Old Fort Niagara, Youngstown, New York


Across the parade, Old Fort, Niagara, N.Y.
On back:
Old Fort Niagara was restored by cooperative efforts between the War Department of the United States and the Old Fort Niagara Association. Inc., a non-profit making association organized by patriotic societies and civic interests of the Niagara Frontier. The Association is dedicated to the work of directing attention to the vast international significance of restored Old Fort Niagara as a shrine symbolizing the history of common interests of three great nations in the evolution from early American struggle and strife to lasting peace; and to the use of Old Fort Niagara for the objective teaching of local history.
1930s
Publisher: “Distributed by and available through the Old Fort Niagara Assn., Inc., Youngstown, N.Y.”

Google Street View.

Fort Niagara was originally built in 1678 to protect the interests of New France in America, but later became a significant military outpost during the French and Indian War and the War of 1812. Standing on a bluff above Lake Ontario not far from Niagara Falls, Old Fort Niagara has dominated the entrance to the Niagara River since 1726. The colorful history of the site began even earlier, and continues to the present day. The fort played an important role in the struggles of France, Great Britain, and the United States to control the Great Lakes region of North America, and also helped shape the destinies of the Iroquois (Six Nations) peoples and the nation of Canada.
American Heritage

The French established the first post here, Fort Conti, in 1679. Its successor, Fort Denonville (1687-88) was equally short lived. In 1726 France finally erected a permanent fortification with the construction of the impressive “French Castle.” Britain gained control of Fort Niagara in 1759, during the French & Indian War, after a nineteen-day seige. The British held the post throughout the American Revolution but were forced, by treaty, to yield it to the United States in 1796. Fort Niagara was recaptured by the British in 1813. It was ceded to the United States a second time in 1815 at the end of the War of 1812. This was Fort Niagara’s last armed conflict, and it thereafter served as a peaceful border post. The garrison expanded beyond the walls following the Civil War. Fort Niagara was a barracks and training station for American soldiers throughout both World Wars.
Old Fort Niagara


Council Chamber of Sir William Johnson, French Castle, Niagara, N.Y.
On back:
Old Fort Niagara was restored by cooperative efforts between the War Department of the United States and the Old Fort Niagara Association. Inc., a non-profit making association organized by patriotic societies and civic interests of the Niagara Frontier. The Association is dedicated to the work of directing attention to the vast international significance of restored Old Fort Niagara as a shrine symbolizing the history of common interests of three great nations in the evolution from early American struggle and strife to lasting peace; and to the use of Old Fort Niagara for the objective teaching of local history.
1930s
Publisher: “Distributed by and available through the Old Fort Niagara Assn., Inc., Youngstown, N.Y.”

The French Castle is the oldest and largest building at Old Fort Niagara and the oldest building in the Great Lakes Basin. It was built by the French in 1726-7 and was designed to house up to 60 soldiers. The Castle, called La Maison a Machicoulis by the French, incorporated barracks space for soldiers, officers quarters, a trade room. chapel, storerooms, powder magazine and bakery.
Old Fort Niagara


“Corps de Garde”, French Castle, Niagara, N.Y.
On back:
Old Fort Niagara was restored by cooperative efforts between the War Department of the United States and the Old Fort Niagara Association. Inc., a non-profit making association organized by patriotic societies and civic interests of the Niagara Frontier. The Association is dedicated to the work of directing attention to the vast international significance of restored Old Fort Niagara as a shrine symbolizing the history of common interests of three great nations in the evolution from early American struggle and strife to lasting peace; and to the use of Old Fort Niagara for the objective teaching of local history.
1930s
Publisher: “Distributed by and available through the Old Fort Niagara Assn., Inc., Youngstown, N.Y.”

The Castle was equipped with two guard rooms, one on the first floor for the on-duty guard and one on the second floor (shown here). Soldiers in the upstairs room had mattresses, sheets, and blankets and could cook meals in the fireplace. The first floor guardroom was quite a bit more spartan.
Old Fort Niagara

Chinese Telephone Excahgne, San Francisco, USA


Interior Chinese Telephone Excahgne, Chinatown, San Francisco, Calif.
On the back:
CHINATOWN’S TELEPHNE EXCHANGE BUILDING
San Franciscos’s quaint Chinatown Pacific Tel. & Tel. Co. building was erected in 1909 to conform with Chinese architectural traditions. It hours what is believe to be the only Chinese Telephone exchange outside of China itself.
1940s
Publisher: Stanley A. Plitz Company, San Francisco (1930s-1950s)

Google Street View.

In 1891, the first public telephone pay station was installed in Chinatown. In 1894, a small switchboard was set up to serve subscribers to the telephone system. Since people were often asked for by name rather than by number, telephone operators memorized and knew each subscriber by name. This made telephone numbers unnecessary. The Chinatown community felt it was rude to refer to people by numbers. Operators also knew the address and occupations of subscribers so they could distinguish between two people with the same name. In addition, they had to speak five Chinese dialects and English.

Although the offices of the exchange were destroyed by the 1906 earthquake, they were rebuilt afterwards, and remained in operation until 1949. The exchange was closed in 1949, when technology changed from switchboard-operator system to rotary-dial telephones. The Bank of Canton bought and restored the building in 1960.
Chinatown, San Franciso

One of the most Interesting features of the rebuilding of San Francisco’s famed Chinatown is the new telephone exchange building to handle’ tho largo -number of calls from that quarter. Tho building is designed on Oriental lines, and when completed will be ornamented with dragons and other symbolical Chinese characters. The Chinese are great users of the telephone. and their language is cumbersome, and they would rather talk over the phone than write letters. The. operators will be Chinese boys, Chinese girls being at a premium.
[Sydney] Sunday Times, 26 September 1909

The telephone exchange in Chinatown, San Francisco, is unique, being strikingly Oriental in both its exterior and interior details, and operated wholly by Chinese. The building has three pagodas, giving it the appearance of the hone of Chinaman of rank, and aside from the sign above the door and the telephone apparatus within, is entirely Chinese. The manager of the exchange is an American-born Chinaman and the switchboard operators are chine boys and girls. The exchanges now take care of 800 subscribers’ lines. The Chinese part of the San Francisco telephone directory is arranged by names of streets, instead of by numbers, and a caller gives the name of the firm or individual he wishes to reach.
[Sydney] Globe, 11 January 1913

Just around the corner from Grant at Washington was the venerable Chinese Telephone Exchange at 743 Washington (map). It opened in 1901 at which time, pre dialling, the operators had to know all of the Chinatown customers by name and address because it was considered rude to refer to a person by number. Each operator also had to speak the many dialects of Chinese spoken by the residents. It was no surprise perhaps that the original male operators were soon replaced by women, on account of their “good temper”.
Reel SF (has more pictures)

Ohio State Fair Grounds, Columbus, Ohio


Interior of Coliseum, Ohio State Fair Grounds, Columbus, Ohio
Postmarked 1930
Publisher: Whedon S. Harriman, Columbus

The Ohio State Fair is one of the largest state fairs in the United States, held in Columbus, Ohio during late July through early August.

The first Ohio State Fair was planned for September 1849, but an outbreak of Asiatic cholera forced cancellation of those plans. . . . Camp Washington, Cincinnati (two miles north of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio) was the site for the first Ohio State Fair, October 2–4, 1850. The site was described as 8–10 acres with grassy slopes, shade trees, and numerous tents. The grounds were enclosed by a 10-foot (3.0 m)-high board fence. Cattle were tethered to a railing along the carriage road. . . . From 1874 until 1885, the site of Columbus’ Franklin Park served as home to the Ohio State Fair. Finally, in 1886, the Fair moved to its current location to what is currently called the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds. The main entrance to the site was at the southwest corner of the grounds along Woodard Avenue.
Wikipedia.

In 1886, what is now known as the Ohio Expo Center became the permanent home of the Ohio State Fair. Years of planning and the acquisition of more than 100 acres of beautiful land adjacent to a major railroad intersection in Columbus culminated on August 30, 1886 when the 37th Ohio State Fair opened its gates. The grounds was comprised of a half-mile track and 5,000-seat grandstand, a magnificent main exhibition building, the Power Hall to hold machinery, several small lakes covering approximately three and a half acres, and dozens of barns designed to hold 448 horses, 420 head of cattle, 400 sheep and 450 hogs.
Ohio Expo Center & State Fair

The Taft Coliseum is a 5,003-permanent seat multi-purpose arena located at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds in Columbus, Ohio. It opened in 1918 and is nicknamed “The Barn”. The facility hosted the 1929 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

The Coliseum has become a legendary and traditional high school basketball venue. It hosted OHSAA central district and regional playoffs in boys’ High School basketball until 2013, when the Central District Athletic Board opted to move games to Ohio Dominican University. During each fall and winter the Coliseum is also home to CAHA youth hockey. It was also once home to the Ohio State University men’s basketball team, Columbus Horizon CBA basketball team, Columbus Thunderbolts Arena Football League team, and the Columbus Stars and Columbus Chill ice hockey teams.
Wikipedia.

A natural home for major sporting events, concerts, consumer shows, horse shows, truck and tractor pulls – the circus! Depending on your needs, there’s seating for up to 7,000 in color-coded sections. And the facility is designed to make your event successful in every detail. Arena size: 225′ x 112′, and 65′ high at its peak.
Ohio Expo Center & State Fair (has link to virtual tour)

Hotel Rainbow, Great Falls, Montana


The Palm Room at the Hotel Rainbow, Great Falls, Mont.
On back:
This beautiful room must be seen to be appreciated. The management had the Palm Room built on the ground floor.
Postmarked 1913
Publisher: Chas. E. Morris Co., Green Falls

Architects George Shanley and John Kent designed the 1911 Rainbow Hotel for the Great Falls Townsite Company. The Townsite Company’s board included two of the most powerful men in America: Anaconda Company president John D. Ryan and Great Northern Railway president James J. Hill. The five-story hotel expressed their belief in Great Falls’ future—as an industrial center and hub for a large, prosperous agricultural district. As Ryan explained, they did not design the Rainbow for Great Falls as it existed, but for the much larger city they expected it to become. Decorated with terra cotta, the luxurious brick building cost $400,000 to construct and furnish, making it the most expensive establishment in the state. The hotel boasted a café, buffet, banquet hall, sample rooms, and 150 sleeping rooms, 120 of which connected to their own bathrooms. Finished in white marble, ivory, and copper, the lobby exuded elegance. So, too, did the Palm Room, which the Tribune complimented as “the most pretentious public room in a hotel between the Twin Cities and the Pacific coast.”
The Montana National Register Sign Program

Broadwater Natatorium, Helena, Montana, USA


Interior, Broadwater Natatorium
Helena, Montana
Dated 1907
Publisher: A. P. Curtin, B & S Co.

A natatorium (plural: natatoriums or natatoria, also called swimming hall) is a building containing a swimming pool. The word natatorium was borrowed from Late Latin, transitioning around the 1880s. The word was originally constructed from the Latin for “to swim” (natā(re)) and “place” (tōrium). In Latin, a cella natatoria was a swimming pool in its own building, although it is sometimes also used to refer to any indoor pool even if not housed in a dedicated building (e.g., a pool in a school or a fitness club). A natatorium will usually also house locker rooms, and perhaps allied activities, such as a diving well or facilities for water polo. 
Wikipedia.

As Helena grew in the late 1880s, many of the spectacular homes and buildings were created. The grandest of them all was the Broadwater Natatorium, built in 1889 by the colonel. After dedicating his life to making Helena a thriving city with the development of Montana’s freight industry, this visionary built an elegant and lavish grand resort unlike any other in the state. The Broadwater Hotel and Natatorium stood as a symbol of Helena’s wealth and Montana’s progressiveness. Built on and around the Ten-mile Hot Springs with an investment of $500,000, these structures were masterfully constructed in the Moorish Spanish architectural style. The all-over effect was characterized by its massive size, complex rooflines, towers, domes, stained-glass windows and rows of high windows called clerestories. Its plunge featured a forty-foot high mass of granite boulders, toboggan slides, observation decks, and waterfalls. A rectangular nave covered the plunge, which had a hot spring in it coming right from the ground.

The swimming pool was 300 feet long and 100 feet wide. Colorful tiles covered the interior walls and floor to create a distinctly decorative and romantic feeling. The spacious hotel was elegantly furnished and featured modern amenities, including steam heat, electric lights, hot and cold water in nearly every room, and modern bath departments. The grounds were lush with beautiful lawns, flowerbeds, walks, fountains, and extensive landscaping. When the Broadwater Natatorium premiered in August 1889, it opened its doors to 180 guests and was the largest natural hot water plunge in the world. It was undoubtedly the most important example of this Moorish style of architecture in the Northwest. By drawing people from all over the world, it rivaled other nationally known spas at the time.
Treasure State Lifestyles Montana

The hot springs was developed first in 1865 as a bathhouse, a respite for miners digging in Last Chance Gulch. In 1889, the year of statehood, Charles Broadwater built the ornate Broadwater Hotel and Natatorium, which featured the world’s largest indoor pool. Broadwater died and his resort floundered and failed, the pool damaged in the 1935 earthquakes, and the hotel closed forever in 1941.
Great Falls Tribune

The natatorium was the most important example of Moorish architecture in the Northwest. It housed the largest indoor “plunge” in the world. A rectangular nave covered the 300′ x 100′ pool. The hot-spring water for the complex was delivered via redwood pipes from the source 1.5 miles to the west. Over one million gallons per day of hot and cold mountain spring water flowed through the system. The pool had a maximum depth of 12′.

The insurmountable problem caused by the earthquakes was the collapse of the thermal vent which provided hot spring water for the pool. Attempts were made to keep the pool filled by transferring hot water from the hotel boilers. Then, they simply tried to get by with using less water, as sen in the photo above. But it was all to no avail, and the natatorium was finally closed. The Broadwater acreage was purchased by Norman Rogers in November of 1945. He announced plans to renovate and reopen the resort, but this was never done. In July of 1946, Rogers threaded thick steel cables through the windows of the natatorium, hooked them to a bulldozer, and began pulling down the historic structure. “She’s still stubborn”, Rogers was quoted as saying as the great building shuddered. There were rumors that the timbers and cedar paneling were then sold for firewood.
Helena As She Was (more pictures)

Grass House, Hawaii


Grass Hut in Hawaii
Postmarked & dated 1931
Publisher: The Island Curio Co.

The grass house, or hale, followed the basic construction pattern common throughout Polynesia. The wooden framework consisted of ridegpole, rafters, and purlins or horizontal supports running between vertical wall posts. Thatching material – most commonly sweet-smelling pili grass – was tied to the purlins in bundles with thatch at the ridgepoles carefully layered and braided to prevent rain and wind from entering the house. Other thatching materials included various grasses, pandanus leaves, ti, sugar cane leaves and banana trunk fiber. Lashing was done with braided `uki`uki grass, coconut husk fiber or `ie`ie; no nails were used. Hale typically had a small door opening and no windows.
HawaiiHistory.org

Bronx Park, New York


Entrance to Bronx Park, New York City
On the back:
Bronx Park lies on both sides of the Bronx River between Williamsbridge and West Farms. It comprises a total area of 662 acres, 250 of which have been given to a botanical garden and 261 to a zoological park. Both institutions are corporations managed by trustees and occupying their sites by arrangements with the city.
c. 1920
Publisher: The American Art Publishing Co, New York City, (1918-1925)

This might be the entrance to the zoo rather than the park.

Google Street View (approximate location).

Wikipedia.

Inspiration for Bronx Park came during a widespread movement to create public parks throughout the city in the 1880s. In 1881, John Mullaly (1835-1915), a former newspaper reporter and editor, and a group of citizens concerned with widespread urban growth, formed the New York Park Association. The group’s lobbying efforts helped the passage of the New Parks Act in 1884, which funded the acquisition of several major undeveloped lands for the purpose of creating parks and parkways. By 1890, the city had acquired properties in the Bronx that would eventually become known as Van Cortlandt, Pelham Bay, Bronx, Crotona, and Claremont Park, as well as four parkways. John Mullaly Park, an 18-acre parkland in the Highbridge section of the Bronx, was dedicated to the park activist in 1932.

In 1891, 250 acres of this site were allotted to the New York Botanical Society. The New York Botanical Garden was modeled after the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, England, and has become one of the most distinguished gardens in the world. The garden houses living collections of temperate and tropical plants from all over the world as well as a huge collection of preserved plant specimens. It is also home to a 40-acre “virgin” forest, one of the last such preserves in the city.

The City of New York allotted another 250 acres to the New York Zoological Society in 1898 to build a park to preserve native animals and promote zoology. The Bronx Zoo opened in 1899 and is the largest urban zoo in the United States housing over 8,000 animals representing more than 800 species. In 1906, the city acquired another 66 acres on the southeastern end of this property. This area currently houses Ranaqua, NYC Parks’ Bronx headquarters.
NYC Parks

Rockefeller Fountain

Grand Central Terminal Station, New York City


Grand Central Terminal Station, New York City
On back:
GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL.
NEW YORK CITY.
The Grand Central Terminal covers 69.8 acres facing East 42nd Street, from Vanderbilt to Lexington Avenue, the largest and most costly Railroad Station in the world. It has 31 miles of tracks under cover, with a capacity for handling 200 trains and 70,000 passengers each hour. There are 42 tracks for long distance express trains on the 42nd Street level, and 25 trakcs for surburban trains in concourse. 25 feet below the Street.
c.1918 (from a postmark on another card in the same series)
Publisher: American Art Publishing Co, New York City (1918-1925)

Google Street View.

GCT is the largest train station in the world in terms of area occupied and number of platforms. The terminal is spread over 49 acres and has 44 platforms. The station is used by more than one million people a week. It serves the Metro-North Commuter railroad, which passes through the city’s suburbs and goes out to Connecticut and New Jersey. The station is currently owned and operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
Railway Technology

As train traffic increased in the late 1890s and early 1900s, so did the problems of smoke and soot produced by steam locomotives in the Park Avenue Tunnel, the only approach to the station. This contributed to a crash on January 8, 1902, when a southbound train overran signals in the smoky Park Avenue Tunnel and collided with another southbound train, killing 15 people and injuring more than 30 others.] Shortly afterward, the New York state legislature passed a law to ban all steam trains in Manhattan by 1908. William J. Wilgus, the New York Central’s vice president, later wrote a letter to New York Central president William H. Newman. Wilgus proposed to electrify and place the tracks to Grand Central in tunnels, as well as constructing a new railway terminal with two levels of tracks and making other infrastructure improvements. In March 1903, Wilgus presented a more detailed proposal to the New York Central board. The railroad’s board of directors approved the $35 million project in June 1903; ultimately, almost all of Wilgus’s proposal would be implemented.

The entire building was to be torn down in phases and replaced by the current Grand Central Terminal. It was to be the biggest terminal in the world, both in the size of the building and in the number of tracks. The Grand Central Terminal project was divided into eight phases, though the construction of the terminal itself comprised only two of these phases.
Wikipedia.

Design competitions for major projects were commonplace in the early 1900s, and the railroad launched one in 1903. Four firms entered: McKim Mead & White, Samuel Huckel, Jr., Reed & Stem, and Daniel Burnham. Reed & Stem won. Its innovative scheme featured pedestrian ramps inside, and a ramp-like roadway outside that wrapped around the building to connect the northern and southern halves of Park Avenue. Were these innovations enough to make Grand Central truly grand? The railroad wasn’t sure. So it hired another architecture firm, Warren & Wetmore, which proposed a monumental façade of three triumphal arches. The two chosen firms collaborated as “Associated Architects.” It was a stormy partnership, but the final design combined the best ideas of both.
Grand Central Terminal

 

Oil Wells, Summerland, California


Oil wells in the sea, Summerland, near Satan Barbara, Calif
Postmarked 1924
Publisher: Western Publishing & Novelty Co., Los Angeles.

General location.

The Summerland Oil Field (and Summerland Offshore Oil Field) is an inactive oil field in Santa Barbara County, California, about four miles (6 km) east of the city of Santa Barbara, within and next to the unincorporated community of Summerland. First developed in the 1890s, and richly productive in the early 20th century, the Summerland Oil Field was the location of the world’s first offshore oil wells, drilled from piers in 1896. This field, which was the first significant field to be developed in Santa Barbara County, produced 3.18 million of barrels of oil during its 50-year lifespan, finally being abandoned in 1939-40.
Wikipedia

In California, Henry Williams by 1897 had successfully pursued the giant Summerland oilfield to the scenic cliff side beaches of Santa Barbara. With reports of “tar balls” on the beaches from natural offshore oil seeps, Williams recognized that the highly productive field extended into the Pacific Ocean. He and his associates constructed a 300 foot pier, mounted a cable-tool derrick, and began drilling. When California’s first offshore oil well proved successful, more than 20 petroleum companies rushed to Santa Barbara. They constructed 14 more piers, the longest extending 1,230 feet. Over the next five years more than 400 Summerland offshore wells were drilled.
American Oil & Gas Historical Society

Sugar Maples Hotel, Maplecrest, New York


Writing Room at Sugar Maples, Maplecrest, N.Y.
Postmarked: 1948
Publisher: Art Vue Postcard Co, New York

Google Maps.

Sugar Maples Resort – Maplecrest, NY 1970’s (video)

Layout, 1960s

Hotel started in 1925 by Sherwood “Gus” Moseman, who had owned a very successful mercantile business on Staten Island before serving in World War I. After the war, he returned to the family store in Big Hollow. As the years went by, more and more of his friends from New York visited, many staying for a week or two. Seeing a business opportunity, he sold the family store and opened a hotel. Several years earlier Big Hollow had changed its name to Maplecrest, so the new hotel was called the Sugar Maples.

Like most of the successful twentieth century Catskill Mountains hotels, the emphasis was on food and activities. The 700 seat dining room became widely known for quality dining. Guests were kept busy with guided hikes, horseback riding, bicycling, tennis courts, a baseball field with roofed bleachers, a huge heated outdoor swimming pool, a roller skating rink, a library and an orchestra for evening dances
Catskill Archive