Wednesday, December 11, 2013

And the Beam Goes Up--1908

In this stunningly clear photograph, members of the newly organized Irvington Presbyterian Church gathered along Johnson Avenue to commemorate the erection of the first beams of a new edifice.  It was a cool day sometime during the winter of 1908.  The men wore their topcoats and the women donned their hats.  A member of the building committee, James L. Kingsbury (348 North Layman Avenue), addressed the audience. Behind him stood the Reverend Jonathan Day (5830 University Avenue).  Everything about this photograph was ephemeral.  All of the people are long gone; future congregants replaced this building with a larger church in 1928; and the home facing Audubon Road behind those gathered would be razed not long after image was snapped.  Perhaps the most we can hope for is that someone still has one of those wonderful feather hats sitting in an unopened trunk in the back of an attic.

Members of the Irvington Presbyterian Church Gather in 1908
The historic photograph is courtesy of Bill Ferling and the Irvington Presbyterian Church. To see more images from this commemoration, click on the link below.


  1. Bill, I love your writing style. It's haunting, beautiful and deeply moving, as you connect the history of our place so strongly to the relational aspect of the people who once lived here.... Thank you for your blog, your stories!

  2. Thank you, Anna! I am having a blast writing this blog and uncovering the stories from our neighborhood's past.