Archive for Thursday, September 10, 2009

History lessons

Richard Wellman, left, and Sandra Johnson spend every Thursday morning in the history corner of the Baldwin City Public Library. They are here to answer a few questions regarding the community's history.

Richard Wellman, left, and Sandra Johnson spend every Thursday morning in the history corner of the Baldwin City Public Library. They are here to answer a few questions regarding the community's history.

September 10, 2009

Richard Wellman, left, and Sandra Johnson spend every Thursday morning in the history corner of the Baldwin City Public Library. They are here to answer a few questions regarding the community's history.

Q. The brick business building on Eighth Street, (714, 716 and 720 8th Street) directly south of the First United Methodist Church, was built in 1929 for F. M. Hartley. What were the three businesses that occupied the new building?

A, The north portion was occupied by The Baldwin Ledger newspaper, the center section by the Baldwin Electric Shop (appliances and radio equipment) and the southern portion was the Dew Drop Inn (counter service food).

Q. To understand the schedule of meetings for some lodges in Baldwin in 1892 one had to know something besides the calendar day. What was the information needed?

A. One needed to know the phase of the moon. The Masons met on Wednesday evening on or before the full moon. The G.A.R. met on Monday evening on or before the full moon.

Q. A new photographer came to Baldwin City in 1889 and set up his business. What was the photographer’s name?

A. It was Lewis Wehe. So if you have a photograph with the “WEHE” logo in Baldwin, you know it was taken in 1889 or later. An article on the businesses of Baldwin City of 1906 discusses the photographer in Baldwin at that time as being Arthur Ringer. So one can presume Wehe had closed his shop sometime prior to 1906. However, I have not found anything conclusive indicating when he closed his business, so if you have some information regarding his business history, it would be helpful in dating photographs taken by him.

Q. A 20-foot by 40-foot special storage building was built in 1889-90 behind where L&M Catering business now resides at 709 High Street. What was the purpose of that building?

A. The Baldwin Ledger of April 18, 1890 gives the following explanation: “Baldwin will undoubtedly keep cool this summer if an ice house 20 X 40 ft. in size and containing 250 tons of good ice has anything to do in lowering the temperature of the atmosphere. Such is Bodwell & Sturdy’s ice house, just back of the meat market, as central a location as could be desired. The ice was obtained from their own pond in the northwest part of town, and is of the purest quality.” The ice house location was confirmed with the 1893 Sanborn fire insurance map.

Q. Old phone books of Baldwin City did not include the person’s address. In what year did the phone book begin including the address?

A. It was in 1952.

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