Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fashionable Ritter Avenue--1905

Beautiful homes graced Ritter Avenue in the early 20th century.  The home in the foreground is that of Charles and Grace Hackleman at 34 North Ritter Avenue.  Their home had just been standing for one year when the historic photograph was taken.  Mr. Hackleman earned a comfortable living as an engraver. He later wrote a textbook on engraving and printing for vocational schools around the nation.  The second home at 40 North Ritter Avenue belonged to salesman, Harry Dwyer.  It was also fairly new in 1905.  The third house visible in the photo belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Carl Hunt at 46 North Ritter Avenue.  They had only recently purchased the late-nineteenth-century dwelling from Margaret Cummings, a widow.  Mr. Hunt was listed in the directories as a reporter, salesman, and a businessman involved in at least two separate companies.  The last home seen in this image is that of Elwood and Ethel Barnard at 52 North Ritter.  The Barnards were musicians and had their own orchestra.  Other family members who participated in the Barnard Orchestra included Olive and Helen.

Charles and Helen Hackleman and several neighborhood children at 34 North Ritter Avenue in 1905.
  Charles and Helen Hackleman (she is standing on the sidewalk) were the real subjects of this photograph.  Unidentified neighborhood children have joined the pair.  Perhaps they lived in one of the nearby Ritter Avenue homes.

The block looks very different in 2012.  The Works Progress Administration widened the street in the late 1930s and removed the green space and all of the trees next to the avenue.  Unfortunately, 40 North Ritter was greatly altered in the early 1990s when the owners at that time added an entire story and vinyl sided over the wood shake and clapboards.  A more historic alteration took place at 46 North Ritter perhaps as early as 1915 when it was converted into four apartments.  The other two homes at 34 and 52 North Ritter have changed little in the 107 years since this photo was taken.

40 North Ritter was drastically altered in the early 1990s.

46 North Ritter was converted to apartments in 1915. You can still see the late nineteenth-century fish scale shakes on the side of the home. 
The historic image is courtesy of Karen Bastian Clark.  The contemporary images were shot on October 5, 2012.  


  1. Always informative!! My grandmother would have gotten such a kick out of your blog. She loved to lend her photos to historical events. Thanks.

  2. I wish I could have met her, Karen! I would had have soooooooo many questions!