave]

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