Monday, January 23, 2012

Backyard along Good Avenue






Lewis and Louie Finch and their sons lived briefly in a double at 368-370 Good Avenue in the late 1920s. Twelve-year-old Richard, whose name used to be Richard Gray, was adopted by Lewis after he married Louie, who already had Richard from a previous marriage. Mrs. Finch stayed at home with the children and she might have been the photographer of the historic images featured today.

In the top photo, baby George Finch stands in his formidable crib in the backyard of the double on Good Avenue in 1927. Behind him you can see the stuccoed garage that used to belong to 366 Good Avenue. That garage was torn down around 2009. The rear of the house visible in the photo is of a small bungalow at 362 Good Avenue. George grew up and served his country during World War II. He later worked as a personnel manager for the Diamond Chain Company for many years.

In the second historic image, Richard Finch (1919-1990) stands on what looks like the cistern that belonged to 368-370 Good Avenue in 1928. The photographer, who was facing south, not only captured Richard, but also the rear of the double at the northwest corner of Good and Beechwood Avenues. (384 Good/5854 Beechwood) Notice the large brackets along the roofline. The other home visible behind Richard was 5850 Beechwood. The Bell family dwelled there in 1928. Richard grew up and joined the National Guard. He was on the USS Nevada when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Thankfully, he survived the war and later settled in Keene, New Hampshire.

The contemporary images show the rear of 384 Good/5854 Beechwood and 5850 Beechwood Avenue. You will note that the historic garage belonging to the double is still standing and that both of the homes look largely the same. The other photos show the front of both homes in 2012. The double on the corner is still very beautiful as it has been wonderfully maintained over the years. City directories reveal that it was likely built in 1923. Behind the double you can see the former Finch home at 368-370 Good Avenue. The bottom photo reveals 5850 Beechwood Avenue in 2012. It is one of the older homes in southeastern Irvington and might have been built in the late nineteenth century. Further research is needed on the interesting structure. The historic images are courtesy of Evan Finch.

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