Friday, August 29, 2014

National Historic District --- From the air, ca. 1920

Dick Young brought this aerial photograph of the Chariton square to the museum Thursday and that was kind of appropriate. This was the week, too, that the "Lucas County Courthouse Square Historic District" was included on the National Register of Historic Places "List of Action Taken on Properties," distributed by the National Park Service.

Other newly listed properties on the weekly list were the Great Falls Manufacturing Company Newichawannock Canal Historic District in York County, Maine; Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis (one of the great U.S. Cemeteries now catching up to the Chariton Cemetery, listed several years ago); and the Cunningham Round Barn in Vernon County, Wisconsin.

I'm guessing the photo was taken 1921-22, but could probably date it a little more precisely by pulling files on the various gas stations built just after World War I in what now is a National Historic District.

That's the 1917 Post Office in the lower middle of the photo with First Baptist Church to the left and over to the right, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. If you look carefully, you'll see that the lot on the northeast corner of the square where the Hotel Charitone was built in 1923 still is vacant. Right click and open in a new window to see more detail.

The water tower is to the far left, midway up --- and underneath it you can see the fire station that was replaced by the current City Hall.

I've never been able to date precisely the four-front brick building across South Main from City Hall that now houses Chariton Ford and other businesses, but here you can see that a two-front building with a gabled roof and false front was located at the south end of the lot and what appears to be a big tent, on the other half of the lot just south of the alley.

Although the east, north and west sides of the square are about the same today as they were when this photo was taken, the south was in its glory days. That's the Kubitshek Block to the far left, then a couple of empty lots where wooden buildings had been taken down and the building that now houses Sportsmens Tavern just west of the alley. East of the alley (from left) were the three-story Temple Block (now the one-story Hammer Medical Supply), the triple-front Branner Block and the double-front Dewey Block, still with us on the corner.

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