Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mystery Photo


Who is this lady? She appears in a photograph that was taken on Railroad Street the day Woodrow Wilson was elected. The year is 1912. Her remarkable face is filled with determination. Whatever that determination might be directed at, however, fails to impress the dudes in the photo's background:
Two men with horse and wagon riding away.
The horse and buggy days are still evident. It all seems a bit unbelievable less than a century later.
Highway advertising sign with automobile painting.
An enormous billboard on Washington Street welcomes another type of four wheeled vehicle--the automobile-- to town. (The future Highway 99 is a mere footpath at this time.)

Here is the entire photo. The woman is standing stage center.
People forming a line across Railroad Street. Half the people are sitting in hand carts.
Howard Smith.Yet more wheeled vehicles appear! People are pushing or riding in them and, except for one good natured fellow, they don't look very happy. They are carrying portraits of Woodrow Wilson along with small signs that praise his election victory. The entire photo is much too detailed to explore here. See June Reynold's history book for a closer look.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting! Are any of the people in this photo identified?
Can you show us "close ups" of the others in the photo?

Lilly Morgen said...

On page 279 of "Sherwood: A Sense of Time and Place," this picture is depicted. This copy was in the archives of the City of Sherwood. Howard Raymond Smith is the tall man in the picture. On the back it says "1914", but it may have been 1916 as the "elecetion bets" is refering to Woodrow Wilson's second election. Howard Raymond came to Sherwood in 1913. He worked up from stock boy to President of the Carson and Sherk Department Store.

JayCee said...

The Blogmeister assumed this photo was taken on the occasion of Wilson's first election. If Howard Smith didn't come to Sherwood until 1913, then the photo must pertain to Wilson's re-election in 1916. The blogmesiter stands corrected once again, thanks to you Lilly. Howard Smith lived to a ripe old age. He lived on 2nd Street until the day he died and never left his house without donning a three piece suit, even if he was only heading out to get the mail. He is remembered most of all as the General Manager of Carlson and Sherk General Store. Howard once told Sherwood historian Clyde List that he admired Clyde's grandfather, John List, who raised excellent potatoes and always charged a fair price.

Lilly Morgen said...

For the life of me, I can't remember any of the other people in that picture. Can anyone else?
It is without a doubt one of my most favorite pictures. I just wish we knew more about it.

sherwoodian said...

Points/Questions to Ponder:

1. If that sidewalk is made of wood then the photo couldn't have been taken later than 1913.

2. What is the purpose of those power lines? (The Red electric doesn't arrive until 1913.)

3. What is the purpose of that building at the end of the street, where the Sherwood Library stands today?

4. Are the people in wheels invalids? Answer: No. They are Republicans being shipped off like so much useless cargo in carts owned by the Post Office. That's the joke.

5. Is that grove of trees on the horizon the Sherwood ball park? I think so but can't be sure.

6. Look at all those rail road tracks!

Anonymous said...

A comment on your comment, you said that Highway 99 was a "mere footpath" at the time of this picture. Does the Sherwood Historical Society have any vintage maps of the early Sherwood area? How early?

JayCee said...

We have maps going back to surveys that were done in the 1850s. These are on display at the Sherwood Heritage Center. The Bureau of Land Management has the best maps, including surveyors' notes, and some of that is available on the internet. In the 1850s, the most important road through Sherwood was called The Lafayette-Oregon City Wagon Road. It cut through town at approximately 3rd Avenue, where the recently demolished school house stood.

Anonymous said...

Could you post the BLM site address where you were able to find the early Sherwood area maps online? Thanks!

Lilly Morgen said...

Howdy! I'm back from another time travel from the years of prohibition. I have a comment for each of Sherwoodian's comments:
1. If that sidewalk is made of wood then the photo couldn't have been taken later than 1913.

Ah, but it could! The first cement roadway and sidewalks did not make their appearence until 1926. Remember: Sherwood was a country farm town and Oregon was not a cosmopotitan palce as it is today. At the corner of Railroad and Washington, the pebbly street that you see was actualy laid in 1926 and is about one foot thick. Under that you would find another foot of crushed brick and over fired clinkers for the old brick factory.

sherwoodian said...

The BLM website is

http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en.3.html

After that, you're on your own! I clearly remember former Sherwood Historical Society member Julie Shablinski PhD, throwing me into her hot red sports car and taking me on a breath-taking ride to the BLM headquarters in downtown Portland in order to open a drawer and pull out the precise information you request. She made it look so easy, but it would take me a bit longer to retrace our steps. I made copies of the information but lost the clipboard. Lilly? Do you know what I did with it?

Lilly Morgen said...

My gosh,Sherwoodian! We'd need a snow shovel to dig that one up!

Lilly Morgen said...

Next comment:
2. What is the purpose of those power lines? (The Red electric doesn't arrive until 1913.)
Those were probably the telegraph lines.(Since they go along the RR tracks.)

Lilly Morgen said...

Also remember that Sherwood had telephone service by 1912 when the husband-wife team of Irving and Myrtle (Reiser)Lowd were in charge.
Also,thanks to banker/developer Fred Epler, an "electric light plant" was built in
1909. It was at first powered by gas!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the BLM site address. It might take awhile to find the right search question to find the maps . . .

Lilly Morgen said...

Next comment:
3. What is the purpose of that building at the end of the street, where the Sherwood Library stands today?

That little building was the lumber yard. I guess the man who ran the lumber yard was also the city recorder and when the first building burned down, there went all the minutes! That site was a lumber yard for 75 years before the library was built. But of course not everything can remain the same for 75 years...right?

sherwoodian said...

I also understand it was the building where our mercifully ahort-lived contingent of the infamous Ku Klux Klan stored their expensive garments. The fire happened during tough economic times and our good ol' boys couldn't afford to replace what was lost. So that worked out alright.

Lilly Morgen said...

Several people told me the KKK outfits were stored in the Weckert Building upstairs in a closet and that the closet was torched. I think that was about the end of the 1920s. It was ture that they could not afford to replace them so the organization died.

Lilly Morgen said...

5. Is that grove of trees on the horizon the Sherwood ball park? I think so but can't be sure.

I am sure you are right on that one. Those trees would be the second generation native pines that grew specifically in that area. I think Clyde List's dad helped to log those that were still standing after the Columbus Day storm. I think the date for the logging was around 1970??
Now the small pines you see with the small grey scales are third generation native pines.

Clyde List said...

I remember my dad coming home with a tear in his eye when the last of those trees was dropped. This would have been in the early 1970's. He was a retired engineer at that time. He was never a logger. I remember the man who did cut those trees down. I don't recall his name but he seemed quite pleased with himself.

Lilly Morgen said...

Greetings, Sherwoodians! Lilly Morgen, Time Traveler, Here

I was walking down Railroad Street Friday afternoon, when I came upon a rag-a muffin boy selling the new Tualatin Valley News for Nov. 17, 1916. The front page headline took me aback! Here-in is the story behind your picture:

SHERWOOD FOLKS PAY FREAK ELECTION BETS

Several freak wagers had been made on the outcome of the Presidential election, and the winners decided that the spectacle would be more imposing if all should exact payment at the same time. “…as a result, a regular parade took place on the main streets.”
Bets were paid as follows:
• Miss Agnes O’Neil of the Carson and Sherk Store wheeled C. H. McClure around the block in a wheelbarrow.
• Howard Smith of Carson and Sherk Furnishings “propelled influence” for a trip for Miss Cora Watkins.
• Mrs. C. I. Calkins manipulated a push cart in which Mrs. Ella Weckert road (sic) in state.

The winners were draped in U.S. Flags and bore pictures of the President, while the losers were adorned with placards reading “The Golden Special.” The parade chant was; “Four, Four, Four years more!”
Quite a large crowd witnesses the procession and friendly quips and jests were bandied back and forth among the supporters of the different candidates.

JayCee said...

Oh this is capital! Capital! Good job Lilly! Now I remember! All the young men in Sherwood were in love with Agnes O'Niel. It's too bad her face isn't more easily recognizable in the photo. She was the belle of the town. Oh yes!

I had thought the photo was from November 1911, the time of the first election. I died in 1912, that's why I couldn't remember this photo. Hmmm. Who was Wilson running against and what difference would it have made if he had lost the election? Let's see. Let me think.

Anonymous said...

So the people in the picture are (from l to r)Miss Cora Watkins and Howard Smith, Mrs. C. I. Calkins and Mrs. Ella Weckert, and Miss Agnes O’Neil and C. H. McClure.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered some information about Mrs. C. I Calkins. (Your featured lady in the picture.) At that time, her husband Chauncey Ira Calkins had been cashier of the Bank of Sherwood for four years. By 1919, he became the Bank President. She had four children.

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