Friday, December 30, 2011

Neoclassical details, Little Rock

North Main Street
Many of the taller buildings on North Main are neoclassical, meaning they have elements of classic Greek and Roman buildings. It's a common style for early 1900s banks because of its visual strength. This building also has some Italianate elements.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Fulk" Building, Little Rock

North Main Street, Little Rock
The building labeled "Fulk" is one of the few from this series that is not vacant - it houses Bennett's Military Supplies, a 100-plus-year-old shop that has always been on this block. The building itself is in sad shape, however, and I don't know who "Fulk" is.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Snapshot - "BEFORE I DIE"

Google Map
The next set of photos were taken on Little Rock's Main Street. Most, if not all, of the buildings pictured are vacant or abandoned. Photos of Main Street from decades past show crowds of shoppers and workers; those days are long-past. The above photo is from the old MM Cohn building, a department store that also saw its golden age many years ago.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Snapshot - Tuf Nut Building

Google Map
Tuf Nut was a company that manufactured work clothing. This building was once their Little Rock factory - it's now loft apartments and first-floor businesses.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Snapshot - Congress Square, Portland, 1904

Google street view from 2009. The YMCA is gone and the skinny building has gained a floor.
Another gem from Shorpy. This photo shows Portland, Maine - not the better known Oregon version. I was born in this city 81 years after the photo was taken.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Snapshot - Staircase ruins, Poplar Bluff, Missouri

Google Map
An ornate staircase built across from the Poplar Bluff train station in the early 1900s. The stairs were a symbolic gateway between the railroad and the heart of the city - and you can see how long that symbolism lasted. The station is similarly dilapidated.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Snapshot - Pulaski County Courthouse, 1905

Found at Shorpy Historical Photo Archive
Today's photo comes from an outside source. The courthouse is, happily, still exactly as it appears in this photo, except with a working clock in place of the blank face seen at the tower here. It's a stunning red stone building. As you may guess it is no longer the tallest thing around. And you won't be finding any horses or carts wandering around its perimeter.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Snapshot - Bricks, tracks, and river rail

Google Map
Old brick courtyard and abandoned railroad track at left; replica streetcar at right; modern condominiums and office buildings in background

Friday, December 16, 2011

Snapshot - Another ghost sign by the river

Too lazy for a Google Map. But it's right next to this one
This business, which apparently belonged to "BRANDON," now advertises mainly to a dumpster and a no-parking zone. Occasionally weird people like me come along to pay homage to the ghosts.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Exploration - Fairfield, Illinois

There's something about a city's downtown. It's the easiest way to get a snapshot of what the town is, who lives there and what values exist. I see a dead downtown as evidence of a dead, or dying town. It's also the place easiest to find visible history.

So a month or so ago we took a couple hours to walk around downtown Fairfield, Illinois. How did it measure up?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Snapshot - Ghost Sign, River Market

Google Map
Ornate brickad for a long-defunct business. The sign might have advertised to river or rail traffic; the only folks wandering this way now are joggers, hobos and tourists. Note the modern advertising on the upper left.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Snapshot - Democrat Printing and Litho. Co.

No time for Google Map - maybe later

This 100-year-old downtown building presently hosts upstairs lofts, a few random shops and Arkansas Business Publishing Group (my place of work). Oddly, Democrat Printing & Litho. Co. still prints my company's material, but it's in another location now. Strange how that worked out.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Snapshot - Central Supply Co. Building, Little Rock

Google Map
I'm not too sure what the "Central Supply Company" is or was, but it certainly no longer resides in this early 20th century building. Some of its floors are home to the Arkansas Times - I know that much.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lost Empire: Rock Island Railroad

In the glory days of railroading, multiple passenger lines crisscrossed through cities. The Rock Island Railroad wound its way from Rock Island, Illinois, down south through Arkansas. Here in Little Rock, Rock Island built a huge span over the Arkansas River.

Google Map

But in time all empires must crumble.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Snapshot: Title, high rise, Little Rock

Google Map
Ornate "B-B" title on a high-rise in downtown Little Rock. Likely refers to original builders. This building has lofts upstairs, and I believe the bottom floors are currently vacant.
(also: go hogs)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Return of Time Fishing!

As was prophesied, I am now ready to return to this world after moving to a new place and getting a job where I don't write about history.

So let's talk a little about history. I'm going to do something like what I described in one of my last posts, where I'll blog single photos through most of the week and write longer posts as I come to them, usually for exploration of small towns or whatnot. Since I live in Little Rock now, there's an abundance of unexplored neighborhoods and areas to provide ample snapshot material.

And now for a little bit of movie theater.

More after the jump...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Time Fishing is history! least for now.

Since it's taken me five months to make an entry, I'm thinking it's time I declare a hiatus on Time Fishing for a little while.

I expect I'll return to this world when I move to a new place and have a lot of new areas to explore. And when I'm not already writing about history elsewhere and being paid for it.

So, until then, enjoy a cute historical picture:

[Noah Moody, 3, of Garner, Ark. and the Union Pacific No. 844 steam engine, both in Bald Knob last week]

You can also see photos I post to my Time Fishing Pinterest.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Poplar Bluff I

Poplar Bluff is a town through which we drive every time we go visit Jenna's family in Illinois. Actually, though, the highway takes us on a gentle curve around the actual city, so recently we stopped there for a look-around. It being historically relevant, there were plenty of things for my little eyes to see.

I saw the peak of the Rodgers Theater from over the rooftops of other buildings in downtown Poplar Bluff. It's a truly glorious downtown theater - obviously in need of some work, but apparently still in working order.

The building was put up in 1949 by I.W. Rodgers, who evidently took over most of the theaters in town at some point (this is, I think, the only old one left). It had capacity for 1,160 folks and included a "crying room," an enclosed area with sound-proof glass so emotionally unsound viewers could continue watching people being devoured by triffids whilst not disturbing the other film-goers.

A closer shot of the Rodgers:

More to come.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bygone grocery

I refuse to give up on this blog.

Driving to Rose Bud today, I discovered this relic:

I note that a fairly recent-looking Arkansas Democrat-Gazette machine is still guarding the door, so this grocer hasn't been closed for too long, I suppose. Judging by its looks, it's probably been around since the 1930s, maybe 40s, and was one of those hardwood floored Third Places where old men gathered around a hanging light bulb and told stories.

It's interesting to me that many old groceries (such as this one, from my friend Barbara's blog) had those old signs with very similar hand-painted text.

I bet that once this place was an oasis of food and culture, the only stop between Rose Bud and Joy or Center Hill, and when you're on unpaved roads up in the hills, that's a long way. It's paved now, of course, but not much more than a half-century removed. I bet this was a great place to gather. It would have had that inviting closeness and clutter that spoke of individuals and care, rather than cold vast-market calculation and consumer psychology. No rolling smileys or self-check outs here, just the people you know.

Ahh, I'm probably just romanticizing it.