Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Custers of University Avenue

Walter and Katherine Custer and their children lived at 5515 University Avenue in the late 1930s and early 1940s.  Their modest bungalow was first built in 1912 and had served as a rental for many Irvington families.  It would not be until the second half of the twentieth century that the dwelling would become owner occupied. The Custers leased the house while Mr. Custer worked as a salesman for the National Biscuit Company.  Their three children, Lyle, Don, and Shirley, spent their formative years in the neighborhood riding their bikes, playing with friends, and attending nearby School 57.

In these candid photos, taken on Easter Day in 1942, the Custer children posed in the backyard in their Sunday finest.  Of course, no picture was complete without their beloved dog Taffy.  She appeared in many other photos as well.  The contemporary photo shows the home on an unusually warm winter morning in 2013.  Note the classic knee braces along the roofline.  More photos will be coming from this interesting family.

Shirley Custer and Taffy (1942) of 5515 University Avenue

Lyle, Don,  and Shirley Custer with Taffy at 5515 University Avenue (1942)

Do, Shirley, and Lyle Custer on Easter Sunday in 1942 at 5515 University Avenue

5515 University Avenue in 2013

The historic images are courtesy of the Custer family.

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