by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
This is the first of many photographs which I will be sharing with you over the next several weeks. It was taken between 1910 and 1925. I have been unsuccessful in determining the exact date, but I will share what I do know. Any help you can provide in determining a more precise date would be appreciated.
First of all, note that you are looking north on Broadway Street from just south of the railroad tracks. Today, this is Main Street. The first building on the left is the Bank of Grain Valley which was established in 1905.
When built, the door was on the corner. I wonder when that was changed? Beyond the vacant lot is a small white frame building located at or near where the Historical Society is today. I wonder when the current brick structure was built?
Beyond the frame building, one can recognize the roof line of the Christian Church which was built in 1910 (destroyed by fire in 1978). And, in the far distance, with enlargement or a magnifying glass, one can recognize the roof line of the first brick school built in 1909 and destroyed by fire in 1925. I wonder what house is in between the church and school?
On the right, nearest the railroad is Warren Webb Hardware, circa 1900, and the brick building behind it was originally a hotel, one of three in Grain Valley during the early 1900s. Both were destroyed by fire in 1959. Just to the north of the hotel is a building with an old telephone sign attached to the front of the building, just above the door.
Yes, those are telephone poles. I have attempted to learn exactly when Grain Valley got telephones but have thus far been unsuccessful. I wonder when Grain Valley got electricity?
So, I’m left with more questions than answers for this week’s photograph. Are those car tire tracks or buggy tracks on the muddy street? Was the photograph “staged,” or were there only four people in town. Finally, are you as curious as me? Who are those men? And where are the ladies?
Learn more about the Grain Valley Historical Society at www.grainvalleyhistory.com.
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